In fact, this is something I have been wanting to blog about but the idea of explaining this creative - if a little odd - endeavor without writing a thousand words has me feeling intimidated.
I have to make a stab at it though, because it’s way too much fun not to share.
If you’re a parent or grandparent you may have heard of the *Flat Stanley Books. Or if you have seen the White House website with photos of Flat Stanley in the oval office or caught Clint Eastwood’s 2005 red carpet appearance with Flat Stanley, a light bulb may be turning on for you.
In any case, what I'm calling the "Get on the Bus" project is just the latest in a series of artists' take-offs of Flat Stanley. We create a small, cardstock weight version of ourselves, adding our photo instead of Stanley's prefab face.
Then after dressing for the occasion, this project involves adding "ourselves" to a specially created traveling book (aka the Bus) which is then sent on to the next artist in the group, who then adds her own flat self and sends the bus on to the next stop.
You may have noted that being flat would be a great advantage when the opportunity to attend a wedding, workshop, birthday or trip to Paris presents itself. Give us a stamp and an envelope and we're there!
Same goes for the bus; how the heck could we all travel to visit everyone's studio spread across the country if it weren't for a little flat magic?
The flat artists idea started small; then grew, adapted and continues to surface in new formats. Flat artists - in colonial costume - came to visit me last Thanksgiving, bringing a number of flat turkeys. And in December 2004 an article by Gloria Page about one of our flat artist brain storms was published in Somerset Studio art magazine.
After that exposure, even more fun filled projects popped up including multiple altered book projects, artist trading cards exchanges, and it seems as if the list just grows daily. But wayyyy before that, it had become an almost irresistible activity for artists I work with.
In fact representatives of our group have traveled - in flat format - to Paris, Germany, Hawaii, Bagdad and soon we'll be on our way to Japan. We've gone horseback riding, visited big cities and small towns, pulled off surprise parties, attended glitzy events and backyard picnics.
Being artists of course we can't resist pushing the envelope - pun intended - and when we dress for an event we have been known to add hats, gloves, shoes, bags, pearls and other necessities of life to our flat selves.
When I made flat versions of my adult children for the Somerset article each of course had to have special bags/duffles/totes because otherwise where would they put their cel phones?
If you'd like to jump into the mix and make a flat version of yourself you can see the official website for the standard "Stanley" template or download my adaptation here.
Add your face, do some creative figure altering with your favorite scissors and add garb of one sort or another and voila' a flat YOU! I'd love to see what you create.
Note: Gorgeous and high quality rubber stamps for Flat Stanley-esque projects are among those offered by OnyxXpressions
*The Flat Stanley Book Series by Jeff Brown has become a huge educational boon, encouraging kids to read, write and think creatively. They send Flat Stanley to other people who take photos of him doing different interesting things. Then Stanley and his photo-journal gets returned to his home base. Flat Stanley has been on every continent and it is entertainingly documented on an ongoing basis.