Hey all! Elaineabella here with another Marker Geek Monday post for you. This week I’d like to sit you all down and give you a good talking to… ha!
There Is No Magic Wand/Marker/Coloured Pencil/Paint:
While it is true that the quality of our colouring supplies can vary a great deal, none of them possess actual magical properties to imbue the user with spectacular abilities. Just because someone you admire achieves wonderful things with a particular brand of marker or coloured pencil, it does not mean that you need to buy that particular brand in order to achieve similarly wonderful things.
It’s all too easy to assume someone was born with a particular gift, or that their work was only made possible by the use of a particular product. In reality, yes, people may have a predisposition toward a particular skill, it may come to them more easily, and the expensive supplies do help, but the largest part of the equation is work. To get better, you need to PRACTICE, not just spend more money. Also, you do not need to have a natural talent for something in order to do it well or to improve. You need to work at it, you need to PRACTICE.
NOTE: I’d also like to mention here that while I do create colour maps and supply colour combo suggestions here on the blog and in my YouTube videos, I’d actually recommend that you don’t get bogged down in following them. I provide them because I know many of you enjoy them, and because I know that I personally enjoy seeing what colours people have put together. The fact is however, that using the same “combo” of markers that I or anyone else uses does not mean your colouring will turn out the same way. You may lay down more or less ink, or use the markers in a different order, on different paper, and the results will be different. Use marker combos as a good way to get ideas for markers that will work well together, and to spark your creativity in how you combine colours, then use the knowledge you gain from practicing with your markers to build your confidence and come up with your own ways to use them. The same goes for other media like coloured pencils.
I Wish I Could Colour Like You!
It’s always flattering to hear/read this, and of course I love it when people enjoy what I do. I often think the same myself about the work of people I admire. What I’d like even more though, is for you to realise two things.
- The world doesn’t need another me. One is probably more than enough. BE YOU.
- At some point, we were all beginners.
I’m still hoping to and trying to improve. I don’t think I will ever be done. That’s part of the fun. Other crafters may take longer than me to learn the same things I have, others may do it quicker. The amount of time we have available for study and practice makes a big difference, so if you’re working a full time job, juggling family commitments and only get to colour on weekends or in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep, you may not progress rapidly. That’s okay. You’re not in a race. You don’t need to compete. Don’t be disheartened by other people’s achievements – be inspired, and know that you will get where you are going in your own time. The most important thing? ENJOY IT. If it becomes a source of stress and upset, step away for a while. Getting that hair or those pleats and folds just right isn’t the be all and end all. We’re colouring for card-making and enjoyment, not to win a competition.
Then Vs Now:
Here’s the proof that through practice and study, over time you can improve, and the supplies aren’t the ones doing all the work.
2009 is around the time I first started using Copic Markers.
Stamp: Dogwalkabella (RETIRED
Fast forward seven years to the release of the new Bella V2.0 images. Bellas have evolved, and so has my colouring (and yes, my marker collection too).
Even older is this one from 2007, coloured using Prismacolor pencils. Yikes!
Ten years later and here’s one of my current work in progress photos from Instagram, showing an image I am working on using Polychromos pencils (the pencils aren’t the important part, the 10 years of colouring in between are):
Stamp: Tiny Townie Hattie loves Halloween (coordinating die also available)
As you can see, I was most definitely a beginner at one point. It’s actually really nice to look back and realise how much I’ve learnt, and how much fun I had along the way. In all those years of practice are years of living and years of enjoying the hobby and the community around it. There are friendships that have come and gone within that community, people I have learned from and been inspired by, and hopefully people I have inspired and helped too.
It’s Ok Not To Be Perfect!
No one really is perfect, after all. Striving to improve and learn is great, it’s good for our brains. But in the process, give yourself a break. That pleat that isn’t in quite the right place? That tiny spot of ink in the wrong place? The slightly imperfect blend? The recipient of your card most likely won’t notice. We spend so long with our noses right up against our work, and we know exactly where all the little errors are, so we think everyone else sees them too. Nope.
TOP TIP: Time and distance are your friends! If you are absolutely fed up and hating an image you’re working on, (or which you just finished) put it to one side for a while. Walk away and do something else. When you come back to it, more often than not you will find you don’t hate it quite so much. I have a folder filled with coloured images that I have yet to put on cards, or images I stopped working on halfway through (by which I mean I had a tantrum and chucked it on the NO pile). Guess what? Flicking through that folder I mostly find that I don’t understand what my problem was, or why I stopped working on the image.
Another tip is to hold your work at arms length. You’re not meant to look at it through a magnifying glass, picking up on all the defects. When you hold your work away from yourself, you can see the overall effect, not all the minute detail, which is what your recipient will see when it sits on their shelf or sideboard.
Here endeth the lesson. Go forth, play with your supplies, have fun, learn and improve as only you can. Buy the nice supplies, but bear in mind that they won’t do the work for you!
Over To You!
If you try out the techniques shown in any of the posts with your Stamping Bella stamps, be sure to share! We would love to see the results and hear how you feel about them. Show off your creations in the comments below and even better, share your own favourite tips with us. Let’s talk colour!
If you are posting your images online, we would love to see them on Instagram and all the platforms mentioned above. To make it easier for us to find you just use #markergeekmonday and/or #stampingbella as a hashtag. Even better tag me @markergeek and @stampingbella . We love it when you connect, so don’t be shy! Make sure you use the #SpotThisStampingBella hashtag on social media if you’re happy for me to feature your work in my Spotted On Sunday posts!
If you’re on Facebook join us in our private chat group Stamping Bella Sistahood to share your creations there and chat all things Stamping Bella related!
Until next time, HAPPY COLOURING!