Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My Concert Scrapbooks: 15 Years of Art and Music

Recently I realized I have been a professional graphic designer for 10 years. But I have been honing my craft for over 15 years on one personal project, my concert scrapbooks. My concert scrapbooks follow my artistic development in the most personal way possible. They combine my life, personal interests, and unedited creativity in a timeline that can be tracked back 15+ years. They are not pristine pages made with templates, sheet protectors, and premade scrapbooking adornments. They are collages of my photos, momentos and ephemera from events, and all kinds of craft supplies creatively documenting my experiences. Each book shows real wear and tear from over the years.

My concert scrapbooks are the creative outlet synthesis of my love for art and music. Not only do I experience great live music but I get to relive the show while designing the pages. To date I have filled up 10 scrapbooks with musical adventures.


The 11th scrapbook is in progress. This fangirl is torn as to what should be on the cover. It might be Jack White's last acoustic show on the cover or maybe the upcoming Hollywood Vampires show in Hollywood, CA at the Roxy in September.

Early on it became obvious that flat items such as autographs, ticket stubs, guitar picks, setlists, pictures, and backstage passes are ideal for scrapbooking. My favorite items to document shows are setlists and photos. They show the experience and give an account of what was played. I also like to challenge myself to get autographs, backstage passes, and photos with the band. All of which are easier to obtain from front row.

As the years go on you can see how I have evolved as an artist. I use more graphic minded layouts and solutions. I explore all kinds of design elements and techniques. I have featured photos of a few below.

Using different textures in design gives pages depth and variation.

I have used different materials such as duct tape.

I have also created unique textures with ribbon and fabics.

Actual dried flowers can be found on pages.

And I have even used fire to create different effects. I have learned how to work with all kinds of materials because of my concert scrapbooks and that knowledge has been indefinitely valuable to me in all my artistic pursuits.

I have also used these books as practices in layout.

Sometimes I would come up with layouts before the show and have artists sign on the scrapbook page. Having the artist sign wherever they wanted on the pages tied the book to the actual event. Being held by the artists truly made the scrapbook part of that day.

As time goes on you can see how my layouts become more advanced.

I even utilized see-through elements on pages in my layouts.

I also like to create interactive elements. Seeing both sides of a ticket or a guitar pick are common in the books. But my favorite elements are the interactive and elaborate pop-up pages.

My concert scrapbooks are by far the most in-depth art project I have ever undertaken. They are a legacy of creativity and adventure that showcases my talents in a way a portfolio never will. Photographs will never do them justice.

I invite you to pay me a visit sometime and page through them with me. You can see all 10 times I saw Steven Tyler live and all the other concerts turned scrapbook pages.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rockin' Event Review: Internet Cat Video Festival 2015


I just had to start with a pun! The CHS Field in St. Paul set an attendance record with the 13,000 cat lovers selling out the 2015 Internet Cat Video Festival. There was two hours to enjoy the many cat-centric activities and eat plenty of food. You could check out a mural in progress, make a cat toy, get samples and swag, and take many different photo-ops with props and walk-around cats.

Not to brag but my businesscards/swag we (mostly my friend Quinn) gave out were purrrrrfect!

Before screening the videos the main screen as well as other screens around the venue featured photos of local cats submitted by owners. My fashionista Little Miss is now basically famous.

There were many amazing cat themed t-shirts and other cat-tastic items worn. My friend Angela of Angela Doheny Photography and myself rocked some custom cat shirts featuring our kitties! The shirts were created by yours truly, Crazy Cat Lady Katie! Some participants took it up a notch and came as their favorite feline!

This whimsical Cheshire cat won the "Dress as Your Cat” costume contest! She looked spec-CAT-tular!

The mayor of St. Paul threw out the first pitch to get the videos started by throwing out a yarn ball. The videos were pure interwebs gold. I laughed so hard it hurt. My favorite video is "Heavy Metal Cats" for obvious reasons.

The focus of this event was to bring people together and it truly did that. It was pointed out that dog people get to show off their dogs by walking them but cat people don't get the same chance. Well every dog has its day. And today went to the cats.

I will always be a cat kind of person. Nine Lives is even my favorite album Steven Tyler has ever recorded.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fairy Tale Book Sculpture Series by Katherine Young

My favorite part of being an artist is when your creativity is flowing at such a fast pace, time flies, and hours disappear. It is exhilerating when you love what you are doing so much that you get lost in the work and stretch your creative boundaries. I hope everyone loves an ability they have to this extent. My Fairy Tale Book Sculpture Series is a prime example of work that harnesses the best of my creative abilities.

My best work as an artist happens when I take a tangible item that represents a concept and then turn it into a visual representation of that concept. Okay, that last sentence is ridiculous... here is what I mean.

A book is story written down. It is a tangible item that holds the concept of the story inside. The same goes for an album. A music album is a tangible item that holds music. These items when read/played take on their true purpose. Their tangible form is not as important as the concepts they represent. If you were to destroy (or in my case upcycle) these items you have not destroyed the message that they carry. Yes, that one item you have altered can never be used to read the story or listen to the song... but the story lives on and so does the music. That one items is not the only way this enchanting tale or hypnotic music finds it way into the world.

I love taking these tangible items and turning them into visual representations of the concepts they hold. Bringing the stories 'to life' and actually making the words written on the page become a scene from our memory. The memory is far more important than the book. And turning that book into your beautiful memory drives me to create like no other.

I will keep working on this series as long as the inspiration keeps flowing. If you would like to see some of my upcycled album art, CLICK HERE. I would love to see these pieces sold by Disney Fine Art. I think the concept is not being done by any other paper artist out there and represents all that is magical about Disney story telling.

To see more about the Little Mermaid CLICK HERE.

To see more about Cinderella CLICK HERE.

To see more about the Peter Pan work CLICK HERE.

Fear not! I have upcycled Aerosmith albums too! I couldn't leave Steven Tyler out of this!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Peter Pan Paper Sculpture

This work is a third in the series and it basically created itself. I was able to create this in less than two days of work because inspiration was flowing!

This lovely lady started as a sketch. I designed a Tinker Bell that was a bit more edgy than the traditional character design.

I then started laying out my book pages so the right words and parts of the story were visible in the final work. 

I had fun creating the pirate ship. I don't think I have ever drawn a pirate ship before!

I then created Tinker Bell and made sure her wings fell in just the right places on the clock face. Coincidentally she completely covered where I drew the hands of the clock. I love that just to the right of her check you read the directions to Neverland.

The rest of the photos are different angles of he final work. Look closely at the wording from the pages. Words that describe objects appear on and next to those objects giving the work a deeper meaning and truly bringing the book to life!

 I wonder if Steven Tyler believes in fairies?