You may recognize these inkblots from my last post. The image on the left looked to me like two teddy bears playing with a ball from the moment I made it. The image on the right, however, originally looked like an angelic figure or winged creature (turned 180°), but when I looked at it again, I saw a canyon carved by water flow. Because the original inkblots were made with glitter-glue, the blue watercolor flowed like water and did not soak into the paper, so it even acted like mountain lakes flowing into a river in a canyon. It was very fun to make.
More Fun With Klecksography
Gobolinks and Blottentots
At the turn of the 19th to 20th century, people expanded on Justin Kerner’s ideas of Klecksography, the art of using inkblots in illustration and created works of their own. Ruth McEnery Stuart turned the creations of inkblots and verse into a game called Gobolinks and John Prosper called the inkblot creatures he created and described in verse, Blottentots. Both of these books of inkblots and verse are now available online through Project Gutenberg.
Project Gutenberg ebooks:
Gobolinks or Shadow Pictures For Young and Old by Ruth McEnery Stuart and Albert Bigelow Paine 1896
Blottentots and How To Make Them by John Prosper Carmel 1907
Inkblots As Story Inspiration
I had a lot of fun creating a bunch of inkblots the other day. One of the great things about inkblots is they are a super-cheap, if not free (you can make them with things you already have in your house) art form and you can make them very quickly.
I did a little experimenting and found porous paper, like regular typing or printing paper works better than thicker paper. So any scrap paper you have lying about is the perfect canvas, and any drippable liquid will do. I used a cheap, hard-disc watercolor set with a lot of water. If you don’t have watercolors, you could use acrylics, or left over house paint. If you don’t have any paint, use mustard and ketchup. Use coffee or tea. Try mud. Why not? Make sure to protect your work area. I rolled out a bunch of butcher paper.
As I made more and more inkblots, my scrap paper got smaller and smaller. I found joy in the black and white blots that were about 2″ X 2″. Many of them looked as if they could combine to become more detailed creatures, so I got out a metal board and some magnets and had some fun.
Looking at all these unique beauties made me ponder the stories they could tell. For those of you who have read Jumpstart Your Novel by Mark Teppo, what about using inkblots to inspire or illustrate your nine boxes?
Or how about using your inkblots to access your subconscious ideas about your hero’s journey? Perhaps in a similar way to, or along with Mapping the Hero’s Journey With Tarot.
You could also use inkblots to inspire setting and character:
Character development: Use your inkblots with your characters like Rorschach tests to explore their psyches.
Group dynamic/ character interaction: Have your characters play a game of Gobolinks.
Since I am having so much fun with inkblots, I hope to find ways that they will help me enjoy my editing and revision process as well. I’ll let you know as soon as I do.
Inkblot: Drip, Splat, and Squish Your Way to Creativity by Margaret Peot
And Just For Fun
As a photographer and a costumer, I imagine many possibilities for The Original Moving Rorschach Inkblot Mask, so I bought one. I should have it in about 10 days and will definitely write a review.