It's All About The Art

Sometimes a design project calls for custom artwork, and sometimes a project calls for budget artwork.  A simple solution to either challenge is to make it yourself.  It may sound daunting, but it's actually easy and can be a lot of fun.  Below are some tips.

Supplies:  Inexpensive paints, brushes, and canvases can be found at local craft stores like Michael's.   If you'd like to frame your art with a regular store-bought frame (not a canvas frame, buy flat canvases - they're the least expensive option and often come in packages of three or four.  

Paint Mediums:  Mediums such as gel, stucco, sand, etc., are an inexpensive and fun way to jazz up your art.  Simply mix them in with your paint to give different effects.

Multimedia Projects:  Use a variety of items such as paper, newspaper, beads, plant pieces and leaves, and fabric strips and incorporate it into your art.

Involve the Family:  Make it fun and personal by letting your kids have a go.  Give them a subject or idea to develop into art and see what develops.  Kids make the most exciting abstract art.  One client of ours who has three children wanted some art in her kitchen.  She asked each of them to paint an apple.  She got three completely different images of apples - each child's own interpretation.  Framing each and placing them above the sink together not only makes a cohesive and creative display, but makes her smile every time she looks at them.

Other Options:  If you'd prefer something other than painting, here's a few other ideas.  
  Book Bits:  For a child's nursery or kid's room, find a book with thick, cardboard-like pages with simple graphics, such as animals, drawings, etc.  Find a frame that is approximately 2-4 inches larger than the book page.  Mount it in the center of the frame with double-stick foam tape.  The extra space in the frame acts as your mat,  Deep frames work best and give a gallery-like look.  Mounting multiple pieces from the same book in one area becomes an art display that looks professional and feels cohesive.
  Fabrics & Papers:  If you've got some pretty fabrics or papers, you can frame them as art.  It's a beautiful alternative!  Fabric stores often have small inexpensive pieces of beautiful fabric in front of the large rolls.  Craft stores have fancy papers in the scrapbooking aisles which are inexpensive and beautiful.
  Leaves & Flowers:  First, press under a large heavy book until dry and flat.  For framing, the easiest and most simple solution is to use the board that comes in the back of a frame.  Most are either white or black and are pretty nice, and you can mount them directly to this.  Poster board or cardboard is another option, and you can even cover that with paper or fabric before you place the leaves and flowers.

If you've got any other ideas for making your own art, we'd love to hear about them!