A Collaborative Children’s Book

Front Cover

Something I’ve long wanted to do, this year brought a fun project to fruition! I’ve always admired the illustrations in children’s books and thought it would be so much fun to create one but, as I’ve always got more ideas than time, I had never attempted it. Until a visit with my granddaughter, who lives four hours away. She is one of the most amazing little ladies that I know and has a passion for drawing and painting. She paints almost daily as the piles of creations make evident. As I was flipping through the pages of colorful creations it finally came to me that she & I could make a fun collage book using her artwork. Being on the autism spectrum, and non-verbal at 4 years old, she continues to improve her communication skills with the help of her parents, therapists, family & friends. It’s so amazing to watch her progress in communication, along with seeing what things interest her the most. So this book was custom made, just for her!

I purchased a blank 8.5 x 11″ white board book, brought dozens of her paintings home and then…nothing. Fear of failure can certainly stop creativity in it’s track and I was hesitant to begin. I ended up bringing all the supplies with me when I took a short vacation. As the days passed and I relaxed and enjoyed a break from the routine, the creativity burst forth. I’d made a list of notes, things she was interested in, things she did, how she acted, what she loved and what we loved about her. I had to narrow it down to fit on the available pages. In hind site I would have, perhaps, ordered them differently but honestly I just started the cutting and pasting process randomly so things landed where they landed. And that’s okay! By the time I returned home I had all the collage elements finished. Then on to the next hurdle…lettering.

Although I’ve practiced lettering I’m just not always pleased with my own. I decided to take the route of using stickers, which I wasn’t 100% sure of but felt like I’d like it better than my own handwriting. Plus stickers could be removed…lettering, not so much! Is it all as neat and well spaced as I’d have liked? Perhaps not. But the imperfection brings some personality to the pages, and that I like! Here are the pages as they read in the book:

Back Cover

This was a fun, love-filled project! I have a few more blank books! Perhaps there will be sequels, or stories from my other grands. Who knows where it will lead!

Your randomly creative friend,

Lynne

Back in Time: Prehistoric Monsters!

How’s this for something completely different? 🙂 I like to post things that perhaps you weren’t expecting, predictability is boring!

monster 14 © lynne medsker
“Monster #14” © Lynne Medsker

The “Back in Time” in the title has a double meaning – first (and most obvious) is that fact that these imaginary monsters were inspired by the creatures that roamed our earth long, long ago. The second reference is that these are some of my first creations playing with watercolors, probably close to 10 years ago!

monster 6 © lynne medsker
monster #6, watercolor © lynne medsker

Creating these “monsters” would be a fabulous activity for kids this summer when the weather isn’t fit for playing outdoors. Great for exercising those creative muscles! Here are the simple instructions:

!. Starting with a piece of watercolor paper randomly paint a shape on it with some loose watercolor paint.

2. Before the paint dries cover it with a piece of plastic wrap.

3. Smooth the wrap and squish the paint around under the surface then set it aside to dry.

4. After the paint has dried remove the plastic wrap.

5. Turn the paper around and study it until you can see the beginnings of a creature.

6. Add the details with more paint and/or markers, pens, pencils.

Pretty simple, right? I really like the textured/mottled surface the paint and plastic wrap create. Here is an image of “monster #6” (shown above) before the details were added:


I created several of these fun creatures, one was even framed & sold. The rest I still have, nice memories of exploring my creativity a bit and stepping out of my comfort zone.

monster 3 © Lynne Medsker
“Monster #3” © Lynne Medsker

monster 7 © lynne medsker
“Monster #7” © Lynne Medsker

Works of fine art? Well, no, probably not…but I learned a little more about using watercolors and I let me imagination take over. You have to take small steps like that to get to where you want to go!

monster 4 © lynne medsker
“Monster #4” © Lynne Medsker

monster 8 © lynne medsker
“Monster #8” © Lynne Medsker

I’d love to hear if you play with this technique – even better I’d love to see the results!