Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Upcycle Your Mail

junk mail, gesso, watercolor, sharpie, charcoal, twine

Upcycling is really big in art right now, 
so what better thing to reuse then junk mail!
Mixed Media Artist and Illustrator Carla Sonheim offered this project as an online class that I took two summers ago so that I could share it with my students.
The kids love learning the technique and their results are quite spectacular.
So let's have a look see.

Nathan Chong
We are starting off with senior Nathan Chong's book.
If you look closely at the paper in the upper right corner you can see the advertising text 
under his paint layer which I feel adds so much texture and interest to these books.
The kids were required to work to a theme.
Obviously Nathan's was Death.
As we open his book you can see that Nathan is a wonderful illustrator himself.
As I'm taking you page by page notice his cut out area
 and how when you turn the smaller piece you have another surprise waiting for you
 on the left and  underneath.
And below we see his back cover.

Elias Rodriquez
Sadly junior Elias Rodriquez ran out of time and didn't get a chance to finish his book,
but he had such a strong start that I wanted you to see it anyways.
Elias was profiled in yesterday's post
 and as you can see his theme is pretty morbid
which is a main topic in most of his art.
I see another of his self-portraits coming to life on this page.
I really like all the different size pages he's working with,
and how he's allowing for ripped edges.
Really works with his theme.

Jonathan Hsu
I don't know why all these boys ar so obsessed with death and these dark themes,
 but I guess it's that age  :)
I believe junior Jonathan Hsu was another who didn't quite get to finish all that he wanted to do in his book,
but again, 
it's so very strong that we must take a peek.
One of the many requirements for the book was that the pages were to interact with the pages on top, blow and to the sides of it.
If you look closely at the pages above and below you can see this happening.
Also note the page above with the flap closed, 
then below with the flap open to reveal more creativity.
Last pages.

Michael Cantu
What I really loved about Michael's book was that he literally took us on a journey,
a fairly dangerous journey.
Throughout his book you can really pick up on the interactive connections as you turn the pages.
If you are wondering how they achieved the great textures on top of the junk mail,
they first gessoed each page
 then watercolored over top.
Most of them also brought in some Zentangling...
and a little bit of charcoal for some shaded areas.
Below you see a flap open on the right and how much it changes the look of the page from above.
Like I said, a very dangerous journey.

Michael's journey finally begins to end in a more peaceful place.
Check out all those lovely leaves he has gessoed and drawn over above.
And finally his back cover.

Jovani Garcia
Senior Jovani Garcia starts us off with this very gentle bunny...
but with the turning of each page... 
 it gets just a wee bit scarier.
Notice the flap opening on the right?

Are we being lead once again to the "D" word?
Yes indeedy,
from life to death 
 once again  :)

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