Creating The Ocean You Swim In: The Crayola Edition

I’ll kill two birds with one stone this time, The Science and The Art.

First, I’m going to break down how I grow my social circle, because quite a few of my friends ask me how it’s done. Then, I’ll walk you through one of my favorite projects and show you how to pull it off by yourself or with friends. I call it creating the ocean I swim in. Just like an ocean of colors on the canvas, I’ve created an ocean of colorful people who blend together well while keeping their own unique vibrancy.

We all understand that making friends is all about finding common interests, stop being afraid to show people what your interests are. I promise you, there are people who share the same interest, intensity, and insanity that you do about whatever it is you enjoy. Most people are just looking for someone to connect with and build with. Be that person!

The Art!

I lead several social circles but my favorite is the one that’s just me getting my friends together to meet new people to do odd stuff. If you’ve tooled around my web page, you know I have a wide and eclectic set of interests. Quite a few of my friends tell me they first heard of me as “That guy who_____!” As such, I have cultivated groups of friends to go along with each one of my interests. I also help people to develop and expand their circles professionally, and even more importantly, privately. It’s an art that I have learned and one that I have successfully passed on. Now, I want to share with you. Hat Tip to Mike from Danger And Play, he also talks about being “That Guy” in his This Article about making friends.

This is how I get it done:

I find something I like to do or want to try, not something others suggested or that is currently trendy. I do everything from Blacksmithing to Crayola Art with a huge range of interests in between. I have never hosted an event without the back up plan of being able to enjoy whatever it is that I suggested ALL BY MYSELF if no one shows up. However, I have never, ever had that happen. People come out and try new things with me all the time.

Call, DO NOT TEXT, CALL the people you want to get together with and say “Hey! I’m having people over to do (insert odd thing) at (hopefully your house/apt) on (Date) at (Time). You (and possibly your man/woman/husband/wife) interested?” Texting takes all the steam and excitement out of an invitation. You can text as a follow-up, and a reminder the day before. Just don’t use it as a way to initiate communication. I have to drill this same idea into some of the guys who ask for advice on talking to women more effectively. Don’t give yourself an easy way out. Lot’s of people will say yes and sound like it, but some will reject the idea. That’s OK! Better to have a small, handful of people together having fun and exploring something new than a bunch of people draining the life out of the atmosphere with negativity.

I prep by spending $20 at the Dollar Store:

~ 2 full sugar 3 – liter sodas.
~ 2 diet/sugar free 3-liter sodas.
~ 2 packs of hot dogs.
~ 2-3 packs of buns.
~ Ketchup and mustard.
~ 2 big bags of potato chips.
~ Dip and Salsa.
~ 2 big bags of candy.
~ 2 bags of disposable plastic cups.
~ If anyone asks what they can bring, tell them to grab a cheap pizza and whatever they would want to drink.

The Science!

Arts & Crafts: The Crayola EditionCrayola Art or just plain crayon art isn’t what I thought it was when I first saw it. If you want to see what people who spent enough time to perfect the craft can produce, check these out on ETSY! I come from a line of artists, but I can’t draw a straight line. My handwriting is so bad that more than one teacher in school accused me of writing my homework with my feet! Still, when I discovered Crayola Art I found a way to have fun and make some pretty impressive work. Here is a picture of my first, before I picked up a frame from the Dollar Store and hung it on my wall. In a black frame, on a wall, even my mediocre (at best) Crayola Art draws attention and praise. There are countless ways to do it; I mainly use the “hot glue gun”. It’s slower so I have more control.

From the Dollar Store I buy:

~ At least big 3 boxes of crayons.

~ 3 sheets of thick, black construction paper, they are usually 4 for $1. The kind we use to make posters with in grade school.

~ Two black picture frames, different sizes.

~ 2 of the cheapest hot glue guns I can find. The glue guns you will only buy once. One won’t work, because they are Dollar Store quality.  If they both do work you can alternate them when you work because they automatically turn off when they get too hot. The dollar store usually has them.

Before I leave the store, I make sure that the crayons can fir into the hole in the back of the glue gun. Usually, any standard since crayon will. When I get home, I dump all the crayons into a sink full of cold soapy water right before I go to bed. The next day, the labels just slide off. It’s far easier than having to sit down and peel each label.

Before I get started, I put newspaper on the table to catch the dripping. The good news is that the drippings are easy to peel off if it’s on a glass table. It tends to sink into wood. I plug in two glue guns and put them on a glass plate as they warm up.

Then I put the picture frames on the construction paper and cut out the shapes with a ½ inch margin all the way around. I like for my art to go all the way to the edges, and then be trimmed back when I put it into the picture frame. I like the effect. By the time I am done trimming, I am ready to get started.

It’s exactly what you think it is. I slowly push the crayon into the back of the glue gun, it melts and lets me pour or drip the crayon onto the paper. I can increase or decrease the flow by pulling back or pushing slightly harder. Remember, you can’t push too hard or it will jam and not melt before it’s forced out of the tip. When I am done with one color, I put it on the plate to let the last of the last color drain out as I use the other gun to start a different color. Rather, I would if I cared about the end of one color mixing with the beginning of the next. I just use one glue gun.

Some people use paintbrushes, stencils, any anything else that they can pull shapes from. Once you Google Crayola Art you’ll be hit with tons of options. I’m working on a set of small metal cups or spoons with tiny holes of various sizes to drip wax through for a more varied effect. The wax dries in a few minutes, I always check to make sure before I put it in the frame and cut it out.

BONUS: I don’t invent the color schemes I use. I have plenty of artist friends who suggest 2, 4, even 4 color combinations for me. Still I also use web pages like these for ideas.

http://paletton.com , http://www.colorcombos.com , http://www.bhg.com/decorating/color/schemes/ , http://www.colourlovers.com

Actionable intelligence, not abstract ideas!
~WattYusefWateef (AT) Gmail (DOT) com

5 comments

  1. Leo_Wolf

    I woke up this morning and the crayon thing was rattling around in my mind so I hope you don’t mind me asking you a few things about it.

    Along the lines of your Crayola art have you ever tried to melt they crayons and pour it into a mold? Like making a candle, something like this?

    http://www.smooth-on.com/gallery.php?galleryid=198

    If so when it dries does it still have the crayon properties? Based on Wikipedia a crayon is paffrin wax and color pigment but I don’t know if the chemical compounds reformulate. You’ve worked with this in a glue gun so after it dries is it still a crayon?

    I appreciate your opinion.

    Like

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