While growing up, my sister and I kept busy by creating all kinds of art projects. Accustomed to drawing, I chose an art degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. I worked at a hospital as a medical illustrator for a few years. When Danny and I were married in 1987, I drew our first Christmas card which started a family tradition. They never took more than a day. I dashed off to the printer and picked them up when they were done.
Last year’s card. They were a piece of cake compared to this year’s.
What started out as a simple illustration has become a complicated marathon. It all started a couple of years ago, when I paged through Robert Sabuda‘s Christmas pop-up books. I stared in wonder at the amazing crafted paper which transformed into 3-d objects before my eyes. The BRILLIANT idea of creating a moving card was born.
How does he do it?
This year, I searched for inspiration in Sabuda’s books once again. I found two pages that popped up and spun. After five hours of studying and trying to copy the paper mechanism that created spin in the book, I had a breakdown. The stupid thing wouldn’t turn.
Deconstructing Sabuda. I finally pulled off the circular part to examine the folds underneath.
Instead of wasting more time, I drew the illustration. It only took two hours. I considered printing the card without the pop-up, but something deep down inside screamed, “Don’t give up now! It will be so cool if it works!” I tried to shut the little voice up, strangle it really, but it kept getting louder. I attempted to create the mechanism with heavier card stock. It worked! It was a gift and a curse.
After nearly fifty fun-filled hours of printing, cutting, and pasting, the cards are finished. The small quarter turn I worked so hard to create, may not even be noticed when opening up the card. Oh well… I know it’s there.
I’m not sure whether it’s determination or stubbornness that won’t let me give up on an idea. Once I visualize a project, I feel compelled to complete it. When I consider the alternative, it feels like defeat.
Doesn’t compelled sound similar to compulsive? I looked it up: “Compulsion is the state of being compelled. The irresistible impulse to act, regardless of the irrationality of the motivation. “ Well, there you go.
I made it to the finish line exhausted, but happy. Next year I promise to keep it simple and sprint through the project. Yeah. Right.
Guess what my family is doing in this year’s Christmas card and I’ll send you one! The more specific the better. If there are more than three winners, I will draw names.
Have you ever felt compelled to do something irrational?