Sunday 13 March 2022

2022 Topic 05: Stamp Mash-Up with ZA, EKC & HP - Topic Introduction

Hi everyone, Keren here with you today to talk about a really inspiring trio of artists and to introduce our latest mash-up topic. The Mash-Up topics previously have been produced some of the most intriguing and creative projects in the year.

This time we're focusing on Zinski Art, Kay Carley and Hot Picks. Following the same pattern as previous mash-up topics, we'll look a little more closely at each artist, seeing some of their work and how people use their stamps.

So let's begin with Elena Zinski, the brains behind Zinski Art.

Elena had been an artist long before she ever started designing stamps for PaperArtsy. She wanted to design some stamps to incorporate them into greeting cards. She approached PaperArtsy who were local to her in London at that time, and a wonderful partnership began. When her children were little, she used to write stories for them and illustrate them too. Her love of telling stories and creating meaningful art comes through in her designs.

What is really fascinating about Elena's art is her love of unique characters with personality plus, brought to life with whimsy and quirkiness. Each character is so different and full of fun, and people use her artistic images on all sorts of different projects. Whether it's a journal, card, ATC or 3D project, there'll be a Zinksi character that's just perfect.

Zinksi images are often ideal just as the main focal point, but also make such good parts of a scene. Tracy Springer shows how even with lots of elements, the Zinksi characters still sing (literally!!).

Miniature Zinski stamps images are called 'Zinis',  and Corrie Herriman made an adorable house with the minis, allowing you to imagine just what sort of conversation and adventure they're having.

Zinski Art is often defined by its humour and joy too. The characters just make you smile! Lauren Hatwell always does amazing things with Zinski images and she created some fun storyboard-style creations with a previous release from 2017.

As Elena prefers to create digitally, I'm including another piece of art from the blog, to give you another style idea. Her images are just wonderful for colouring in with.

Kay Carley has been designing with PaperArtsy since 2016, but had been involved in the craft sector for many years prior writing magazine articles and even designing stamps. Kay 
is known for her love of nature...and sparkle! 
Here's what Kay had to say about how it all started;
'I originally started designing (years ago) for The Stamp Man - that was probably about 13 years ago now! I then had a break from designing until PaperArtsy approached me several years ago. I have always loved whimsical designs, flowers, nature etc….which is why I tend to gravitate towards those types of imagery when designing my products. I guess that there are two main ways that I begin designing:- sometimes I may not have a clear idea of what I want to draw and will just begin doodling and see what happens! Other times I have a very definite idea in mind of what I want to do….for instance with my recent flower releases I had spent a lot of time in our garden and had taken lots of photos of the flowers that we had growing throughout the different months, so I used those photos as my starting point for designing my recent flower stamp sets.'

Over recent years, Kay's been developing clever colouring stencils that add dimension and colour to her stamped images and make the user look artistic with such little effort. Here's a perfect example from Kay.

One of the things you'll notice about Kay's designs is how easily you can make a harmonious scene. She has flowers, foliage, butterflies, houses and even snowmen !
Here Kay has created a triptych with her wonderful gentle scenes reminiscent of an English garden.

Using the same collection, Kay switched gear and created another trio with a remarkably different vibe, also showing us another of her skills- using paint!

If you're into flowers, you really need not look much further than Kay's lifelike floral images. This next piece of art shows her latest collection and you can notice her attention to detail, drawing skills and a beautiful delicacy that is such a large part of each of her stamp sets.

The final designs in our trio are from the Hot Picks range.
The Hot Picks are designed by Mark (Mr. PaperArtsy) and initially, in April 2010 PaperArtsy designed a series to be gender neutral, vintage and larger designs specifically to suit journalling. Prior to this the trend had been (as always, cards) but also ATCs. Altered books/ journalling was just taking hold in a slightly more mainstream way. So they needed a larger plate size to make larger stamps than A6.

Leandra explains 'PaperArtsy also had started making dies, and we were doing a lot of Ten Seconds Studio metal work based classes so we wanted designs that could be die cut and the design stamped on the cut shape plus accentuated with metal working tools. So in effect early 2010 we were making coordinating stamp and die sets. No other company was doing this at the time and it was a very successful concept.

We also used the hot picks range to create series of stamps to use in the ArtsyCrafts retreats that Lin Brown and I offered. So we would choose a theme for the event, come up with project ideas and then give Mark a list of the stamps we wanted and the sizes they needed to be. So  we did stray into some more masculine and feminine themes at that time. Since then Mark has continued to add to the range on a more ad hoc basis.'

Some of the more recent releases have been a collaboration with Leandra, Mark and Dounia Large (who works for PaperArtsy in France) and you can really notice Dounia's love for science and vintage images in the last Hot Picks release. If you've never explored the Hot Picks section (and there are Christmas and Halloween Hot Picks too), you've missed a trick. Do go and spend a happy half hour seeing some vintage, quirky and cool stamp sets.

I hope that this has given you a little 'amuse bouche', so to speak in anticipation of what is to come next. How will our bloggers combine them? Which stamp designs will be the focal point? Will there be a similar style coming through?

I tried to find combinations of the three designers or even a combo of two and I couldn't find anything much. If you've got any links with them being combined in an art project, we'd absolutely love to see. For now I'll leave you with a duo of projects. First, 2 mini books that work perfectly together and use some sentiments from the Hot Picks range...

...and what sticks in my head as an iconic image using Hot Picks stamps.

Does this topic push your creative buttons? We would LOVE you to share what you get up to with us! A great place is tagging us on Instagram @paperartsy or why not join us and post in the PaperArtsy People Group on Facebook. We love to see what you make! 

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