Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Playing with a Design Idea: Three Variations

A reminder to winners Janet and Jeanne H....please send me your snail mail addresses so I can send you the cards you won! susanraihala at roadrunner dot com

So occasionally, an idea comes to me (directly or indirectly) that begs to be played with it. Sometimes, my first effort is...inadequate? slightly off? weird? Whatever words you use, it just doesn't work. But if I believe in the basic design idea enough, I'll start riffing off of it, messing around until the results justify my initial excitement.

A key element of creativity is PLAY.

The first card today reflects that initial "meh" effort of a color-blocking idea I had after seeing a pin that I failed to pin and now cannot find. Oh, well. This card is far from the original anyway, and definitely not a winner.

Meh. A.K.A. What Not to Do
Stamps: Papertrey Grunge Me, Clearly Besotted A Little Sentimental;
ink: Hero Arts cornflower, green hills, Memento Luxe black

This ended up being a mess. The spatters in two different colors are sloppy looking, not at all artsy. The solid block stops the design on the right, which to my eye pretty much kills the energy of the splatters.

As design goes, it just does not work.

So I switched things around, went for a monochromatic green with soft, watercolor effects, and switched the solid block to the left. Much better!

Much better!!! Stamps: Hero Arts background, Gina K sentiment; inks:
Memento markers, Memento Luxe dark cocoa

For a static, color-block design, this has so much movement, from the white flourishes to the flowing green faux-watercolor wash. (These stamps were inked messily with sprout and bamboo Memento markers, spritzed with water, and stamped. Easy peasy!)

While the soft watercolor looks great, I wanted to try again with a crisper image and a funkier placement of the color blocks. Here's the final variation:

The sentiment on a thin white panel works much better than the solid panel did (wish I'd taken pictures before tossing the solid panel). The white panel lightens everything up. This arrangement gives an asymmetrical interest to the combination of large and thin panels that feels fresher to me and certainly clean and simple!

So there you go. Three variations of a single idea...and two of them actually worked! Give this process a try, if you haven't already. See how playing around can get your creativity flowing!


  1. I am so drawn to the middle card. love that color wash. they are all fun!

  2. The 'sloppy' splatters don't bother me, but after viewing the card upside down (don't ask :) I agree the solid panel looks better on the left. The second card is my favorite, love the swirly green with white accents.
    Lu C

  3. I actually love them all, but my favourite is the middle one. I do like off-centre placement though - for me, I think perfection would be the middle panel with the bottom layout.

  4. It's great to see the progression. Glove the green and the last blue one. Can I case it?

  5. Great cards Susan, particularly drawn to the middle one, my favourite colour mmmmm probably. Love the swirls of the stamp you used too.

  6. It's so interesting when you show us different versions like this. On my cards too, I will often try little changes of color, placement, etc. that have a big impact. On your first card, I wonder if it might help to move that stamped block flush right ... But I do like the second green swirls better.

  7. This is a fun card design idea. I like how you show what works and what doesn't (and tell us why it doesn't).

  8. Maybe I'm the only weird one, but I like the first card (the second one comes in last place for me). Sometimes rules can be over applied!

  9. The last one is my for-sure favorite. Maybe it's the blue and the more traditional image??? E-mailed you yesterday and you didn't get it. Tried again this morning. I haven't won anything since 1958; maybe the Fates can't give up their bad habits.

  10. love them all but I also like the first one best- I love the 2 colors together!

  11. I do like them all. I first thought the blue and green card needed a border then I was thinking that maybe it would look 'better' (cause it doesn't look bad) if the blue border was on the bottom. Thanks for sharing all of them :)


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!