So I’ve been working out the bugs on a new invention. I’m a creative sort. I guess you could say I’m a sort of ‘inventor artist’. Those of you who have followed me for a while have seen the various experiments and creations I’ve tried. Hardly any of them earned themselves out, but it’s all been fun and satisfying. But nothing so far has compared to the satisfaction of working with my local pigments. I’m still experimenting, finding ways to use incredible connections to nature and art.
I like coming up with solutions to problems, or create things I’d like to have if they don’t exist, or make them for myself if they do and I just can’t afford them. And sometimes the thing just needs to be improved upon a little in order to be as practical as I’d like it to be.
The whole point of the watercolor travel kit is to be able to work in a small space on the go. I want to be able to throw the box in my purse (if my purse is big enough!) or backpack. Or pack it in my luggage and not sacrifice too much space.
My current creation is an improvement over a smaller, similar thing I’ve made. Watercolor travel kits. The one I’m working the bugs out of now is both practical AND beautiful. It ties together my love for art, painting, and making paints. And I thought I had it all figured out and had patted my inventor artist self on the back. I was almost ready to unveil it to the world.
Working out the Bugs
Then last night as I was drifting off to sleep, a disturbing thought occurred to me. There’s no way for the user to reach the paints inside if the cover is closed while you’re painting the painting… Drats! (and all the other comic character curse words). What an awful time to think of something like that. Not just because I thought I might get some sleep, but why when I thought it was done? I had a way to affix the paper to the cover to use the cover as the surface. But I forgot about the paints. You could just take the paints off the magnets and use them like that, but what about the water? You’d pretty much need to empty the box to do a painting.
If I’m working in a tight space, I don’t want to have to take everything out of the box just to use it.
Putting on the Inventor Artist Hat
So back to the drawing board. Not quite to square one, thank goodness, but definitely a dilemma. More work needed before this inventor artist could say she was done working out the bugs.
I did come up with a solution, and it feels rather ingenious if I say so myself. I just wish I had thought of it earlier so I could have done a better job of arranging things to accommodate it. On the next box I’ll see if there’s a better way to do that.
Here’s what I did to solve the problem. Now there is an easel and a cut to size foam core included in the paper pocket. You’ll attach the paper to the foam-core and use the rubber band to attach that to the easel if it’s windy where you’re using it. Now the box can stay open, where the water and paints are accessible, and the whole assembly is more practical.
Want to Get One of these Watercolor Travel Boxes?
No outsourcing mass production here, except for the unfinished box, brush, easel, and blank paper. See below if you’re an inventive creator, though. I would outsource handcrafted alternatives for those things included in this box aside from the artwork and paints, which are my own. Doing so would raise the price on the item considerably, though, so I may continue to offer both “the more affordable” (which I realize is still on the expensive end at $150) and “the collector’s edition”.
Calling other Inventor Artists
Do you ever make the things you don’t have but wished you did? I have to say I get a lot of satisfaction out of being an inventor artist, too, and from working the bugs out of my inventions. At least when they work. If you’re an inventor/creator who makes things that might go well with my creations, get in touch! I’d love to include handcrafted brushes or papers in these boxes.
Artist Feedback Wanted
If you are an artist who uses travel sets, if someone were to give you one of these as a gift, what would you have liked to have seen done differently? I plan to make some configurations with less ‘other stuff’ and more paints, but the idea with this one is to be able to create art anywhere you are without having to haul anything other than this box with you. Within that realm, suggestions are welcomed!
Madison Woods is a self-taught artist who moved to the Ozarks from south Louisiana in 2005. In 2018 she began experimenting with watercolor painting, using her local pigments. She calls them Paleo Paints, and her artwork features exclusively the lightfast pigments foraged from Madison county, Arkansas. Her inspiration is nature – the beauty, and the inherent cycle of life and death, destruction and regeneration.
Her online portfolio is at www.MadisonWoods.art.
Click here to join her mailing list.
International customers: If you’re outside the US and would like to place an order, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll send you an invoice that includes shipping.