A Paper Playground Project by Christen Hammons - Stampington & Company

A Paper Playground Project by Christen Hammons

Years ago, I would spend hours in my craft space just playing around. Seeing what happened if I mixed these two paint colors together, or if I stamped with this medium instead of ink. Music playing, my creativity flowing, I just played. As social media began to take up more of my time, I was able to see what other artists were creating, and how often. They would post finished pieces all the time, and as a result I became concerned with creating with a goal in mind. I needed to finish my projects, not just play around.

While working on the re-launch of Somerset Studio, I fell back in love with the process and the fun of creating with nothing in mind. Our goal with the new Somerset Studio was to continue to show the very best mixed-media art as well as add new activities that would encourage this kind of artistic play.

Each issue now includes 8 thick artists’ papers, which are now double-sided so if you don’t love the design on one side, you can use the backside. They’re also perforated, which makes it super easy to remove them from the magazine. When I got my copy, the first thing I did was remove the artists’ papers and cut them into small squares. I’ve recently become obsessed with playing on small sheets of paper. They seem more manageable than a full blank sheet of paper. I keep a box full of the paper squares, and when I get time, I pull some out as well as a few supplies and just play a game of “what if?”.

    What if I just paint a wash of white paint over this design?

    What if I add a little bit of stenciling to this?

    What if I add embossing with the help of a stencil?

By doing this, I’ve built up quite the stash of mini backgrounds, just waiting to be turned into something more. You could staple a few of them to create a mini book, punch a hole in one to create a gift card, or you could even add one to a note card to make a one-of-a-kind greeting. How do you use your artists’ papers? Post your ideas on Instagram and be sure to use the hashtag #somersetmade.

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