Here are some of my go-to quick and easy 5-min tutorials for things you can do at the office for a little “creative” break while also doing your ergo stretches and getting a breath of fresh air.
6/18/14: Art for Lunch? Art with Lunch!

In just 15 min I did some art with lunch today. Before my meal arrived at El Torito, I’d made this – a spread in my Sketchbook Poetry 5×5:

Here’s what I had in my bag.  I had made the photocopies of the shells on my way out the door. I go right past the copier.  I had watercolors with me, but when I got the images laid down, I decided the piece needed to be black and white. Hard for me to let go of adding color.
No scissors? No problem. I love tearing. I love the way it looks.
Another tip? Roll the glue stick on its side when you are gluing something down – you remove all the bubbles and it is really stuck on there. At home, I use a brayer for this step.
Here I am ready to do some image transfers (on the left). I used my blender pen. I was in the restaurant in a booth all by myself with lots of air conditioning, so I did it quick. (See notes on ventilation in my 6/5/14 toot, below.)
Here are the image transfers – done. 90 sec is all it takes.
Salad arrived, so I took a quick break before doing the final calligraphy. The calligraphy was easy to do while I was waiting to pay my check. Voila!
Total elapsed time? About 1 hour. Total time spent making the piece? 10 min.

6/11/14: What’s In My Tool Bag?

 * * * *   C O M I N G   S O O N  * * * *
6/5/14:  Easy-peasy Image Transfer – 5 Min

If you want to transfer an image – either typeset stuff or an image – into a bound notebook that can be hard. You can’t run the notebook through the printer, so here’s an easy way to get that image where you want it.

You’ll need:

  • An image that fits the size of the surface you want to transfer to. The image has to be printed on a traditional printer – not an ink jet. This means a Xerox machine, or copier, also known as a laser jet.  They get the ink onto the paper by heating up a powdered ink. Any copy store will work for this and it can be color or B&W. If it is written words, print it in reverse.  If you can’t do it in reverse don’t let that stop you – just work with what you have. You can even use stuff out of the recycle bin at work, or print something quick and dirty from google images.
  • A Chart-Pak blender pen. I got mine at Michael’s. They contain xylene and smell really bad, so do this somewhere away from your desk, out of consideration for your cubicle mates, and for your own health. Plenty of ventilation. A quick trip outside and on the hood of your car, with some paper underneath. That works!
  • Your notebook. The rougher the paper in the notebook, the less defined your transfer will be. That’s okay – maybe you want that look. Experiment!
  • Removable tape.  I keep washi tape in my little art office stash. It works great because it comes off easily. Regular scotch tape will probably work too.
Tape the image you want transferred (your copy, printed out in reverse) to the surface you are transferring to.  You don’t have to tape it, but it does help keep things from shifting around.
Rub the tip of the chart-pak marker over the areas you want transferred. The cool thing about the marker is that it leaves a residue that makes it pretty easy to see what you are transferring.  It only takes moderate pressure and a couple of passes to release the ink off your copy and onto your surface.  Lift up the edge from one side to make sure everything transferred. If not, put the copy back down and run over it again with the pen. DO THIS STEP WITH PLENTY OF VENTILATION.
Voila! Remove the taped piece and here’s your finished transfer. I usually leave the notebook open in a well-ventilated area to let the solvent evaporate. If you don’t like the idea of using solvents, I’ll post another method that is also easy peasy soon!