My inspiration for my Upcycling project came from the art collection I started this summer. Driving around Denver I always so there incredible and colorful street art and wanted to explore this aesthetic for a while now. Urban and black communities have expressed themselves through graffiti and street art for a long time and I wanted to explore this nontraditional style in juxtaposition to my trained style from school. For the upcycling portion of the project I decided to make the canvas out of card board and wooden Popsicle sticks, and to use old paint that was going to waste.
The reason I selected street art as the aesthetic is because I’ve always been fascinated by their large scale and vibrant colors. It is something that has captivated me for a long time. I realized there was no way for me to do a large scale painting and be able to bring it in to present it so I am painting on a smaller scale that way it transportable. I will use a color palette that is vibrant and wouldn’t typically be used to paint a person.
The person I have selected to paint is Tracee Ellis Ross. As a black women she was inspired me in many ways. I wanted to focus specifically on black hair and I felt that since she has so many different styles she would have a large variety of selections for me to choose from.
Tracee Ellis Ross:https://www.instagram.com/p/B0kVWYMFtoZ/
This is an early stage of the painting. I had made the canvas out of three cut up cardboard pieces that I hot-glued together. I then spent a lot of time laying out the Popsicle sticks and finally hot-glued them to the boards. I then drew out an outline of the painting and made the background.
This is what the painting looked like half way through the process. I am trying to use rainbow colors that are vibrant which are popular in street art. I
Design Process: finalupcyle
I started with what my inspiration for the project was and was inspired by street art and my idol Tracee Ellis Ross. I then started to plan what object I am going to upcycle and how to make the objects work as a painting canvas. I then started to create the project. Once the project was “done” I then went back to make improvements. If there was an improvement to my design process graphic it would have a lot more plan and improve, as I went back and forth many times.
The original drawing for my painting, as seen above, started out with a soft almost loving expression on the face. As I was painting especially once I got to her hair, I started to reflect on the black community and hair. I’ve seen a lot of stories lately about how kids are being suspended because of their hair and I realized that the painting would catch more attention if her expression was heavy. Her expression holds the weight of her hair being ridiculed in society.
There wasn’t many functional goals in this project as building it was very simple. The artistic goals however I achieved more than what I thought. The artwork connected with people and the color, the texture, and the form of it gave off the street art aesthetic. I don’t want to continue working on this. There is a point with painting that if you keep working on it you’ll ruin it, and I don’t want to get to that point.