A couple months ago, an old high school classmate and I discussed doing an art trade. I really wanted one of his photographs of Tucson for my walls and instead of hashing out a price, we decided to trade for it. He told me some of his interests and I follow him on tumblr so even though I don't know him well, I was able to understand his aesthetic and interests at at least a basic level.
After school ended, I was able to devote some time to actually drawing. Everything I made looked terrible though. Aubrey Plaza's face is so hard to draw, I just couldn't replicate her beauty and attitude. After scrapping some ideas, I ended up watching a Steve Buscemi movie, Living in Oblivion, and I began sketching that beautiful face.
My sketches are very primitive and not exciting, but I realized I HAD to draw those Buscemi eyes.
The beginning stages of the portrait.
These are the end results. To the left is a portrait I did of Richie Tenenbaum (process not shown, sorry! But essentially the same.) He is way more wacky and colorful because I thought he needed to be spiced up. To the right is the finished Buscemi! I added the gold leaves because I wanted it to be kind of shrine-like.
I also printed some Winona stickers for him because he really likes her. Everyone seems most impressed with those, but I honestly can't take much credit and I could neverrrr sell them because they aren't drawn by me (just google images that are edited.) I did draw some Winona forever heart stickers. But alas, the attention should be on the art.
Here is all the contents of the package, I wrote a silly handwritten note too explaining the art and thanking him for trading with me.
Now you might be wondering why this looks different than the computer image above. It's a wood transfer. Wood transfers are these really time consuming way to make more one of a kind prints. It's basically attaching a flipped image to wood with gel medium, waiting for it to dry for 24 hours and then peeling away the paper pulp very very slowly.
Here is an in progress shot of the pulp peeling. It's really messy and if you're not patient, you can end up peeling off the ink that's attached. As you can see in the final piece, I opted to have it look a little bit tattered and worn. I ended up using sandpaper to distress it more around edges.
(It is possible to get a fairly perfect wood transfer though! I made this mini portrait, only 2x3 inches!, to sell on Etsy and it turned out really nicely. Patience and luck.)
My favorite thing is mailing packages! First off, the post office has this smell that reminds me of my childhood and really makes me giddy/excited to receive presents (haha.) Secondly, I'm addicted to washi tape and baker's twine and stickers. So so fun making things look pretty!
He ended up really loving his package and that's always such a great feeling! I like when people like what I do and making people happy with something I created is really priceless. Can't wait to get my package from him in the mail so I can frame that photograph. It's so cool, guys! (Follow Emery and his film photography at: emerymott.tumblr.com)
Anyways, if you're interested in Buscemi or Richie Tenenbaum, I am selling mini wood portraits on my Etsy! One has already been sold, but I am in the process of making more so keep checking back! :)
This is a little print I made a while ago (last year?) when I was so stressed out and my friend was going through some hard times. Someone recently mentioned they would love it to hang in their office so I found a perfect frame and sent it off as a little appreciation gift for their support. Yah!