What goes in to an illustration? Find out, and peek at my new Folk Heart stamps

When you start breaking down what really inspires one to create a certain work, it can be difficult to pinpoint. When somebody says, “I ‘CASE’d so-and-so’s card for my design,” do they just copy down to the last sequin and marker stroke what the other person created? No way, man, they bring their own spin to it. They bring their surroundings to it. They bring whatever music they may have been listening to at the time. They might bring in the colors of the sweater they happen to be wearing that day that perhaps inspired the color scheme or the decision to add fibers or texture. They bring a lifetime of acquired memories and visual references, from childhood coloring books, a first visit to an Art Museum to see Monet’s Waterlilies, a torn-out magazine page with that darling fabric that would really be perfect for the living room curtains. All of this random stuff can have an impact. Isn’t that cool?

We all bring so much to every work that we do. We just don’t stop to think that we’re storing all that info up there, just waiting to use it in a creative way! Thank you, Brain, for allowing me to stuff you so full with visual inspiration and information, that when I’m ready to go to town creating new things, I can draw from your vast archives!

Why am I going in to all of this? Well, when I started culling the images I wanted to share with you today about how I got from point A to point B with my newest stamp set, Folk Heart, I realized that my sets might be primarily influenced by one thing or another... but many of them are the culmination of years of looking, years of gathering, years of appreciating beauty. Then that trusty brain churns it all around and allows me to put pencil to paper, and bring the images and words to life.

So, it all might have started with seeing images like this:

Scandanavian designer Josef Frank’s “Aralia” linen fabric, designed in 1928
Josef Frank “Vegetable Tree” fabric, designed mid-1940s
“La Plata” by Josef Frank screenprinted on linen, designed mid-1940s
Vintage Mexican Milagros. Source, Susanne Duda
Vintage Advertising. Source,
Jacobean Crewel Embroidery by Elsa Williams, 1974. Source,
Crewel Embroidery found on Pinterest ... I'm so sorry I cannot place the source! Will update when I do.
Modern Crewel Embroidery by Bucilla / Bernhard Ulman. Source,

My OH My, that is a lot of stuff to look at!! Are you still with me?? These shapes and sinewy lines and vines got me going in all kinds of directions. And while what I came up with for my final sets (which I split into TWO sets - one is the new digital offering, Flowers, Always and one is the new clear set, Folk Heart... also, I shared some of the inspiration from wool hooked rugs in my post about Flowers, Always, and you can see that HERE) was a bit more folksy and cute than some of my influences, I couldn’t help but bring it back to my own design style, which puts my Marcella stamp on it! :)

I got to sketching out my potted plants, because even though you can look at visual references all the live long day, you are going to have an idea of what it is you want to draw. Y’all know I cannot resist a potted plant!

And that drawing turned into this, the Flowers, Always digital stamp, shown here expertly colored and made into a card by Cheryl Scrivens!

Isn’t that fantastic? I hope you will run around to be sure you see all the cards created with that set by the Instant Gardeners, they are ALL so different!!! I love those ladies.

I drew so many various images, I couldn’t fit them all into the clear set version. So this one really is packed with a LOT of cute stuff to use, inspired by all of the above Scandinavian fabrics, milagros, primitive folk art and rug hooking, crewel embroidery, and my overall love of curious-looking plants. Let’s take a look at Folk Heart! It will be available for purchase in the Power Poppy Shop on Sunday as part of the Grow Everyday collection.

Oh wait, did I forget to show you photos of all the little birdies that I have admired? Do you think I aim to keep you here all day? Maybe we’ll save birdies for next time, eh? Because right now I really think you should go see what the Bloom Brigade has created to share with you today.

Get ready for some exuberant color and fun... go Bloomies!

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this long post! Too much to share, and posted a little bit late due to inability to stop talking. I come by it honestly. Love to all and see you back here tomorrow!! We have MORE new sets to come...


Unknown said...

Simply AMAZING!!!

Leslie Miller said...

Don't stop! I love to see how the stamp sets come about, and I still want to see the birds. This is such a darling set and one of my favorites. So true how we store up all that information and inspiration. Thank you, Marcy!

CherylQuilts said...

Wow, what a fun blog hop, and the Bloomies are amazing and delighted me no end! And Marcy, I love your thoughts about what inspires us and how we "gather" up all these things and images in our brains. It's so true. You so inspire me, and I hope we get to see some birds too. Just love them. I so love your posts for the sneak peeks and adore your work! Can hardly wait to see more tomorrow! Thank you so much, sweet Marcy! Hugs!

Berina RGA said...

Love to see how you are inspired!! Beautiful image!
Moxie Craftie

Nora Noll said...

How amazing!!! What a lovely image. I wish I could draw like you!!!

D.Ann C said...

That bird is adorable!!