The first mixed-medium collage I made inside a shadow box was a custom birthday gift that featured a pineapple. When that fruity-goodness was delivered, I was commissioned to make another -- word of mouth at its finest. The second piece would be a Christmas gift featuring a parachuter.
Wonder Woman herself, Kristen Keane, recently proposed a lovely personal work for her sister's big birthday gift this year. She wanted a relatively small piece that would work hanging or sitting on a desk. Something lively, but not overly flashy. Something featuring a pineapple. *Figure out how to insert cute emoji here.*
Each year, I put together a calendar featuring work I created that year. Each month's feature is made entirely of found objects (my trash). In order to make up for slacking January to August this year, I created each of 2017's features in September. Yep. Knocked out 12 originals in less than four weeks, which means I'll never have an excuse not to complete this project again. In the words of Emeril, BAM.
Every now and then, I'm reminded that sometimes it's best just to put things out into the universe. There are different reasons for this: You need to express yourself. You can't know for sure if you don't ask. You're looking for your tribe. You need to be held accountable. Today, the day I'm supposed to start working on my 2017 TrashCal, I need to be held accountable.
Since I moved from Chicago to Columbus, I've had to work much harder to stay plugged into the local art scene. If I'm being honest, I still haven't been that successful in Columbus. In the meantime, I've been taking advantage of Instagram's Discovery tab. The artists below are doing beautiful work with intense and considerate color.
In the fall of 2009, I started collaging one-of-a-kind postcards using nothing but my everyday garbage. I would take the junk mail from my P.O. box, glue more stuff to it, and drop it back in the mail. Sometimes, the postcards would survive USPS, arriving exactly as I'd sent them. Sometimes, they'd show up missing pieces (I never marked them as hand-sort. The machines didn't really like my work.) Sometimes, they straight up disappeared.
As the last weeks of 2015 zoomed by, I was still hopeful I could make the time to get my 2016 TrashCal done and voiced so much anytime I was asked. This was a mistake in that I had to tell all those folks no when they followed up. Talk about salt in the wound. In the closing days of December, my friend Krissy started joking that I should make and ship each month one at a time. Fun, but not super efficient. This conversation came to mind on Easter morning when I was thinking of flipping the page on my non-trash substitute calendar. What if I could send a fresh calendar page each month without making new physicals?
Two pups? Awesome. Two faces? Hmm... There's a reason that's the last section of piece I finish, literally circling in from the border. Mess that part up and that's it; even pets carry their personality in their eyes. I've never had the pleasure of meeting these two little boys, but they've got enough personality to go around.
I really enjoy being part of the gifting process, so when I finished Moose, I wrapped him up and proudly delivered him for gifting at Christmas. Turns out, the fella he was ordered for was overseas for the holiday. His fiancé has planned to show him the portrait via Skype. When it was time for the big reveal, the recipient was not alone at the other end of the video chat.
In the fall of 2014, I was honored with an invitation to participate in an artist lock-in. What's a lock-in? Well, at the Yellow Springs Arts Council, this is an annual event where three artists are locked in the council's gallery for 72 hours and tasked with creating a one-of-a-kind show.