When in doubt, draw
It is a fact that when I come under stress, I work very hard. However, often what I work very hard at are things that are completely unrelated to the object of my stress. Recently, I have been completely helpless in a bad moving snafu. There is nothing to do but to wait and feel anxious. So this week, I focused my nervous energy on my bedroom lamps. I made many trips back and forth to stores and spent lots of time online looking for just the right one. I couldn't find it, or if I did, it would cost me an arm and a leg. The matter of the lamps took on tremendous, ridiculous importance, when indeed, it mattered not one bit.
Finally, the stress cloud lifted enough for me to realize the obvious. Why not do it myself?
So I did. I took my two, plain, inexpensive but sturdy lamps from Home Depot and gave them a makeover that makes them look exactly like...me. They suit my personality better now than anything I could buy.
I decided I wanted to use late medieval woodblock prints as inspiration for something fantastical, and for the graphic effect they have that would make them suitable in silhouette. I have many casts of medieval monsters that will be hanging in my living room once I move, so I thought to tie it in with that. Once I found prints that suited what I wanted, I scaled them, printed them, attached them to the outside of my shade and then used my light table to help transfer them. I began to draw them on the inside of the shade using a permanent marker. This way, when the lamp is turned off, the image is very unobtrusive. Only when it is turned on will the viewer get a treat.
Drawing on inside of the shade can be tricky, because you have to be careful not to bump the armature. Some shades have deeper wire armatures and will be unsuited for the task, so take a look before you start.
At this point, just draw on as much of the shade as you like. My particular shades had a smooth paper interior (the exterior is cloth). If your shade is all cloth, you could draw on the outside with paint markers. This way, you won't need a lightbox: just use the lightbulb in the lamp when it is turned on. You can, of course, use whichever colors you like. I used black because of its simplicity and because it will suit the decor in my new room.
The finished set of shades are coordinating but not matching. I made one griffin and one unicorn, both in a medieval-style forest. You could finish the look by adding coordinating ribbon along the top and bottom border with some fabric glue, but this is not necessary. The best part about this whole process because I used what I had at hand: total cost, in dollars, to me: $0. Though it did take many hours!
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Hans-My-Hedgehog Illustrations is the name of Jessica Boehman's blog and illustration shop. It is named after her favorite fairy tale about a hedgehog boy who becomes king of the forest. All other pages redirect to: