During these stay-at-home times, it seems like everyone is doubling down on crafts and DIY projects. Luckily for the YellowDog team, we’ve all been super-crafty since before it went, well, viral.
Along with “community” and “curiosity”, “creativity” is emblazoned on our office mural as a core YellowDog value. It’s practically a gene here in our work family. Here’s what gets our creative juices flowing when we’re off the clock.
Fabrics and Quilting
I turn to fabric when I’m looking to be creative. I typically consider myself “not into math” but when it comes to designing in fabric having a strong foundation in math makes it easier to manipulate the pieces for my desired result. Choosing fabrics that create a nuanced play of light and dark for an overall appearance keeps me in the fabric stores more than I would like to admit! I always give away every piece I away – it’s so fulfilling to see the recipient’s expression and see how/where they choose to use or display the piece.
Graphics on Apparel
Whenever I’m feeling creatively inspired, I immediately need to get hands-on with it. Though I should probably sketch out plans first, I just need to release my energy by creating physical pieces. My favorite pastime is applying graphics to apparel; hand-painting or screen printing designs on teeshirts, baseball caps, sneakers, any blank “canvas” I can find.
Paint by Numbers and Kidding Around
While I love paint-by-numbers and use them as cheap therapy, these days my biggest truly creative outlet is kindergarten-level arts and crafts (with my 5-year-old) and designing his birthday party invitations and swag. I also enjoy trying new recipes. I’m not a great cook by any means, but the process feels creative. Unfortunately for my family, often I get a little too creative and the results can be, um, unpredictable. Oh, and Zoom meeting background contests.
Food Photography and Cookbook Design
My creative passions change yearly. I’ve been obsessed with creating artificial nails, makeup, and gardening in the past, but this year I’m obsessed with cooking. My passion for graphic design has also been reignited. The natural love child of those two things has become my greatest creation: my cookbook! I also love photography and so I get to utilize that skill while making this cookbook as well. The joy from this project is three-fold as I get satisfaction from cooking the food, taking pictures of the food, and creating the recipe in Illustrator!
Writing and Blogging
Cynthia, Marketing Manager
I love writing. Last year, I took a career break to ride my bicycle across the country. I set up a blog to chronicle my adventure, and I soon found that writing from the roadside became my much-needed creative outlet. I’ve been writing and blogging on various platforms for over ten years now, and I still get a thrill every time I press “publish”.
Plein Air Illustration
Recently I’ve gotten back into working with traditional art mediums and just drawing from life, which I haven’t done since art school. With illustration and graphic design there’s always the pressure to effectively communicate an innovative idea or message and, though I love that challenge in my work, it doesn’t help to declutter my brain.
My favorite plein air artist, James Gurney, narrates his videos and always has the most mundane explanations for why he picked such-and-such subject matter for each piece. “I like the way the light hits this stop sign”, “I like how there’s some smoke in the air and you can see it over this tent, so I want to capture that…” There’s no specific reason why the painting needs to exist in the first place, so you don’t have to worry about it Being Important or Saying Something, and you can just get started.
My personal creative outlet is building, modifying, and painting wargaming hobby miniatures. These come as kits that you can assemble. I usually add custom elements, modify the kit and give it a non-standard paint job. Picking out a color scheme for your army/team/etc can be really fun. I love finding a cohesive look for various models of different sizes and components.”
Music and theatre have always been super important to me. My parents will tell me stories of how I would act out whole movies or sing all the words to some of my favorite Disney movies as a child. The first time I knew that I needed to be on the stage was when I went to my brother’s high school musical, Into the Woods. I watched him and his fellow classmates singing, dancing, and having so much fun. It sparked a hunger for the stage!
Theatre is a place where I can feel completely myself, it has given me all sorts of possibilities. I have participated with many theaters in Maryland and New Mexico but since I have moved to Denver I have had the opportunity to work with The Vintage Theatre in “CROWNS” and “WAKE”. I have also worked with the Spark Theatre in “Heathers the Musical”. I also had the opportunity to work with 5280 Artist Coop in “CAGES”. All were amazing experiences and I can not wait to get back in the saddle.
Whimsical Mixed Media Art
“In my art, I transform past experiences into something light and whimsical. From birds and owls to snakes to trees and flowers, silly scenarios are created to lift the heart. I use the media of Prismacolor pencils on wood or paper, watercolors on paper, and acrylic paints on stretched or free-hanging canvas to explore these imaginary worlds.” See her work here.
Cooking has become my favorite creative outlet these days! I have always loved to cook and put together delicious food, but recently I have been mixing things up in the kitchen by straying away from my usual recipes. Once a week (typically Friday nights), I make it a challenge to explore a new food theme. This generally comes along with trying crazy, new recipes that I have no business attempting. It is always so much fun and generally turns out to be yummy!
Want to sample more of our creative concoctions? Check out our free printables and downloads, just for fun. We’re also on Etsy! See our art and designs on items like journals and notecards at our YellowDog & Friends Etsy Store.