I have been looking at Australian aboriginal art a lot lately. I find its strong form and abstract storytelling absolutely fascinating. After admiring Mitjili Napurrula‘s stark paintings, I thought I ‘d try to make a stamp inspired by her work.

Using the foam pad method, I drew some shapes on a piece of paper, then rubbed it off on a foam pad and cut around two pieces. I glued them on the first transparent plastic piece I found (an old box of sewing supplies kit — I knew I ‘d find a use for it!), and tested it on some flannel fabric that was laying around. Despite the rather furry surface of the fabric, the paint transferred well enough.

Encouraged, I stamped some more on a plain red zippered pouch I ‘d made a while ago that was waiting to be stamped whenever inspiration came.

This time, the fabric was a bit too rough and dark, and the result is more subtle than stark, but I still like it.

In general, I am very happy with the process and the result. I do feel odd at how similar it all is to my original inspiration, though. Obviously, I do not intend to make any financial profit out of my silly experiments in basic stamping, but still… where does flattery end and what you left is just copying? Would it be unethical to use these stamps again, perhaps in making gifts? Professional artists, please advise!

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