When someone is self-employed, I think one of the most important things is to never lose sight of what made you decide to go into business for yourself in the first place. For most successful businesses it wasn’t really the money. It was the passion of doing something that you love and just perhaps being able to make a living at it. I feel like that is especially true for those of us in the art and design field.
Those of you who follow me know that I love to do many types of creating both for my business and for my personal growth. To me, art is not just a business or a hobby. It is a way of life.
The more my company grows and the more successful I get, the more I realize that it can’t ‘always’ be about doing something that is good for the business. While I am fortunate enough to realize that just about everything about my business is fun, there is something to be said for doing a project just to create. And while I love to do my own original projects, following a fellow designers’ pattern is not only fun, but it is also very relaxing because it removes all the pressure from me and I get to be a student instead of a teacher for a change. It is refreshing, fun, and more times than not, I get to learn something in the process as well.
Last year, my friend and fellow designer Tracy Moreau introduced some amazing tote bags that were meant to be painted. Tracy loves skulls, sugar skulls, and anything that is both pretty and kind of spooky. I do, too and within minutes of seeing these cool bags, I jumped up and ordered one. I am glad I did because they sold out pretty quickly on Tracy’s site. Then with COVID and all, it was quite a while until she got them in again.
Coincidentally, just around that time DecoArt had just introduced its new, re-vamped line of fabric paints that they call “SoSoft.” They are lovely acrylic colors that are easy to use, have no odor, stay soft and flexible, and are permanent. I have been a member of the Helping Artist program by DecoArt for many years, and I requested some samples of the SoSoft paint for me to try out. I was given a generous amount by them to try.
The paint comes in several different ‘formulas’ including the basic colors, Neons, Metallics, and Glitter paint. they even have some that glow in the dark and both a Fabric Medium to help thin the paint and retain its properties as well as a Glow Medium which you can use over many different colors for cool effects. They are available at most craft stores or you can order them through the DecoArt website at www.decoart.com. You can see the full range of colors below:
For my project here, I chose some of the regular colors, as well as some metallic and glitter paint. I wanted to see how they covered and how well I would do with blending them on the bag. I also used the Fabric Medium as I would water to do the shading and for brush-blending colors.
The brushes I used was the Ruby Satin line by Silver Brush Limited. These are the green handle brushes with the reddish bristles. The bristles are synthetic and a bit stiffer, which makes them great for fabric painting. You can see all of their beautiful, high-quality brushes at www.silverbrush.com. (Oh – and I do not get an endorsement fee or compensation from Silver Brush Ltd. I just find that their brushes are just the best! I use several different lines of them for different types of painting and they are always a joy to use! I am never disappointed!)
I was all ready to go . . .
While I dampened the brush before loading it with the paint, I wanted to keep the added water to a minimum so the paint would adhere to the fabric properly.
I kind of pushed the paint into the fabric, and I found that the detail lines of the design showed through nicely. This was FUN and RELAXING! 😀
When shading, I used the Fabric Medium as I would use water when painting with regular acrylic paint.It allowed me to ‘float shade’ and blend the colors beautifully.
It also helped me to create thinner lines for details. I just mixed some of the Fabric Medium with the color of my choice and the paint spread much easier. You could also base coat each area first with the transparent Fabric Medium and when painting over that layer, the paint just glides on and blends wonderfully!
In the end, I added layers of the glitter and metallic paint here and there to make the design even more amazing. I loved how it came out!
Isn’t that cool? And it didn’t take long at all or any real ‘thinking’. It was like working in a coloring book when I was a child. And because you don’t need to heat set the SoSoft paint – it is ready to go as soon as it is dry. How awesome is that?
As of this morning, I looked on Tracy Moreau’s website and there were still a few totes left. She also had a raven skull design that I thought was equally cool.
You can get them if you hurry at her website, www.tracymoreau.com. If she does run out, you can contact her and ask her when more are due in. And she also has LOTS of cool skull and sugar skull designs, as well as many, many beautiful designs for you to paint. She is one of my all-time favorite designers! And recently, she launched her monthly subscription channel on YouTube for even more interactive fun. You can see her YouTube channel here: Tracy’s YouTube Channel.
Go on over and subscribe to her channel and show her some love! She does a FREE “Live” class every Saturday. Whether you paint the project or not, it is great fun to chat with others and watch her paint. I go every week for a while at least and I bet a week doesn’t go by when I don’t learn something new. It is a great way to get inspired and motivated and have a nice time with other creatives as well. I hope to see you there.
As for the rest of my weekend. . .
I will be mapping out orders and getting stuff ready to head out early next week. I had a wonderful and positive response from my Pink Macaron bakery project last week and have lots of orders to fill. In between, I will be doing some of my own creating and enjoying the beautiful weather we are having here in Nova Scotia. I played hooky last Wednesday and Keith and I had lunch on the shoreline and took a long drive along our beautiful and winding coast.
Even though there was work to be done, we need to remind ourselves to take time to play. Winter will be here soon enough and we have to go while the going is good. Right? I hope you all have a great week.
Until next time . . .
(For fun on Facebook (YES! Facebook CAN be FUN!) you can join my creative group: Let’s Paint (and CREATE!) with Sheila Landry . It is a great place to share your projects, meet other happy, creative people, and stay inspired! )