Make Art That Sells (A): Wall Art

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Last week was the 4th week of my Make Art That Sells class: Wall Art.

THE MINI
The topic was “Scavenger Hunt”. Lilla wanted us to hunt for random things that follows a very specific color palette. Your palette is assigned based on your horoscope sign. I am a Pisces, so I got pink and purple. We are allowed to find an unlimited number of neutrals, blacks and whites. She also told us to get glue.

It was one tough week for me. With a mini like that, we would probably be asked to do a collage. I have not done a collage since my freshman year in college 15+ years ago. I am more of a designer and I have never seen myself as an artist, so this was way outside of my comfort zone. Not to mention I have not got much in my assigned palette.

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Left: Interesting artifacts from my “scavenger hunt” in “haunted” antique stores.
Right: Me painting over an old canvas using my easel. This has not happened for at least 5-7 years. Only my 2-year old uses my easel now.

I went to multiple places to look for my pink and purple. I first went to a few antique shops that I always wanted to check out but never had a reason to stop by. Oh boy that experience really creeped me out. Some areas of the stores felt haunted and had this strange energy in specific sections, but that’s another topic for another day!

Then I went to Hobby Lobby, a arts and crafts store similar to Michaels, but they got fabric and a lot of other things. I raid their clearance aisle, and spent $8.5 and got pretty good stuff. I got some textured paper, flowers and doily thingies, ribbons, and even some purple lace fabric.

At home I had some pink paper umbrellas that I kept from drinks, and my son’s “painting” he did from daycare. I painted more textures using my undried acrylic tubes from college. I painted over an old 24″x24″ canvas that I had for years with an ugly painting that I made and didn’t like. I also painted on cardboard boxes and the back of the canvas. Then I made some more foliage patterns and lines using watercolor.

MAIN ASSIGNMENT
We were asked to create an ABSTRACT, COLLAGE style piece that is 24″x24″ or 36″x36. This will either be for ourselves or a gift for a friend. The requirement was to have at least one floral element, one word or quote, some geometrical shapes, organic shapes, and linear line elements. We can do it traditionally with scissors and glue, or we have an option to do it digitally.

Little did I know, ABSTRACT and COLLAGE are two words that I found very scary. I LOVE abstract, modern art, I just don’t know what to do with it when I need to do one. Needless to say, I chickened and went with digital. If it were 2 pieces of 8×8, I may actually tried with traditional, but 24″x24″ was too much for me.

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Lilla gave us very helpful suggestions. Without revealing too much, one of them was to first sketch out a basic idea of what our final collage looks like. I always felt like I have so much to do and no time. I wanted to create a world that says “Rest, you’ve earned it”. So when I sit in my studio and stare at it, I would feel rested.

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Top two images are art from Rex Ray.
Bottom two images are art by Betsy Walton, an artist I stumbled upon via pinterest.

Lilla gave us many many great artists reference but I looked for inspiration myself too. Some of our classmates pointed me to look at Rex Ray, a graphic designer turned collage artist. This video that one of our classmates posted truly blew my mind. I also went to pinterest and stumbled upon Betsy Walton‘s work. I love how she used paint and pencils together to create a beautiful abstract world.

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This was what I submitted at the end. My quote changed to “I am going to daydream today”. “Rest” maybe more passive, while “Daydream” can be very fun and vibrant, which works better for my original design. Not to mention “Daydream” is just a more active form of resting. So I am cool with that on my wall too!

MY THOUGHTS
I sound like such a brat, but I wasn’t happy with this piece. While I love my chair, the coffee, the buddha and the paper planes, it is not quite working as a whole. There maybe too much going on with many little things shattered around. I love the concept but I don’t love the execution. I guess I just got paralyzed when I read the original assignment “Abstract” and “Collage”. I think I could have done a better job if I wasn’t so scared. I also couldn’t shake the feeling that I cheated – most of the people in the class did a traditional collage with paper and clue, and the end result was beautiful: very authentic, passionate, and emotional, and I was in awe just browsing the gallery. I just felt I slacked off and didn’t deliver.

I love the pace of MATS (A), and I can’t believe it is coming to an end in a week. I am just so happy that I will have five portfolio pieces by next week so I am getting closer to my dream of getting into this business of illustration and art licensing. We are in the “Gift” week this week – more to come!

 

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