My youngest daughter, Hannah, recently had her 21st Birthday; so it gave me pause as to how I would celebrate with her creating a visual like I've done for the past 11 years. But I found that my circumstances had changed a bit since I did the last one (no color printer and not as much time to prepare).
Over the years as I've created these birthday collages (you can read more about The Birthday Wall here) the approach has morphed and changed to reflect their age, their interests and my approach to my presentation.
What started with a glorified birthday banner (which you can read about in my e-book, The Birthday Wall: Create a Collage to Celebrate Your Child), moved into a full 3 foot by 3 foot space on their bedroom wall to showcase their interests and their personality in full color; then I got a bit more creative. Last year I used a manila file folder, covered in gesso primer, and then created a layered collage that looked similar to my art journaling process for my eldest daughter, Sarah's 23rd birthday.
Then I decided to use a binder notebook for Hannah's birthday last year when she turned 20, which I share about here. Many pages with layered colored construction paper and images later, she had her Birthday Binder.
But this year, I decided I didn't want to use any past approaches, since I am also dabbling with some super FUN art forms, including doodling, which is essentially playing around with black pen, Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers and creating illustrated designs with words, phrases and objects. So after thinking on it a bit, I decided to create what I eventually called an Illustrated Birthday Doodle.
I used one sheet of acid-free card stock paper in a neutral color and a waterproof black Uniball pen and Winsor Newton Watercolor Markers. I decided on a layout that would work with her name, Hannah Joy, her new age of 21, plus various favorites from song lyrics to foods to hobbies. I also included important memberships to organizations, her college related info and her website, byhannahjoy.com, which is The Stressed Out College Student's Destination.
I must say that I had a lot of fun creating this gift for Hannah; I love drawing and creating illustrations without too much planning ahead of time; the entire process was intuitive and I just went with the flow. Hannah considers it a grown-up version of The Birthday Wall, so that's makes it the perfect gift for her right now.
And that leaves me content and satisfied as we celebrate Hannah's 21st birthday and her year ahead.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Birthday Images by Dawn Herring
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.