Sunday, April 5, 2015

Customizing Your Artwork - Documented Life Project | Custom Element Challenge

I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this particular challenge. It was exactly what Clare Plantation is all about...original creativity, creating your custom element. This challenge allows you to focus on who you are and what explains you to the fullest. That is what I love most about this challenge, it forces you to do your own thing, make your own trademark and not to copy other people's work. Look at who you are as an artist and you just might discover something you never knew before!

March Theme
Making Your Mark (Doodles & Mark Making)
March 28
Art Challenge:  Make a Custom Element

So here I will show you step by step how I created my custom forest to best represent me! Like I have mentioned before a forest is where I grew up, it is where I am most comfortable and call home. The deer is a true representation of me and who I am as an artist as well as a person!

STEP 1 - I slapped some under paper down and extended it over the spine because here of late I like that loose extension flowing over to the other page! It's a bit more fluid for me! Next I free handed a small fawn hiding its face and looking out into some yummy under paper...for now! 

 STEP 2 - I took some clean news print paper and cut it up into strips...I bet you might be seeing where this is going!

STEP 3 - Yeap, you guessed it...I glued them down to represent trees behind the fawn.

STEP 4 - I took a pen and sketched loosely little details to the tree bark. I really liked the look of this particular bark. And I also painted a small sun in between all those gold diamonds to add to the sun rays in a funky way.

STEP 5 - Next I began free hand drawing some foliage just below my fawn and then tracing over the pencil drawings with a pen to enhance the flowers and leaves even more!

STEP 6 - Then I took some water color to add a bit of color. I choose water color because I didn't want to cover up the detail in the under paper completely. The watercolor gave me the perfect amount of transparency I wanted to see through the flowers, leaves and even the back of the fawn. 

STEP 7 - Then for the finishing touches I used my Sharpie White Out pen to add white spots to the fawn for that perfect baby formula!

This truly is another one of my favorites because it expresses who I am the most.

 My custom element would be the forest because of its layout and how it was created. Also a custom element would be using watercolor as a way to add color to the flowers by allowing the under paper to seep though slowly simultaniously!

When you create your custom element, the satisfaction that no one else's artwork looks like yours is truly an overwhelming, blissful feeling! That is why I push original creativity because there is no other feeling than that of making something you can call your own! 

I pray you find the courage to create without looking at anyone else. Look at yourself, what you like and discover what you can do no matter the skill or level of confidence! You are an artist if you truly love what you create.


ALSO, check out the video process below on my channel.


  1. Oooh, Miranda, you've been busy! Not sure which of your blog posts to reply to first, but I guess I'll start here :). Reading this post, your process, and your encouragement to customize our own work, I felt like this was written just for me.

    I've realized something recently about discovering my own style: Copying other artists is great in the beginning -- you start with an end you already like in mind, you follow a process that's "tried and true," you end up with something you're happy with. And along the way, you pick up tips, techniques and experience, and (maybe most of all) some confidence that using your own two hands, you can swish pen and paint across the page and create something beautiful, even if it is a copy of somebody else's work.

    A while ago, I came across an journal prompt from a mixed media artist about discovering your own color palette. "What *is* my color palette?" I wondered, and I had no clue. The same artist would talk about how she would play with an idea (a doodle, a stencil, a new technique), obsess over it, repeat it on page after page, each time evolving it just a little until she was familiar with it and it became a staple in her work.

    So here I was, copying artists, rarely branching out on my own, wanting each journal page to look as different and unique as each of the artists' work I was copying. It was great for building experience and confidence, but the lack of repetition in colors, elements, and techniques I loved made it impossible to find my own style.

    That's what really struck me when I first came across your work, Miranda. It's so lovely and beautiful... and part of that beauty, I think, comes from the long-term repetition across your body of work. You have a distinctive color palette; you're not afraid to obsess and repeat and keep playing with the things you love. Your work has a certain "sameness" to it, your own "custom elements" that let me know it's your work; and yet you keep pushing these ideas and elements so that the work stays fresh and evolving.

    Thank your for sharing this post, Miranada, and for your words of encouragement here and in response to my last comment. Breaking away and finding my own style seems more appealing than ever now :).


    1. Oh my goodness, I'm so happy this post helped you! It truly does make my heart happy when someone gets what I'm saying and we can all learn together. I'm so glad you have found a way to develop your own style, there is nothing more invigorating than an artist finding out who they are! Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, you are too kind! May God Bless You Always!