Friday, June 15, 2012

Tell Me A Story

Once upon a time, I wanted to be on a magical design team  in a world of endless creativity and inky joy. Well, guess what? I was selected and joined this world as an UnRuly Columnist and this is my very first article. My column is called "InkTuition '. Sharon, our illustrious editor, asked me to write about "process" so, I asked myself, what to write? When she described my work as "telling tales with collage work and that each project has a narrative quality."; I knew that my article  would be titled  "Tell me a story ". My UnRuly article  highlights my process or philosophy that everything we create is really another way to tell a short story. Now, I can hear you say, I'm not a storyteller, but every one really is even.... when answering a simple question like "Tell me about your day." are telling a story! So here are my steps for creating a collage, card, tag or altered item using the steps to write a story.

1. Appreciate and Look around: The first step is to appreciate stories and to understand their form by reading them, so for us, that would be to look at lots of artistic creations. Now I know we all do this with the Internet especially with blogs, but there are also art magazines, galleries, craft fairs and even museums. The more you see the better you will be at understanding a good story or design. These are also wonderful places for inspiration too.

2. Parts of a Story: The parts of a story are the setting, main character and the plot. That will translate for us to the background, main image and your sentiment or feeling you are evoking.

 The background can be specific signifying the time, place or even the weather. It can be general and just be a color or some thing to denote the atmosphere. This is were our main character or image will live or exist.

The main character is the who or the what and does not have to be a person or animal, it can be inanimate like a cake or a balloon or even a flower. When you choose one, you may find that if you listen closely they will help you by telling you their story. Now it helps if they  have a personality that is consistent with your setting or background.

The last part is the plot, conflict or action. This is done with our sentiment whether you use "Happy Birthday", quotes or hand cut text. A lot of your characters action can be implied in only a few words.

Below are four different tag stories, can you see the setting-background, the main character and the beginning of the  plot-sentiment? I don't always have everything in front of me when I create, I tend to have most of it and then look around my craft studio for the accents, embellishments and sentiment.

Some other pointers given to short story writers are:

3. Limit your scope: All well written stories have just the right amount of information, description and dialogue and you should follow that in your art too. Keep what's important, remove what is not.

4.Grab your readers attention: The first page usually draws the readers in and we can do that with our creations with the addition of something whether, color, theme, technique or style that captures the attention of our viewers.

Well, that's my version of telling a good story through our collage, cards and tags. I will end it with the four finished tags so, you can read their completed stories.

As if Life's business is a summer mood

Happy for You

Tea in the Garden

True friendship is a plant of slow growth.



  1. oh wow Hun these are amazing tags gosh each and everyone is just so incredibly detailed with beautiful designs and embellishments,hugs Cherylxxxx

  2. Hreat stories and great Tags Gerri.
    beautiful details and embellishments.
    lovely greet

  3. Great tags & a fantastic way of telling the "story" !!!!

  4. Love the article, and the finished tags Gerri x

  5. Fabulous article Gerri beautifully written and as for your tags well just sensational ! Your attention to detail beautiful colours and details make these totally inquest.


  6. Great article and wonderful tags.

  7. Congratulations Gerri, and I love your storyline for your tags. Very cool process. TFS! I hope you have a fabulous 4th of July!


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