Monday, June 15, 2009

"I Love" Scrapbook

"I WISH I could paint. It must be so exciting being an artist!" If you are an artist I'll bet you've heard those words many times, and, if you're like me, you agree- most of the time. But what about those days when nothing inspires you- when you wake up and find that you don't have a challenge to jump into? You know what I'm talking about. And now you're scared. Did I choose the right career? Am I tapped out? What if the passion is gone? We've all been there.

I HAVE a quick fix. It's called the "I Love" Scrapbook. Get a cheap sketchbook, 9 x 12 is perfect, and a stack of magazines. It's time to cut and paste- two words that summon memories of Kindergarten- and let the child in you loose. There's one rule. You must love anything you paste in this book.

DO THIS activity just for yourself. You can't make a mistake and no one will ever see it unless you wish to share it.

BE CREATIVE. I like to do color schemes. I file by color (which satisfies my inner organizer), and when I have plenty of clipped pictures, I spend a lazy morning in bed with scissors and a glue stick. Ahh, so rejuvenating.

The BEST PART is yet to come.. The next time you need inspiration, take a ten-minute break and browse through your new plethora of pretty pages. The colors and images will instantly raise your spirits and give your creative mind a jump start.

BEWARE! Your scrapbook is extremely revealing. You might not want to show it to just anyone. One Christmas, after graduating from starving to struggling artist, I gave each of my four daughters a sketchbook, a pair of scissors and a glue stick, with a plan to meet one year later to share our masterpieces. I can only say that when we did , I declared that Christmas the best ever. Each book was so delightfully original and personal and we learned so much about each other.

SHARE your book with family and friends. They'll love it. The year my mother died, I gave her my latest creation and suggested she look at it over a cup of coffee some morning. She called me a day later and said, "Oh, Nadi. I never knew you."

OVER TIME, you will start to see another benefit. Small and large items pictured in the book will start to appear in your everyday life. You'll notice that your bedroom is now red and that there is a Great Dane sleeping in your living room.

YOUR BATHTUB is outside and you're wearing multi-colored boots. You seem to have accumulated lots of dishes!

SO, start cutting.
I promise that you will see a change in your work, your home and your thinking. And you'll be hearing yourself saying, out loud, "Wow! I love that!"


  1. A friend sent this:
    OMG!!! I am SO going to do this!!! What a wonderful idea! I need so badly to type into my creative side. I want so much to be at peace from the inside out, and this sounds like a perfectly wonderful way to focus on "loveliness" in the midst of the mud puddles of life. I am going out TOMORROW to get my sketch book and my glue stick! I love Nadi! I too love color, and lots of it. I love bright, bold saturated color. I love her studio. And she makes the best damned gingersnaps in the world!!! Next time you're in town, please stop by and give her a big thank you hug for me.
    Love, Laurie.

  2. And then this:
    I went to Office Depot yesterday and bought 6 sketch books and acid free glue sticks! I am going to print your beautiful article and send it along with the books, a glue stick and a really cool magazine to my friends as birthday, Christmas, or "just because" gifts!
    I have a good friend who lost her husband to cancer a year ago. She is having a really difficult time emotionally. I think doing this exercise and then having the :lovely things" that remain in her life to look at and reflect upon will infuse her darkness with color and light and joy!
    You may paint and draw with your hands Nadi... but your heart is the pallet of brilliant color and design that inspires your art! Thank you very much!

  3. A great idea for those lazy Sunday mornings while watching "Sunday Morning". But a question...where do you find magazines with these gorgeous pictures! I have some nifty catalogues, but I see you have cans of paint with brushes, portraits, china, flowers(Martha Stewart maybe??)

  4. Thanks Gloria- I buy my magazines at the thrift store- so anything goes. Martha Stewart,Traditional Home, Country Home, some I even print off the computer.

  5. Thanks for the link to this, Nadi! I've already got all the raw materials for one. I think it will help me a lot.