If you’re anything like me, you have loads of stamp sets by different designers and different companies. And while you love them all, you usually use the sets on their own – which makes sense because that way you can be sure that everything will go together. Or maybe you tend to use stamps with a similar theme together, such as florals or butterflies. And again, they will thus have a reason to work well together.
But what if you deliberately tried mixing up stamps which do not have anything in common? If you choose carefully, you can achieve some powerful dramatic effects by juxtaposing images with different qualities.
So to begin, think about your stamps in terms of:
1) SHAPES – hard edge or distressed/soft edges, angular or curvy, large or small
2) THEMES – birds, flowers, butterflies, figures, animals, geometric, travel, hearts, and so on
3) STYLE – formal, playful, sketchy, realistic, grungy, modern, vintage
4) DESIGN – background or feature image, lots of solid colour or mostly outline, composite or single image.
Then choose some stamps with different qualities, mix them up, and see how they work together. Do they create visual interest? What new story do they tell?
You do need to choose carefully so as not to create confusion for the viewer with a hodgepodge of random images, so try contrasting just two elements at first such as:
formal damask with contemporary figures
realistic nature elements with grungy textures
hard edged geometric background with soft sketchy florals
solid shapes contrasting with sketchy lines.