NOTE: Hey folks! This is going to be my submission to the Design Competition. Vote for me if you like what you see!
People who know me would not describe me as "artistic". "Autistic", maybe (don't worry, I'm not, my parents had me tested...jeez, now I feel like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory). Definitely "nerdy". You know what, let's go with "cerebral", since that sounds the least insulting. Yeah, I'm a very "cerebral" person.
Anyway, a few months ago, I noticed the walls in my new apartment were looking kind of bare, so I decided to spruce them up a bit. Being a broke med student, I wanted to make something myself rather than investing the money I don't have in someone else's art, and being decidedly "cerebral", I knew it wouldn't end up being too creative. As I was cruising the Internetz, I stumbled across this awesome piece and got inspired to make my own version. Again, being a broke med student I have very little wall space that is already taken, so I ended up deciding to expand the design to take up the whole blank wall (I also happen to be a huge fan of optical illusions, so I took to this split design particularly well). The end result is the colorful monstrosity you see here.
Step 1: Tape Out the Design
The first step is to gather your canvases and tape out the design (you'll eventually be painting the canvases and removing the tape, leaving the design to be seen in negative). For this piece I used 9 canvases that were each 16"x16" (or something like that) from Utrecht (really cheap, like $6 a piece or so). And yes, being the "cerebral" person I am, I measured out all of the distances to make sure it was all symmetrical. Just remember that pencil marks are insanely difficult to erase from canvas, so when you place your marks, make sure you don't tape over them (so they'll end up covered by paint).
Don't forget to tape all the way over the edges!
Step 2: SPRAY PAINT TIME!!
Some pro life tips for this step:
- Take it outside! Seriously, if you spray paint inside with poor air circulation, you might just die*.
- Remember to lay something down on the sidewalk if that's where you'll be spraying. You'll just ruin the scenery for everyone else, and no one likes a jerk.
- You can do whatever color scheme you like. I was thinking of doing just one color, but being as borderline ADD as I am, I figured it'd be nice to make it a little more interesting (I also like to think of it as a tribute to some of my very good friends in the LGBTQ community :D ). If you decide to do this, use a real color wheel (see below). My first concept sketches looked horrible before I realized that I know less than nothing about color theory.
- I laid out all the canvases and kept them in the order they would eventually be in on my wall. Otherwise I would have lost track and inevitably screwed it up.
Step 3: Line 'em Up and Watch the Magic Happen
Once the paint has dried a bit, remove the tape and reveal your masterpiece! Just be careful, since partially-dried paint tends to stick to itself, and you can get flakes being removed from the adjacent canvas.
Finally, mount the piece on your wall. Since I'm in an apartment, I wanted to make it as transient as possible, so I used those sticky-backed velcro mounting strips, but I'm sure nails or any other form of mounting hardware would work just fine. Just be sure to mount them straight and the same distance from each other, or it'll look funny (like mine does...don't worry, I adjusted them the day after I took these pictures).
Also note that as long as you push the outer canvases outwards correctly, they can be virtually any distance away without breaking the illusion of contiguous squares.
And that's it! Have fun with it! The other pictures show three of the other pieces I've made since this one using basically the same technique (yes, those are Companion Cubes).