How to Use Clip Art

  • October 8, 2018

Having a library of free images available can be a fantastic resource for DIY projects. Faster and easier than trying to draw an image yourself, clip art can provide many options for the creation of wonderful hand-made items. With a little bit of creativity, you can turn a simple black and white image into something really special. Read on and learn eight terrific reasons to have clip art on hand.

1. Greeting Cards

Using copyright-free images can be a fun and rewarding way to make personalized greeting cards. You can create your card on the computer using Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, Paint or any other program. Or, you can create a card by hand by cutting out an image and gluing it onto a folded card or card blank. You can hand color your image using watercolor, ink, or colored pencils. Add some other doodles and/or decorations and you’ve got an original and totally personalized greeting card.

2. Bookmarks

Bookmarks make great giveaway gifts. Using techniques similar to the greeting cards suggestions above you can create personalized bookmarks to share with friends and family. You can even make collectible ones and trade them between friends.

3. Invitations

Some clip art really lends itself to invitations. Making a hand-made invitation can be extremely easy to do. Start by typing up your event information in Word and then add an appropriate image to the bottom corner. This is an easy way to make a very personalized invitation.

4. Flyers & Business cards

When creating a simple business flyer or business card it is not always necessary to ask your designer to produce or procure artwork for you. Many times copyright-free clip art will work splendidly.

5. Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking always requires a lot of photos but sometimes you want to illustrate a specific event with another sort of picture. Whether you need an image of a baseball player for a Little League page, or a set of balloons for a girl’s birthday party page, having a few pieces of clip art on hand can be just the ticket.

6. Decoupage

Decoupage is a perfect use for clip art. There are a great many clip art books available with wonderful color art in various themes ready for any sort of decoupage project.

7. Enlarge it and use it as a coloring page for kids

Many times clip art can be enlarged on your computer or at a copy shop and then used as a coloring page for kids. Think of it! An ongoing supply of low cost coloring pages.

8. Dress up your Word documents with it

We use Word for so many things nowadays but most of the time we write our documents without pictures. Why not add a piece of art to spruce up a personal letter? If you’re writing a professional document you can also use clip art (only appropriate images, of course!) to create a professional logo or letterhead. Images used in a document can be as simple as a small image of a heart or can be much more complex, like an image that fits the name of your business.

Where to get clip art

Dover Publications is probably the best known source of clip art books on a wide variety of subjects. Dover books come in two styles, with and without CD’s. If you don’t have a scanner you’ll be better off buying a book with a CD. That way you can get your images directly and easily onto your computer.

Clip art is also available on websites online. A Google or Yahoo search for copyright-free images should lead you to online resources.

Art And Its Impact On The Human Mind

  • October 7, 2018

Many different forms of art have been shown to have profound effects on the human mind. Alzheimer’s patients, for example, are often involved in music therapy, which has shown to help them recover and reconnect with past memories. Even if only momentarily, the memories they experience have shown to increase positive moods and improve their quality of life.

Most forms of art are able to impact the human mind in one way or another, even if it may be negative. What is most important is to explore the impact art has on the human mind and figure out how to positively harness the impact and minimize any negativity.

Pop art, for example, impacts different people in different ways. With its strong ties to commercial consumerism and found art, it is easy to evoke emotion in someone when utilizing the properties of Pop art.

Nostalgic Undertones
Emotions and feelings surrounding past events can be easily conjured up through the study of Pop art. Pop art is specifically tied to nostalgic thoughts since many of these works utilize old comics, food wrappers, advertisements and other types of found art that people may recognize from past events in their lives. Many of the most famous pieces in the Pop art movement have utilized popular advertisements that could be easily tied to past memories.

Utilizing pop art to delve into past memories can be very therapeutic for many different reasons. For example, if someone is dealing with a childhood trauma, memories from childhood can help them figure out exactly what happened and how to move past it. Through art pieces that they can associate with their past, the memories will come more freely since they are not elicited by direct objects, but indirect thought instead.

Clearly art therapy can work in regards to bringing back past memories. Pop art is not the only type of art that can be used to help stimulate areas of the brain and help in the process of resolving issues.

The Brain Feels Rewarded
According to a 2010 study conducted by researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, viewing paintings as opposed to photographs of similar objects evoked more of a sense of reward within the brain. Participants in the study were shown pieces from different artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso, and then they were showed photographs that depicted very similar objects. When they studied the brains of the participants through imaging technology, the ventrial striatum, which is part of the reward system, became more strongly activated when the participant saw a painting rather then a photograph of a similar object.

This area of the brain is typically tied to different types of addiction, especially gambling. With the power of art being able to affect the reward system in such a powerful way, it begs the question as to whether certain types of art may be able to help stimulate the brain in a way that helps with addictive behavior.

Benefits to Underprivileged Children
Art therapy has also been used to awaken the senses of underprivileged children through both the viewing and creating of art. According to research compiled and analyzed by Christina Pili, the experiences that disadvantaged children are often exposed to can create deep issues in regards to their motor, social and cognitive abilities. With these types of issues many children begin to develop nervousness, anxiety, sleeping excessive or too little, and a lack of verbal, social and language skills. Music, dance, painting and other forms of art have shown to have an incredibly significant and positive effect on children who come from disadvantaged homes and have been exhibiting delayed behaviors in these areas.

By awakening the senses through experimentation with the different types of art these children are experiencing, they are able to see increased abilities in their cognitive, motor and social skills. These are invaluable skills that are important to their overall quality of life.

The Many Colors of Pop Art
Returning one last time to the power of Pop art on the human mind, some studies show that different colors are able to tap into various emotions within different people. Pop art is known very well for its use of bright, vibrant colors. Bright yellows often evoke a feeling of happiness, which is a very common color in Pop art pieces. Depending on the color within the piece, different emotions can be displayed by the observer.

Clearly different aspects of art and the participation in the arts can have a profound and positive effect on the human mind. Pop art is especial useful in helping evoke past memories and gain insight through the use of bright colors. Art is a beautiful thing to be enjoyed, and knowing the powers it can have on the human mind is certainly an added bonus.

Decorate Your Home Elegantly

  • October 7, 2018

Art cushions are the new bed linens which are finding a wide use in home decorations. Bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen and even offices are finding wide use of these cushions. The term art cushion is not for one particular item. Rather it includes many different items although all of them are only the specialized versions of them. The designers are coming up with the new and vibrant things of home decor. Art cushions come under one of the categories. They are elegant, stylish and most importantly they are cheap. Their rates are very much within your wallet.

Art cushions include bedding cushions, chair seat cushions, chair cushions and pads, floor cushions and decorative pillow cushions. Each of them have their own place in the home. While the bedding and pillow cushions are adding charm and beauty to the bedroom, the chair seat cushions are finding extensive use in the kitchen and dining room. The chair cushions and pads are adorning the living room while the floor cushions bring your dull and lifeless floor back to life. With such wide range of uses they have become the hot favorite home decor products of every household. They are crafted in rich colors concocted with amazing designs. No wonder they create wondering beauty when placed in the home.

Variations are available not only in colors and designs but also in fabrics. Cotton is the most common one followed by silk and wool. The silk ones are more in demand as the cotton ones are getting common. Besides the imprinted designs of these cushions, you can also get embroidered and applique works on them. The embroidered ones are real beauty which give an ethnic touch to your home and makes it appear more traditional. They make your home look more classic and chic.

You can find a wide range of collections of these art cushions on the online bedding stores but you can also purchase them from the online bedding stores. Buying cushions online would be more beneficial for you as you would get to know more about them. The online bedding stores have amazing collections of the art cushions and during the off seasons you can find some attractive deals on them. Although the art cushions aren’t much costly yet if you want to buy the embroidered works then online stores are definitely a better choice for you as you would get to know more.

Art and Complements Your Decor

  • October 5, 2018

You’ve found the perfect art print or poster. The colors are right and the picture suits your personality. Now all you need is a special frame that will show off the beauty of the art. With hundreds of frame choices available, how do you choose?

Well, the good news is that when choosing a frame for a particular piece of art, there’s no one right choice. You’ll probably be able to find quite a few that work. But what you’ll notice is that each frame creates a completely different impression.

Professional framers will tell you to take one of three main approaches to choosing a frame.

1) Frame for the Art – Often considered the ideal in picture framing, you select the color and style of frame based on the style and character of the art.

For example, if you have a contemporary-looking art print or poster, then you’ll probably want a modern looking frame. It can be metal or painted wood. If your picture has a rustic flavor, then a weathered wood might be the perfect accent.

You’ll also want to consider color. If red is prominent in the poster or art print, choose a frame that looks good with red. You may even want to pick up on the red in one of your mats. The mat and frame should complement the artwork, creating a eye-appealing presentation that puts the focus on the art and doesn’t distract from it.

2) Frame for the Room – Framed art can be an important component of a decor theme, tying together various colors and design elements. For example, if the room has white furniture and you’ve found some bright-colored art prints or posters, you can use white-colored frames to match the decor.

If the artwork is for a bedroom that features a wrought iron headboard, consider using a wrought iron frame on your picture. Have a brass headboard? How about brass frames for your art? Think about where the framed artwork will hang and what it should accomplish in the room.

Keep in mind that when attempting to integrate your framed art with the decor, you don’t need to create an exact match with the area’s colors and furniture. There’s room for flexibility, but you can coordinate the art with the decor by simply using the same general color palette and style.

3) Frame for Personal Preference – Decorating your home is an opportunity to express your unique style. And that principle extends to your framed artwork too. When you frame for personal preference you defy the traditional and make your own statement — your home, your art, your frame, your way!

A fire engine-red mat on a black and white photo with a silver frame? Sure, why not? An ornate gold frame around a simple drawing of a child’s toy? It’s eclectic but it works. A hot pink metal frame around a picture of a daffodil? If it looks right to you, then go for it.

Framing that is intentionally offbeat or flashy can add fun to your room’s decor and be a tribute to your personal taste. Mats offer you another opportunity to be creative in coordinating them with your frame. What a difference colors can make!

The key is to make purposeful design decisions, as opposed to random choices. Try different mat and frame combinations to see how they look. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Let your personality shine through and trust your decorating ability to make the right choice. Bottom line, if the final framed artwork pleases you, then it is the right choice, no matter how unconventional.

One last caveat. Whether you choose to frame for the art, frame for the room or frame for personal preference, be consistent. That will ensure that all the artwork in that one location will appear coordinated, creating a harmonious presentation.