Kaleidoscope Creativity

Guest Post by Artist Dave Weiss

Kaleidoscope Color PageAs a person who has felt a genuine call to help people to regain their God-given creativity, few things have excited me as much as the Adult Coloring phenomenon. For years, most adults relegated creativity to children and to those select few were deemed gifted. The rest of us were told to try something “more realistic” and we fell for it.

Well no more! Creativity is for all of us. As children of the ultimate creator, created in His image you might even say we were created to create. It is absolutely true. Think about it: Every time you figure out a way to survive when you run out of money before you run out of month, you get creative. Every time you fix something with duct tape, chewing gum, rubber bands, every time you use anything for a purpose other than the one for which it was created, you were creative.

The of course there is the other side of creativity. The one where you imagine an argument and up getting angry or every time you succumb to fear over something that may or may not happen. It’s misused creativity, but it’s creativity. Yes friend, your creativity, your imagination is alive, but it may have been corrupted. It’s time we take it back and adult coloring is a great first step.

It’s entry level. The lines are provided. It’s less intimidating and yet it opens doors of creativity that for many of us have been sealed shut. I love that. I love anything that gets us creating again.

I personally have illustrated and published four of these books so far. I call my books Kaleidoscopics and Kaleidoscopic Creatures. The title comes from the way I create the art. A lot of adult coloring books use a design style called Mandalas. A lot of people want to trace this style back to it’s roots in Eastern religion. I didn’t want to go there. My work is totally disassociated from that realm of spirituality. Rather I imagine what my work would look like viewed through a kaleidoscope.

The results are breathtaking.

I say this not to boast about my own work but because even I as that artist am never quite sure what the final piece will look like. You see I don’t render the whole piece. I create an eighth of the final image and then manipulate it digitally to get the final result. I love this way of working because it holds a great deal of mystery for me. Kaleidoscopic Creatures are done similarly, but they combine my love of working kaleidoscopically with my love of drawing creatures.

This is some of the most fun I have had as an artist and I love the fact that the work is also a collaboration with the end user who will add the colors and bring it to life. Few things thrill me like when someone takes the time to not only color my work, but share it with me.
My four books are but a small section of the over 60 thousand adult coloring books found on Amazon alone. The market is really glutted and I hardly even care.

 Kaleidoscopic Creatures

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At the end of the day it comes down to this: People are catching the creative bug and getting started. Dear reader, you need to know, you are creative, and this world needs you to embrace your creativity and put it out there for the world to see. The people who love what you do are your audience. Create to make their day and you might jus change the world. I’d like to close with a quote from author Hugh MacLeod.

In his book, Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity “Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

It’s time to demand your crayons back!

Check out Dave Weiss’s Entire Book List

Check out Dave Weiss’s website

Wear Your Artwork on Zipz Shoes

Click through to shop Zipz shoes for coloring

Click here to shop Zipz shoes for coloring

Now you can wear your artwork on these comfy Zipz slip on shoes!

These shoes are worth every penny:

  • durable canvas tops
  • extra-cushioned insoles
  • specially designed arch support
  • rubber soles
  • the uppers unzip from soles and are interchangeable

Here’s how to get the best enjoyment out of your new shoes:

Wash your new shoes on a cool, gentle washer setting and allow to dry.

Color our shoe designs with these beautifully vibrant, non-toxic fabric markers that won’t bleed or fade! To set the colors, use a hot iron set for polyester (don’t set it too high).

To further protect your artwork from dirt and moisture, we recommend using waterproofing spray. Let the waterproofing dry for twenty-four hours before wearing.

Slip your feet into these comfy shoes, make a date with friends, brag about how comfy they are, and admit that you are the artist who colored them!

Note: Shoes that have been properly set and waterproofed can be wiped clean or run through the washer using cold water. Reapply more waterproofing spray as needed after trips through the washer.

Are You Ready to Party?

Coloring Book Launch banner

Are you all done with your taxes and looking to blow off some steam…or are you looking for an excuse to put them off to the last minute? Either way, I’ve got you covered!

Tomorrow I’m throwing my first online book launch party for my new coloring book, A Day at the Zoo! I’m going to have more than one party, but for those who are in a mood for fun and coloring this weekend, the party begins at 8:30 tomorrow morning, and runs until 3 p.m.  this Saturday.

Yesterday I had fun shopping for prizes! I found some neat “twist and color” colored pencils that don’t ever need sharpening, glitter markers, metallic markers, and some nifty blending tools! I also went by Trader Joe’s (they have the best chocolate!), and picked some up. Oh, and I found some really nifty stretch bracelets with animal beads!

So–tonight I’m putting together prize packages and a gift basket to give away. I won’t be able to ship anything to the winners before the books arrive, but they’re already on their way, and I’m hoping they’ll be here by the middle of next week.

For those colorists who are local, and want a chance to meet me in person, I’m also going to be at Gere Library in Lincoln, Nebraska this Sunday from 4 – 5 p.m. to share a free coloring page and flyers for the new book. You’re welcome to come!

Print Layout Versus Ebook Layout

Cover Art low-res

Note: I’m still using my daughter’s picture book as an example for this post, because coloring books don’t make good ebooks.

Reposted from April 18, 2015:

You may remember from my last post that I was in the middle of helping my daughter publish a picture book she had created.

Just about the time I finished the layout and editing for her book and published it via CreateSpace and Amazon, a writer friend asked a question about layout for print books containing images versus layout for ebooks.

While it is possible to lay out both books the same way, if you just migrate the artwork and embedded text over from the picture book to the ebook format, it is impossible to change the size of the text for easier reading in the smaller format. The text becomes inflexible.

When I decided to use a 8.5″ by 8.5″ format for Maria’s book, I also recognized that this format will not automatically adapt to the 2:3 width/length ratios most ereader screens are designed with. An ereader screen will do a great job of accommodating a 6″ x 9″ or 9″ x 6″ book layout, and even an 8.5″ x 11″ layout, but not square pages, which it would shrink until the text was unreadable, leaving lots of wasted space on the screen.

The text here is small and static, even though a website is an electronic medium, illustrating the issue with converting print layouts to ebook (it doesn't work very well).

The text here is small and static, even though a website is an electronic medium, illustrating the issue with converting print layouts to ebook (it doesn’t work very well).

To adapt Harold & Louise for ebook, I resized the artwork without the words into a 9″ x 6″ format, and arranged the artwork and the words in a format that would permit the text to flow as needed, and be adaptable to larger sizes for ease of reading.

This page became, in essence, two pages, with the text on one page, and the artwork on another.

I’ve already received compliments on how well the artwork and text work in the ebook format. The story flows effortlessly for the reader, which is how it should be. It won’t do that, though, if it isn’t set up properly.

So now you know!

5 low-res

This is what the artwork on this page became for the ebook.The text appeared on the next page.

While it is fairly straightforward process to publish a book via CreateSpace or Kindle, there are a lot of steps that go into making a quality product. If you are struggling with the process or find it overwhelming, part of my business involves design and layout of books for publication, and walking new authors through the self-publishing process. If you would like my help. please don’t hesitate to ask.

All My Daughter Needed Was A Little Help

Maria with book

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This post is about a picture book that my daughter published last year that we’re hoping to turn into a coloring book this year!

Reposted from March 31, 2015:

About a month ago, my daughter’s Creative Writing teacher assigned the class a picture book project. My daughter was thrilled! She loves to write, and loves to draw, so this project pulled together two of her favorite things things to do.

She was making great progress with her book, but then she contracted a miserable strep infection that knocked her flat. With the deadline looming, something had to be done! She wanted to scan in her sketches, clean them up, and finish coloring her drawings on the computer, but she was too sick to do it.

Fortunately, her teacher recognized that not all students are enthusiastic or talented artists, and had said that her class could ask for help with their illustrations.

So Maria agreed to let me add the color and set up the pages for her on the computer.

5 low-resThe end result became a beautiful blend of hand drawn sketches, and digital color and layering techniques that complemented her writing style.

We’ve talked about the possibility of publishing her story. She seems willing. I’m so excited! In a few more days, my daughter could be a published author!

My daughter needed a little help to realize her dream of a finished picture book. Maybe you do, too? What writing project have you been sitting on for lack of the right artwork?

If you’d like some help, contact me! I’d like to help you make your dreams of being a published author come true.