July’s Featured Artist – Hero Arts

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Hi friends – I am SO honored and thrilled to be a featured artist for Hero Arts and its amazing Unity Collection this month! A huge thank you to the entire Hero Arts team and especially Dana Joy and Pam for this opportunity! Thank you for highlighting Black artists and for pouring your hearts into our community! Learn more about the Unity Collection and see the full line of products on the Hero Arts website.

The inspiration for my three cards was love – love for yourself and love for each other. I believe both are important in our shared fight for justice, equity, and inclusion. You’ll see the theme of love and hearts woven throughout my cards. To celebrate self-love and the power of Black and Brown girls everywhere, I used the Color Layering Flower Power stamp set as my focus. It was my first time using this stamp set and I absolutely love it! To celebrate love for each other, I used the Kids United stamp set, which has adorable heartfelt images and sentiments.

Card 1 – You Are Worthy

Background. I started by die cutting the Butterfly Confetti Fancy die three times from heavyweight, white cardstock. I adhered two of them together with liquid glue and set it aside to dry. I used the third panel as a stencil and lightly blended pink and yellow ink over an A2-sized card front. After ink blending, I smooshed embossing ink through the DIY stencil and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. Finally, I layered the stacked die cut panels on top of the heat embossed card front. I love the extra color and detail the ink blending and heat embossing adds to the background.

Main image. For the main focal point of my card, my beautiful girl, I used the stamp layering guide on the back of the packaging. I stamped with a variety of pink and yellow inks to create the gorgeous flower afro. For the face, I used shades of brown and pink. I love that the stamp adds a little makeup and fuller lips to the image. I also added a little bit of shading with a copic marker. I used the coordinating die to die cut my image and add an extra die cut layer for dimension.

Final details. For the sentiment, I ink blended the same yellow ink as the background on cardstock for a gradient effect and stamped and heat embossed a sentiment from the Color Layering Flower Power stamp set. What a great sentiment to remind someone that they are worthy of love and respect just for being a human being. Finally, I added extra butterflies as embellishments because I had so many die cut already. I ink blended each butterfly with pink and yellow ink and added some glitter pen for sparkle.

Card 2 – Follow Your Heart

Background. To start, trimmed black cardstock to 5×5 inches. I die cut a heart from the Nesting Hearts Infinity Die. I had so many butterflies left over from my first card and I did not want to waste them. So, I took inspiration from my talented, crafty friend Raquel. She made a card recently featuring a heart made from small butterflies. I used that inspiration and covered the heart die cut with a variety of butterfly die cuts. It is not a perfect heart, but that’s ok. I love that it looks like an organic gathering behind my main focal image. Behind the butterflies, I stamped the first stamp layer of the afro three times to frame the butterfly heart. I stamped in embossing ink and white heat embossed. I like finding ways to stretch my supplies, so I thought using the hair as a background stamp was a nice idea and it looked like a floral heart. The multiple hearts tied in nicely with the sentiment. Lastly, I colored three butterflies with copics in coordinating colors and popped them up on thin foam tape.

Main image. For the main focal point, another iteration of my beautiful girl, I stamped with a rainbow of inks in varying shades. If you follow my work, you know that I love incorporating a rainbow when possible. I skipped the last stamp layer for the hair. For the face, again, I used shades of dark brown and pink.

Sentiment. Finally, I heat embossed a sentiment from the Empowerment stamp set. I wanted to mimic a banner so I adhered the sentiment strip ends down with liquid glue and added foam tape to the center so there was dimension only in the middle. I love that the sentiment is a gentle reminder to follow your own path and to let your heart lead.

Card 3 – We Are All One

Main image. For this card, I focused on the Kids United stamp set. I love the message of this set as I think it’s so important to teach our kids about love, respect, and empathy from an early age, and these stamps represent that well. While I love to color, I rarely color people because coloring skin tones is very difficult for me, so this was a challenge. But I am so happy with the final result! I stamped the sweet image of the two girls hugging in Intensified Black Ink and colored with a wide variety of Copic markers. After stamping, I left the panel in my MISTI so I could stamp over it again once I finished coloring. This helps to give that dark, crisp black line to make your images pop.

Background. Because I spent so much time coloring, I wanted to keep the background simple to let the adorable girls shine. I stamped the Sun Ray Bold Prints rubber stamp on two pieces of paper. I stamped once on white cardstock and heat embossed with white satin pearl embossing powder. And I stamped a second time on blue cardstock and heat embossed in clear embossing powder. I trimmed the white panel down so it would be a kind of backdrop for my image, but not take up the entire card front.

Final details. For the sentiment, I stamped it in dark blue ink on yellow cardstock and die cut it with a heart from the Nesting Hearts Infinity Die. I also stamped and die cut a couple hearts from the stamp set. Finally, I added some sparkling, silver confetti for a little bling.

Thank you so much for reading and/or commenting. I hope these cards inspired you to check out the Hero Arts Unity Collection and try something new in your cardmaking!

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