Art is...

One of my favourite things about selling on Etsy is getting messages from people saying that they love what they see in my shop, and asking whether I can create a special customised item for them.

This is when I begin to get inspired! My 3D letter T made from a Dublin Map was recently featured in Etsy’s blog, The Storque, and my 3D letter S made from a book page made it to the Etsy front page as part of a lovely collection of bookish items.These two happy occurrences have brought some great enquiries such as: “Would it be possible to get a letter made from a London Map?” (Certainly! Would you like a regular street map or a tube map?), “Do you have any maps of Egypt?” (Yes! Would you like ancient Egypt or modern?), “Could you make table numbers for my wedding?” (I could, and I’d love to! Tell me a little bit about you and your fiancé, places you’ve travelled etc and I’ll customise them), “Can you make the letters larger? (Yes, up to about 21.6 cm (8.5 inches) tall).One very exciting commission was from Ali of Three Stories Artspace in Victoria, Australia.

She told me that “Three Stories is a gallery, artist space, cafe and all things creative.” It has an environmentally friendly philosophy so she asked me to make letters from recycled materials such as art books & magazines spelling out the words ‘ART IS A VERB’.

The more I thought about it the more I loved this phrase! Ringing in my head from somewhere back in the mists of my time in primary school were the words “a verb is a ‘doing’ word”, so I set about finding lots of interesting images of different kinds of art, sculpture, painting, photography, installations, land art etc that would show as many different creative processes as possible.

I had an art auction catalogue that had plenty of different styles of painting with some great full page pictures.

A rummage in a pile of magazines in a charity shop yielded a stash of New Yorker magazines with some gorgeous artwork on the covers (my favourite became the letter T in ART).

Before I knew it my Mum was involved, flicking through architecture and design magazines and dropping off little stacks of interesting pages at my desk! When all the letters were finished I brought them out to the park to photograph them.

I thought they’d look interesting hanging from a tree...

and the wind thought they’d look interesting backwards, sideways, tangled up...

so that didn’t really work.

Milo thought it would be interesting to wander off and have a look at those rocks over there, and actually, he was right! The photo below was taken just as the sun was setting in Dublin, which means that it was rising in Healesville, Victoria at the Three Spaces Artspace where you can now enjoy a cup of coffee in the cafe and look at the words “ART IS A VERB” while you decide what you are going to do about art, or what sort of art you are going to do!