Form WITH Function

Is it Friday yet?  Whew, this week with Halloween has been crazy-busy to say the least.  So, I’m going to tell you a little story while I try to unwind from the past few days.

I love anything out of the ordinary.  Things that are one of a kind are just plain cool.  I’m lucky to share this point of view with kids.  Children resonate with unique things.  I think it is partly because  uniqueness shows imagination at work and children, because of their great imaginative abilities, immediately sense a connection.  I remember when I was in the classroom teaching art to Kindergartners and how excited they would get when I introduced a new art technique.  (I knew I had a really cool project planned when they would clap and cheer after the demonstration.)

I love when I get the chance to make something truly out of the ordinary by adding “functional art” to the mix.   What? Why?  Why not?  Sure, one can argue that murals are already useful  as visual works of art in and of themselves.   However,  taking murals to another level by having them serve a utilitarian purpose such as hat racks, clocks, growth charts,  shelving, magnetic play areas , etc.,  becomes art that is interactive and can become yet another playground for the imagination.  Woooohooooo!!!!!

Years ago, I had a client who hired me to paint a mural in her nursery.  She had selected various nursery rhymes as her theme and I needed to create a full room mural showing one rhyme melding into another rhyme.  After I found out her husband was a contractor, I had an idea.  I asked  my client if she would like to have a working clock in the “Hickory Dickory Dock”  portion of the mural.  I explained that if her husband could cut a circular hole in the sheetrock, I can get a wooden battery operated clock face, paint it,  and he could insert it in the wall.  She was very excited!  This is what the end result looked like:

Part of a nursery mural that has a working clock in it.

I had another client whose little boy was going to be a big brother.  She needed something in his new room (He was moving out of the nursery) to make him feel extra special.  My client’s son loved NASCAR.  She wanted to make his big boy room have a NASCAR theme.    Hmmmmm….I asked if she wanted to make part of the room magnetic so he could maybe drive magnetic cars around the room.  SHE LOVED THIS IDEA.  I painted a “border” with numerous coats of magnetic paint.  Just a helpful tip:  The more coats you apply of the magnetic paint, the better chance you have of the magnets  “sticking” onto the surface. (Disclaimer: I used this product in 2006.  Perhaps Rustoleum changed the formula to make it more magnetic.)

I used Rustoleum Magnetic Paint.

I painted over the magnetic paint with blue to make the raceway.  My client made color photocopies of cars and adhered them to magnetic sheets and cut them out.  Needless to say, the “Big Brother to be ” was very excited about his big boy room!

The magnetic raceway is painted in bright blue and runs around the room.

My younger son has a “Monster Jam World Finals” themed room .  (He was pretty specific about what he wanted.  I painted Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada at dusk, with the moon over his bed.  He wanted to fall asleep under the moonlight.)  Where the actual video screen is in the stadium, I installed a TV.

(This room was such an interesting project to do because my son was the decision maker for much of the project.  It was an empowering experience for him.  I’m thinking I’m going to write a blog entry about it!)

Monster Jam World Finals, Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, themed bedroom
Monster Jam World Finals themed room is complete with a real TV.

Really, the bottom line is that ANYTHING can be done.  In art, breaking the rules is recommended and encouraged!  Just do it!!!

Want to add something out of the ordinary to your home or business?  Contact me at (908) 599-2129