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Old 04-19-2013, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default Does Mixed Media have to be messy?

Just have read a few comments that made me want to encourage you, and I've shared this with a few friends already....

I wonder if high-profile mixed-media artists have given mixed media a stereotype that it has to be messy, splashy, and grungy...? It really doesn't.


I think probably this impression of mixed media is what has some people paralyzed. It doesn't have to change the way YOU do your own style. It may just mean taking a look at what you normally do, and taking it one step further.

Here are a few ideas:

--If you've already watercolored an image, add some shading with a pencil when it's dry.
--Take a colored image and add some dots or highlights with a white pen or white or metallic acrylic paint
--If you normally color with pencils, try putting down your base layer of color with markers, watercolor, inks or chalks.
--Mask your image and stamp some text or background images around it to create a background.
--If you normally sponge edges, maybe add some subtle stamping around the edges that peeks out just past the sponged details.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


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Old 04-20-2013, 08:42 AM   #2
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I could not agree more. I love bringing mixed media to my natural CAS inclinations. It adds depth to clean designs just as it does to what I think we all think of as traditional mixed media. While I love the messy, splashy designs, they don't come naturally to me.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #3
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In my world, mixed media is always messy because that's the way I create with the tools I choose. That said, my stamping is messy, too, because that's how I roll. I've seen a LOT of people who enjoy mixed media, make wonderful things, with stuff they carry in a bag on a car ride. It's your perspective, your choice of toys, and the way you work with them that matter.

If you're a neat worker, your mixed media will likely be fairly neat and tidy, too. Don't let it scare you. If you put two things together that aren't the same (say ink and pencil) that's mixed media. You are mixing mediums, get it? This pool is big enough for everybody, at any level, and with any supplies. Just get happy!

(by the way - I am loving the fact that splitcoast branched out! I was mixed media when it wasn't cool.)
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:58 PM   #4
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Dina, Thanks for starting this thread. I need the little push.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:35 PM   #5
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Thanks, Dini for asking the question.. Love the helpful hints that you so freely give... I love mixed media and although very new at it, I feel I need all the tips I can get... I am pretty messy in any crafty things I do but I do like to clean up after each item I do, so I have a fresh start with the new one....Funny I bought a color wheel a couple of years ago and I don't think I have ever used it.. I can see now where it will come in handy..
I own a paint apron that is a work of art all its own....lol... But I can't work without it...
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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Terrific thread! I agree many stampers have the impression mixed media requires a messy look.

Many stampers are also asking for a good defination of mixed media...so they can use the term correctly. They ask if materials they use such as metals, fabrics, recyled newspaper, envelopes etc...count as a medium. Sorry I don't know the answer and have search the internet and can't find a defination. But it seems to me many of our techniques and challenges have already encouraged folks to dabble in Mixed Media without a specific name to it.

I would encourage folks who would like to try new combinations to join in the fun of the MIX challenges every Friday. The hosts are creating fabulous challenges and providing terrific tips on how to jump in for each week's activity.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:42 PM   #7
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It sounds like you're talking about collage, which is a popular form of mixed media. I found this article interesting, so I'll truncate bits of it to answer your question, and whoever is interested can read the whole article here:

What's the Difference Between Collage and Mixed Media?
  • Collage is a subset of the larger mixed media genre.
  • The broadest definition of mixed media art is any sort of visual art which combines more than one material in its creation.
  • There are distinct differences between collage and mixed media art that are inherent in their definitions. All collage is mixed media, but not all mixed media is collage.
  • Rather than create a work in only one material such as oils for painting or clay for sculpture, a mixed media artist combines materials to make a visual work. Some famous combinations for mixed media art include metals and found items in sculpture as well as the blending of painting, cutting, and stamping techniques in altered books and greeting card making.
  • A collage is an act of assemblage in which series of photos or cuts of paper are glued to another piece of paper, cardboard, or canvas. Some collages may also include textured components such as ribbon, jewels, stickers, or other found objects. The crafting art of decoupage is also considered an offshoot of collage.

It seems like others are distinguishing "collage" from "mixed media collage" - where "mixed media collage" takes the collage from the assembled objects, papers, etc. and adds an art medium into the project. This canvas I saw earlier would be a great example... after preparing her canvas and assembling her photo and found objects, she added gesso and then created an amazing effect with sprays.
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Old 04-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #8
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Such helpful information! I love learning new stuff and growing as I try to put the new ideas into practice!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:44 AM   #9
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Dini-thanks for the MIX Media definitions and descriptions-it is just what I have been looking for. But I never thought of checking e-bay for such details/I am going to make time to review the detailed descriptions. The collage link is fantastic...love seeing the steps nvolved in the creating the final canvas.

Thanks again!!
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for starting this thread Dina, and thanks to all who will add their hints and tips. I am one who is *still* intimidated by mixed media because I see it as "messy." I guess that's because so many mixed media challenges involve wet media such as reinkers and paint. But I have come to understand that mixed media can be anything where two or more ways of adding color are used: stamped ink, sprayed medium, colored pencils, chalk, ep, Stickles, markers/Copics, etc.

I've been combining some of those on my cards all along, but didn't realize it was mixed media! So when I do a challenge, I try to step it up beyond my comfort zone, which usually means I get messy.

Collage, even just collage stamping, is something else that I am not comfortable with or good at.

Thanks again - I'm learning from the Mixability Challenges and I'm sure I'll learn stuff here too. It is my goal to participate in every Mixability Challenge, no matter how difficult I find them to be. I am always up for a true challenge.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:12 PM   #11
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Just wanted to post a link to the tutorial I wrote for Flourishes, in case it might give someone the little push they need!

Welcome to Flourishes | Papercrafting | Cardmaking | Exclusive Clear Polymer Stamps | Mixed Media 101
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:23 PM   #12
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Love your work Dini, and thanks again for a great illustartion.. I really am encouraged by what you are doing here...
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:02 AM   #13
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Great presentation on mixed media Dina! I appreciate that you article is so stamper
friendly! The introduction information combined with the tutorial makes it wonderful for the seasoned stamper wondering how mixed media works in the stamping world. Thanks for all your work in creating such an easily understandable description with the beautiful tutorial! I certainly will be sharing the link with other stampers to encourage them to join in the fun of broadening our playtime activities.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:30 PM   #14
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Thanks for posting this thread, Dina. It looks like I've also been doing a version of mixed media all along without realizing it! I hope to try some of the other suggestions as well.
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Old 06-13-2013, 08:43 AM   #15
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Most of us have already done mixed media without even realizing it! Once you branch out beyond an all paper card, its already mixed! I decided to do a mixed media canvas and while it included a greater range of products than a single card can usually include, nothing on it was new to me other than gesso! Combining ribbon, silk flowers, chipboard and beads makes a mixed media card and I do that all the time! There's a few who only work with stamps and paper but even they add gems, washi, sequins, veneers, brads, eyelets, twine, ribbon or something else other than just paper, ink and adhesive! We all rock already!
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #16
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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Especially Dina for all your definitions. I am sitting here scared to death to upload because I am not sure my card fits. You just "fixed" that for me. Thanks again.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:25 AM   #17
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Now that I've read this thread I'm sure I'll be giving this challenge a try. I too have been 'afraid' of just the title!! Oh so wrong I was! My IC card fits the bill of let it drip so I'm going to add the keyword.
You ladies are the best! Thanks for all you do.
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Old 09-01-2013, 05:40 AM   #18
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YAY! You ladies rock!!
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Old 02-20-2014, 02:53 AM   #19
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The tutorial in Flourishes was great! I have been looking at several in various places to get inspiration (and a boost to get with it!) Yours is very helpful. Thank you for sharing the link.
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Old 04-11-2014, 04:39 AM   #20
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Thank you for this! I must admit to thinking that Mixed Media was messy and that I would be defeated before I even started. I am a very neat cardmaker so wondered how I would approach the idea of Mixed Media. I feel so encouraged by reading these posts - and thank you especially Dini for the post over at Flourishes - I love the step-by-step details and your card is gorgeous!
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Old 04-25-2014, 11:35 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dini View Post
Just wanted to post a link to the tutorial I wrote for Flourishes, in case it might give someone the little push they need!

Welcome to Flourishes | Papercrafting | Cardmaking | Exclusive Clear Polymer Stamps | Mixed Media 101
I just wanted to thank you for posting this article! It's the perfect answer to "how do I start"?
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