Tim and I go way back. Almost back to the beginning... It was December 2007 and I came across a creative holiday marathon being hosted by Tim Holtz called the 12 Tags of Christmas. WoW! Tim's style was like nothing I had seen yet or since. The world of papercrafting was on the verge of being turned upside down by the inky, grungy, distressed style of the creative genius of Tim Holtz. I have been an admiring fan ever since!
Not only is Tim's artwork a joy to behold, but he SHARES HIS TECHNIQUES openly for the world to learn from. Following one of his tutorials or videos is like sitting shoulder to shoulder with him. I can't tell you how much I have learned from this man!
The product line that has been created around him is phenomenal! First in quality and second in how they all complement each other. From his Distress Inks, stamps, grunge papers, and embellishments. It's enough to put a working girl in the poor house, I tell ya!
In 2007 my scrapbooking stash consisted of the bare necessities. I was focused on scrapping my older son's school years and my younger son's baby stages. The papers and products I had at the time were focused on those subjects. Seeing Tim's tags was an explosion of my senses; textures, deep colors, shabby chic accouterments.
Playing along daily was not something I could realistically accomplish. Getting ready for Christmas is taxing enough without throwing in a major craft project every.single.day. using products I did not even have on hand. It was fun to log on every day and see what wonderfulness Tim had created overnight. But I had to limit myself...
At the end of the 12 Tags of Christmas, I selected the tag I liked the most and purchased the products needed for that project. That was Day 9 - hardware holiday. Peeled paint and fired brick still are my two favorite Distress Ink colors.
Not too bad for the first tag I ever made. The next year, for the 12 Tags of Christmas 2008, I did the same thing. This time I picked two days that were similar, Day 10 and Day 5. I mashed up the techniques between the two days and created a hybrid tag. I was still very controlled in my execution. A big part of the distress/grunge style is letting go and getting inky. Something I have had to learn to do.
Last year Tim finally came to his senses and launched the 12 Tags of 2012. He created one tag at the beginning of the month and gave participants the rest of the month to play along and get their artwork posted. Even still, I was only able to complete two of the monthly projects. (Still working on building up my Tim Holtz stash!) In February, Tim launched the new tag program. I was glad to have more time to get my supplies, learn the techniques, and make the tag.
I played along again in November. I found that I enjoyed the process much more with the relaxed time constraints. From the first tag in 2007 to this one I can see a lot of improvement. I am learning to use more ink and to add layers of stamps, color and/or texture.
I thank Tim Holtz for opening my eyes and my creative spirit to this art movement. I feel like there is still so much for me to learn, but I am enjoying every moment of it. Well, maybe not the checkbook balancing part.