A big part of being an illustrator is dealing with photographs. We all have an “artsy-craftsy” side I think. Sometimes it is refreshing to get away from the computer and do something that is completely tactile. Craft is the high-touch side of creativity.
With a wealth of stock photography catalogs—boxes and boxes—one thing I have a lot of are small printed photographs. These days I buy stock photos off the internet if I don’t have what I need in my own library—so these books are objects of the past. However, magazines (especially topical ones) work just as well for collecting images.
There I was, faced with boxes and boxes of heavy books. What to do with them? When I had a big office, they lined bookshelves and looked very cool. But now I work out of an office above an old house in Evanston and I don’t need to have them displayed or even used. Some I donated to my brother-in-law Gary’s grade school. Comically, he went through them all and cut out pictures of nudes before exposing the young minds to the world of photographic richness.
This wealth of print weighed upon me. Then the inspiration hit! So I repurposed them by using a scrap-book approach for gifts. I love to experiment with formats and structure. Perhaps it is because I have a background doing origami as a child and I have always loved paper.
When cleaning up my old blog entries and determining what is most viewed, the page that features these projects is at the top of my stats. Perhaps it is the keywords. Perhaps it is because a lot of people seek hand-made ideas. I am not sure these would be very easy to copy, but they will not disappoint to inspire. They are treasured by their owners too.
Please visit these pages to see more of my hand-made gifts:
• Hand-Craft Gifts: Forever Calendars shows several projects and discusses what it takes to create.
• Easy and Creative Gift Wrap Techniques is an annual craft quest for the most creative wrapping ideas with spending the least amount of money and making the most of what is on-hand.
• Hand Crafted Gift Projects is the portal page where I will continually list new posts for additional displayed projects. For every project that I show, I have several more in the series.
• Popularity Speaks reviews the most popular page on my oldest blog, Wisdom of Work, and adds some new thoughts.
Here is one project that I did not show in the past. For my nephew Sebastian, who lives in Hong Kong, I created a fold-out calendar of images from China. Filled with pockets to put keepsakes, there are also a few mini-booklets within. This center section shows pockets with small inserts and a larger pictorial booklet with images of the Great Wall: