Making of Artful Adventures in Mixed Media

Besides writing my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media I also found it fascinating what steps are involved in writing a book like this, how much time it takes and how many people are involved in this process. I thought you might also find it interesting and so here we go:

It all started late October 2015 when I sent in a Book Outline/Proposal to the Publisher. Well “started” might be a bit of a lie, because writing a proposal and put that all together actually means I have had a couple weeks to think about my idea and lay it out in a proposal.

By December my book was approved and I received the contract. Boy – I cannot tell you how excited I was. With the contract came the outline of deadlines and the 1st one approaching right in January 2016 – The Page Plan. A page plan is a detailed sketch for every single page in the book. That one was a hard one , because I hadn’t even started writing yet, but it really was the foundation for my book and helped me determine how I wanted to structure the book. It is also important for the editor to see that you actually can fill every page.

The next big deadline was June 2016 to send in all preliminary step-outs as well as the artwork for the photoshoot. Every single day from January to June I was writing and creating art work for the book. I ate a lot of avocado toast ….in a cafe close by because for the writing I often went there. It really helped me focus- as weird as it sounds.

For the techniques shown in the book I had to create all the physical step outs for the photo shoot. It took a lot of time to create these – especially since you have to create things several times in different stages.

Everything from the artwork, to the step outs and the materials used, had to be labeled and bagged and then made ready to be shipped before the shoot.

The Photoshoot in June was a huge fun – I met my editor Noel in person and I got to work with Christine again, who was shooting every single step out for the book. I also met the designer for my my book to talk about how I would envision it and a lot of other people involved in my book from the Marketing Department to the Managing Editor etc.You can read more about the shoot here.

We went through the photoshoot quicker than planned and so the video team who knew me already from my DVD shoot suggested we should spontaneously also do a video shoot for a trailer for the book. I love how this came together- check it out :)

After the shoot I checked the manuscript again to see where the actual photos would go,  and I finalized the text for the step outs. In August my manuscript was due in it’s entirety.

Then it went back and forth several times between me and the editor. In October the book went to the Copy Editor and in November I finally got to see a first glimpse of the cover and of the design of the book. I seriously cried  – it was so cool too see and it started feeling so much closer to the actual book.

And then in January 2017 I received the book with all the graphics, design and photos for a final review before it went a last time for a final review to the managing editor . Another highlight.

Finally in February the book went to the printer and Artful Adventures in Mixed Media will be released in June 2017. It is on Pre-Sale now :) Quite a journey, isn’t it? Over 1 1/2 years – and I am sooo antsy now- LOL – I want it out and I cannot wait to hold it in my hands ;)

Comments (7)

  • Julie B

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    P.S. If you should ever decide to sell the canvas that is on the cover of your book, can I be offered the right of first refusal? (like I would refuse? LOL!) I LOVE THAT PIECE!

    Reply

  • Julie B

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    Wow! The amount of time to make this book is like giving birth twice. Thank you for showing the behind the scenes process and kudos to you for making it. I can’t wait for my copy of it and preoordered it when you came out to teach at AWOH. I’m so excited for you!

    Reply

  • Nancy Sapp

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    I was astonished by the process & ALL the hard work that it entails! You & Julie are SO talented so it’s no surprise that you wrote this book.
    So VERY proud of you!
    In awe of your talent from central IL
    Nancy

    Reply

  • Liz Saxen

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    It’s so cool to see a little of all the work that goes into doing your book. I have pre-ordered it already. 😊 can’t wait to get it. Congratulations.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Glad you liked reading about the process Liz and thank you so much for preordering the book <3

      Reply

  • Rosie Grey

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    How exciting to see how this came all together! I can’t wait to see your book!

    Reply

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Say It Like You Mean It – Michelle Rydell

  

It’s Tuesday and time for a post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a fun and uplifting art journal spread from Michelle Rydell. She used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 stamp set for her take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


One thing I have always been passionate about is music. I grew up with a lot of music in our house – my mom played the piano, and my dad loved to sing. I was fortunate enough to take dance and piano lessons too. Now, as an adult, music inspires a lot of my art. In fact, I am currently working on a mini-journal dedicated to song lyrics.

Today, I want to share a quick and easy way to make a journal page, using Nat’s Stroll Through the Hood set #1 stamp set! I’m creating this spread in my 4” x 5” mini journal. The song I am using as inspiration is “Hope” by Idini Menzel. I want to reflect the soft and gentle spirit of the song, so I start with some pink, orange and yellow paint, swirled with white to create a soft background

Next, I added a small strip of sheet music for texture, and pounced some coral paint thru Nat’s “What’s the Point” stencil to create movement in the sky. The “Brownstone” stamp creates the scene, and the lyric starts with the word hope, which is emphasized by using the “Hope Tag” stamp.

I wrote in the rest of the lyric with a journaling pen, added some stamped “Star Tags” to the sky, drew in a little bird, used a poster paint pen to color in the stars, and added highlights to the building. I finished the page by adding a border with an oil pastel, smeared with my fingers to create a softened effect. Here’s the final page…

Now that I’ve done a page with the Hope Tag stamp, I can’t wait to try one with the Art Tag and Love Tag stamps too!


Thank you Michelle for this gorgeous little masterpiece! In addition to some sheet music, Michelle used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:




Play along with us! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

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Gritty City – Art Journal Spread

“Who would have thought I’d call you home you weird gritty little fun city across the Big Apple.”

This spread started out as a demo page in a workshop to show how to use two patterns of the Santa Fe Positive and Negative Foam Stamp set and it was very busy as you can imagine.

So I covered a middle put up with white gesso so that the pattern was still visible but in a very subtle way. I stamped a city scene with my Stroll Through The Hood 1 and Stroll Through the Hood 2 stamps onto the white gessoed areas.

Using fluid acrylics I colored the stamped images in. I dipped the Derwent Inktense Pencil into water for the journaling.

It is a bit crazy but fun. Here are the supplies I used for this spread – some links are affiliate links.


Wishing you a wonderful day!

Comments (2)

  • Joi@RR

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    To me… this is the epitome of YOU Nat. The city, the colors, the ambience, and the statue of libery… if I were to see this in an art gallery – I would know it was YOU. LOVE THIS. Xj.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you Joi! Hope you have a wonderful start into the week! Happy Monday

      Reply

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Stationary Workshop at Kanibal & Co in Jersey City, NJ

Join me in my home neighborhood of Jersey City, at one of my favorite local boutiques – Kanibal & Co, for an evening stationery class utilizing stamping and watercolor techniques. Participants will use my new custom Jersey City + NYC stamps to create handmade cards with watercolor accents. Included in the class cost: all the materials to create 10 custom cards + envelopes. Refreshments will be served.

Register here

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Photos of the Workshops at The Ink Pad in NYC

Last weekend my friend Birgit Koopsen and I taught to classes at The Ink Pad in New York City and we in both classes a wonderful group of 16/17 students and a huge amount of fun. They were all so amazingly talented and it is a pleasure to spend time with.

Here are some pictures of the students and their artwork from the Mono Print Painting class we taught on Saturday:

It is always fun to see how different everyone interprets the techniques and samples.

so much color and happy figures and shapes:

And sometimes “mistakes” turned out into the most beautiful pieces …but Colette still gave me the “fun” eye ;)

On Sunday we taught our Artful Transfers class showing all kinds of different transfer techniques for your art journal.

From grungy transfers to almost perfect transfers there was something for everyone.

 

Here is a great background transfer page – such a wonderful start for a journaling page

Birgit in action

Aren’t those cool?

It was also great to see my RubberMoon stamps as wooden stamps have arrived at The Ink Pad – woooohooo.

Birgit and I had a wonderful time with all of you – and thank you Anna for having us at The Ink Pad . We hope we will see you all on- or off-line soon again.

Have a beautiful creative day!

Comments (2)

  • Sue Clarke

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    The photo (about 7 down from the top) keeps catching my eye…something about the browns and blues…I just love the combo!
    Looks like a fun and creative day. I really hope to make it to one of your workshops in the future Nat.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      I love that one too Sue! I hope to meet you some time Sue – I would really love to meet you in person! have a wonderful saturday!

      Reply

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Nice to Meet You! with Frieda Oxenham

Hello and welcome to another edition of Nice to Meet You! From time to time I learn about some amazing artists out there who are working with my stamps and stencils and are creating some pretty fun and exciting projects. It’s always inspiring to see what others do with my designs and sometimes they even introduce me to a new way of seeing the pattern or a new technique to try on my own. Today I’d like to introduce to you Frieda Oxenham!


Please introduce yourself to our readers:

I am an award winning artist working mainly in textiles and mixed media. My work has been exhibited widely both nationally (here in the UK) and internationally and has won many prizes. I also love photography. I am very lucky to live in the beautiful Scottish Borders, some 15 miles south of Edinburgh. Originally I’m from The Netherlands.

How do you make time to be creative?

I’m a fulltime studio artist. I used to make a living giving talks and workshops about my textile work,   but now I’m fortunate enough to dedicate myself entirely to making the art and exhibiting it.

What are some of your favorite n*Studio stamps / stencils?

I totally love Nathalie’s Batik stencil as well as all of her patterned ones, especially Mesa Verde and Hamburg. It’s great to have some patterns available as art foamies too. Her new Stroll through the Hood 1 is a favourite stamp set (after my visit to New York last year), and her Marks stamp set is a must as far as I am concerned.

Batik Stencil
Mesa Verde
Hamburg
Stroll Through the Hood #1
Marks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you love to use them?

They all make great backgrounds and thus become an integral part of my own art. I like to use bits of them, rather than the whole so that the patterns and images peek through. One of my favourite techniques for doing this is to apply paint to the pages of my journal, and then remove it with a baby wipe through one of the stencils.

What is your favorite medium to work in?

It’s getting very hard to answer this question. A few years ago I would have answered without hesitation: making my textile hangings, but I’m spending more and more time working in my art journals. Fortunately I don’t have to make a choice and can do both. I’m also hoping to make that final step into painting on canvas soon too.

What inspires you to be creative?

I’ve been making art for almost 30 years now and can’t imagine not doing so. My head is full of ideas and I’m only afraid I won’t have enough time to execute them all. Colour is probably my greatest inspiration.

Do you have a favorite artist?

It would be almost impossible to choose only one. Or even just two. And it would vary depending on what day you ask me! But here goes: Klimt has always been a shining example with his love of decoration and gold, as far as my quilts are concerned. For mixed media Basquiat is a great inspiration and it was a wonderful moment to come face to face with his actual work for the first time during my visit to MoMa last year.

How did you get into art-making?

When I was young it was expected that I would go to university as I was quite good at studying, so I did. It took me quite some time to realize that what attracts me to art is the making of it. Back in 1990 I accompanied a friend to an exhibition of contemporary embroidery, fell in love instantly and that has proved to be the start of an enduring love affair. All the other art I also make springs from there.

In three words, how does your art-making make you feel?

Fulfilled, joyful and excited.


Thank you for sharing your artwork and your story Frieda! I loved hearing about your own transition into artmaking and how your work is still evolving over the years.

Comments (3)

  • JoAnn

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    Wonderful to be able to do what makes you the happiest! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  • Lenna Y Andrews

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    What a wonderful article! Although Frieda and I have been friends for many years, your questions helped me learn more aboout her creative process. She has been an inspiration to me for over 12 years! Thank you, nathalie.

    Reply

  • abby lazar

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    I’m so happy to see Frieda recognized yet again for her amazing art. Thank you for exposing her gifts and talents to a wider audience. Well done article!! :)

    Reply

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Say It Like You Mean It – Marsha Valk

  

Welcome to another post from my Creative Squad! Today we have a beautiful piece from Marsha Valk who used my Stroll Through the Hood #1 and #2 cling stamp sets to give her personal take on this month’s theme Say it like you Mean it – Let your unique voice be heard and tell us what’s on your mind. Be bold. Be yourself. We all have something to say and sometimes we need to shout it!


There are a lot of things on my mind: work and business, national politics, environmental and sustainability issues and even something as mundane as interior design. At this moment, as I’m typing this, current affairs in the US just aren’t in the forefront of my mind. But the Stroll Through the Hood #1 set is about a stroll through urban America. Not urban the Netherlands… So what was I going to do? I didn’t want to make another ‘I don’t want to’ spread. So I decided to turn off my mind and let the theme and the stamps do the talking.

Each time I read the theme ‘Say it like you Mean it’, I have a bad case of ear worm: the song ‘Sewn’ by The Feeling instantly starts playing in my head. But… I wasn’t sure what to do with it and I started thinking about songs that fitted the New York City feel of the stamps. And because I’m not currently in an empire state of mind, I thought of ‘I can’t see New York’ by Tori Amos. Also not sure about that song, I decided to go with both songs. They certainly were on my mind now!

I stamped some of the images in a notebook whilst I was working out what to do and that’s where the idea for the stars hanging from the sky came from. Then I stamped an urban scene at the bottom of the page.

Whilst I watercoloured the sky, I thought: you can’t see the city if there is no light. So that’s when I coloured the stars black. But the brief was to use one of the tag stamps and I chose ‘Hope’, so I felt that at least one star should shine its light.

In the end I needed to decide whether I wanted to colour the urban scene. I didn’t want to make it a black cityscape and colouring it would make it too visible, so I only added light grey lines and kept the rest bare.

The penciled and smudged words are the lyrics of ‘Sewn’ and the title in india ink refers to the Tori Amos song.


Thank you Marsha! We can always count on you to take the theme and really pull it apart to see what it means to you :) And the results are a gorgeously composed scene with beautiful colors and a couple surprises – like that cute suspended Star Tag lighting up the night sky. Marsha used these supplies – some links are affiliate links:



Play along with us! I love to see how you interpret our monthly themes. Email me how you used my stencils and stamps with the theme and email me an image – I would love to share your projects in my “n*Spiration From Around the Globe“.

Comments (1)

  • Sue Clarke

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    Nice take on the guidelines Marsha. I can’t help but hear the Billy Joel song I’m in a New York State of Mind while reading your words. Now I’ve dated myself for sure. The stars are a nice addition.

    Reply

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Artful Adventures in Mixed Media – Interview with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

Julie Fei-Fan Balzer is part of my book Artful Adventures in Mixed Media and I thought it would be interesting to hear more about her and some of her thoughts. Grab a seat and a cuppa , or listen to this interesting conversation which I think you will enjoy. We are talking about things like

  • How Julie started painting
  • Blogging as part of our daily routine
  • Changing career paths and what was the hardest about it
  • Curiosity means Growing
  • Theater and Theater stage sets
  • Her artwork in the book
  • Eye Obsessions
  • Dinosaurs

Artful Adventures in Mixed Media Interview with Julie Balzer from Nathalie Kalbach on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed the interview- let us know what you think about some of the topics.

You can Pre-Order Artful Adventures in Mixed Media now

Comments (6)

  • JoAnn Campisi

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    My two favorite artists, side by side. What could be better. Loved the interview and the easy way with which you interact.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you enjoyed the interview, JoAnn – have a wonderful day!!!

      Reply

  • Nancy G.

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    What a great conversation.

    Reply

    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      So glad you enjoyed it Nancy! have a wonderful start into the week!

      Reply

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