Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Other Creations: Blackout Poem Tribute

This week's theme at the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog is, "B is for...."  When I started thinking about B things, the possibilities were endless!  You don't even know how close I came to trying to art-i-fy a piece of bread!  But in the end, I went with a project I'd been excited about for quite a while: my own version of a Blackout Poem.

What, you may ask, is a Blackout Poem?  We have the highly clever Austin Kleon to thank for that.  He's a writer/artist who had the inspired idea to go through a stack of newspapers with a black Sharpie and scribble out most of the words leaving only a few behind that formed a "poem."  As a lit nerd myself, I found this idea intriguing.  We crafty folks often add words to collages, but relying on the words that are already there and creating art around it?  I wanted to give it a whirl.  

I started by ripping out a page from a discarded book (and don't think my librarian side didn't cringe doing it).  I took a good look at the words.  We're used to reading words in the order in which they're intended, so it was a different sort of phenomenon to look at all the words independently and try to figure out a new way to connect them.  I eventually came up with, "You can generate geek magic."  I penciled around the words that I chosen, then got out the Gesso and painted out everything but those five words.

When it dried, I masked off the words using Post-it notes and reached for my acrylic paint.

I painted some streaks and smears down the page, covering everything in blue, green and yellow.

Next I did some stenciling and stamping and threw on a circular frame that I cut from some vintage dictionary paper. 

I added more stamping, some yarn and some fabric scraps, too.  And the best part of this project?  That moment when you pull off the Post-it note masks and see your poem showing through!

I thoroughly enjoyed this project and will never look at words on a page the same way again.  The only hard part was the pressure!  Usually if you mess up on an art project, you can scrap it and start from scratch.  But I had ONE unique book page with ONE unique set of words.  I know we say, "embrace mistakes," but let's face it: where else would I find another set of words that spelled, "You can generate geek magic"?  I couldn't mess up my one shot, so I'm glad this project had a happy ending. 

Thanks again to Austin Kleon, whose idea I absolutely love and absolutely stole.  But he also wrote one of my favorite creative books called, Steal Like an Artist, so I think he'll be okay with my respectfully-intended thievery.

I made this project with these fabulous supplies, which you can get at Simon Says Stamp.

And what will B your inspiration for our letter B challenge? (see what I did there?)  Upload your masterpieces to the Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog so we can be inspired together and so that you'll be entered in the drawing for the $50 Simon Says Stamp store voucher.  That would B a sweet prize!


  1. Beautiful work of art Andrea! What a wonderful work of inky magic! The fiber trim adds great texture!

  2. More than just a happy one I'd say it had a brilliant ending, Andrea!

    LOVE your blackout poem page! And thanks for the opportunity to learn about "blackout poetry". Hadn't know that before (and being a hobby poetry writer AND a librarian too I just love this concept and artistic approach to words on a page, A hug thank you to Austin Kleon too!). I can understand why you felt a certain amount of pressure to not mess up that page - that set of words definitely is (and was) worth every effort! Truly inspiring! And thanks for the wondeful comment on my blog btw. ;)

    Greetings from Vienna,
    Claudia x

  3. This is so clever and now I am going to have to try this! Not only is it clever but it is beautiful art too!

  4. This is so incredibly clever, Andrea! I love creative artistry! It turned out beautifully :)

    Simon Says Stamp!

  5. What a great post! I applaud your embrace of geek-i-ness, a character trait that is gaining in popularity these days and is a badge I'm also proud to wear. I can't wait to try this technique myself and am so glad you shared it along with the link to Austin Kleon (I am interested in his daily journal list idea).

    But sadly, I would really have liked to see you art-i-fy a piece of bread. Perhaps, in a future post? If anyone could do it, you could ☺!

  6. So, so clever! your page is beautiful, as always, your works are full of happiness! Gorgeous! This is the feeling that you give me every time I visit your blog! BArbarayaya

  7. Fabulous! Bright, fun, colors and wonderful words! Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!

  8. What an intriguing idea, I'd never heard of blackout poems so thanks so much for this amazing introduction! Gorgeous geek magic :O)

  9. There are so many gorgeous layers on this page Andrea and as always, your work is a feast for the eyes ~ just beautiful! :)

  10. Magnificent artwork with poetry included - magical! I've met blackout poetry before but didn't know about Austin Kleon, so that's really interesting and great to know - thanks for the links.

    Completely get the pressure of giving those chosen words the right setting, but you've blown me away with this as usual!
    Alison xx

  11. This is so beautiful, Andrea! I never heard of a blackout poem. It's so cool! love that you've made it so pretty! Hugs, Sandra

  12. I am going to have to delve into this form further. Your project this week, has blown me away. "Geek Magic?" Hmmm... one can only wonder what the the original text must've read. :)
    Each week you delight me. Thank you for that.

  13. This is wonderful! I love this idea!

  14. Hi, I always play at Simon's and I really love your projects so I was looking thorough your blog.
    This kind of project is also called "caviardage", I made some and it really was funny!