Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Nostalgic Toys ~ Colorforms

Founded in 1951, Colorforms is one of the oldest and best-known brands in the toy industry. It was the very first plastic-based creative toy, and one of the first toys ever advertised on television.
Colorforms are paper-thin, die-cut vinyl sheet images and shapes that are meant to be applied to a shiny plastic laminated board, much like placing paper dolls against a paper backdrop. The images stick to the background by adhesion, which takes place when two highly polished surfaces come in contact. The Colorforms vinyl pieces can be repositioned to create new designs and scenarios.
Colorforms oddly enough grew out of the progressive trend in the 1950's to create toys that were somehow beneficial to a kid's psychological well-being: these were (ostensibly) toys that helped kids learn and grow through play, stimulating their imaginations and creativity. To that end, the first Colorforms set was made up of little plastic shapes, of different colors. Kids could combine the shapes and colors to make their own pictures of whatever they liked. 
The 1970's was probably the hayday of Colorforms, with dozens of sets devoted to such subjects as Evel Knievel, Star Trek, or Holly Hobbie. But the brand survives to this day, and as millions of kids discover to their delight, despite the obvious enticements of modern video amusements, this simple little plastic and cardboard toy can still offer many hours of quiet imaginative fun.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Artistic Maturity

Every year or so I experience a creative shift in life where I abandon an art medium or subject.  It comes naturally and without want or effort - it just happens.  (And looking at other artists' work, I know that I am not alone).  For example, I remember long ago that I used to LOVE sewing.  After that I fell in love with making dried flower arrangements.  And after that came card making.  But alas, ever since I started card making, my favorite medium to work with has steadily remained to be the same - PAPER.

But even working with paper, my creative topics have shifted.  About 7 years ago, I used to love making cardboard Jack-in-the-boxes.  I had grand plans to make Jack-in-the-boxes in every size and theme and even though they sold really well, I gradually got tired of making them.   Then came paper-mache Hot Air Balloons.  Sure enough, even after years of finally perfecting my paper-mache technique, the Hot Air Balloons were replaced.  Now!, "making paper Art Dolls would surely be here to stay!" I said.  It only makes sense! because it combines my love of paper and my love of dolls! But no, I recently realized that even my art dolls are becoming tiresome.

I wish that I could just find something that I like and stick with it!....But I guess that's part of growing up...I guess you can call it artistic growth...artistic maturity.

Either way, through all these years, I've really enjoyed making everything that I did.  I've learned alot about paper and the different kinds and different materials used to make paper.  The endless ways you can manipulate it into making almost anything you want!  I guess my creative topics have changed because my knowledge has changed.  This reminds me of a quote by oil painter Pal Strisik,   "(Artists) mature in a slow and natural way. . . .  It may take ten years to develop your skills.  But nothing is lost, for you've still lived all those years.  The (art) you do five years from now can only be done five years from now.  You can't rush it, and it can't be done tomorrow."

So here's to a new year! Hello 2015!  I welcome any new thing you have in store for my hands to create!