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Make it Weird! My Mixed Media Sketchbook

I just spent a magical, inspiring, and sometimes delirious, two weeks with a group of art friends for my MFA summer contact period, and I am leaving with a new goal: to make my work more strange. I want to dig up my personality's weird, awkward parts and put them on paper. This was easy to do while surrounded by equally quirky art friends. We riff on each other's ideas, suggest edits and are generally giggly when we're all together.

This group dynamic, coupled with an experimental assignment from artists Martha Rich and Robert Hunt, created the ideal scenario for unleashing the inner art weirdo. The assignment was to find an old children's book at a thrift store and use it as a sketchbook. Rich explained that during a crisis during her grad school experience, she started making sketchbooks this way, and one particular sketchbook became a jumping-off point for the rest of her career. Following her lead along with Hunt, CF Payne, and James Ransome, we took off on a mission to fill one book by the end of the week.

I used materials including cut paper, found text, borrowed quotes, décollage, junk from my car, tiny mirror pieces, mondo llama paint from Target, glitter glue (!), shapes and content from the original book, washi tape, gesso, palette knife, brayer, ultra matte medium, Posca markers, tag sale stickers, scraps from Bon Appetit Magazine, Chunkies tempera paint sticks, and an old list from a game of Scattergories. This process reinforced my natural tendency to keep every little scrap that could possibly be turned into art.

I hope you have fun looking through my book and I hope you make this project for yourself! Enjoy the unexpected combinations that happen when you layer things together. Drop pieces on the paper and glue them down where they fall. Splatter paint. Poke through the page with a skewer. Destroy your favorite part of your creation. Rip, glue, repeat. Then make it one notch weirder.


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