30 Days of Found Object Art

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I make art every day. Somedays it’s a quick 5-minute collage. Other days I’ll have an hour to work on a single piece or a few at a time. But at some point every day, I schedule time to do something creative. I credit this habit to the monthly challenges I started in January of 2016. Creativebug was offering a month-long drawing challenge hosted by Lisa Congdon. I love her style and I’ve always wanted to develop a drawing practice so I decided to join in. And for extra accountability, I posted my work on Instagram. It was way outside of my comfort zone and literally made me feel sick to my stomach every time I posted one of my sketches, but eventually, it became more about the practice of creating the drawing than it did the worry of what people would think. I later joined another month-long drawing challenge hosted by Pam Garrison. Then I participated in Index-Card-A-Day (ICAD) hosted by Daisy Yellow where you create something, anything, on an index card every day for the months of June and July. By mid-year, I could feel the habit forming. It was no longer a task on my to-do list, it was something I craved and I couldn’t go to bed without completing my piece for the day – and not because I felt guilty if I didn’t, but because I felt incomplete.

By the end of 2016 I was hooked and decided to step it up a notch. I committed to a 365-day challenge. I’ve added other monthly challenges in throughout 2017 as well, but my daily project has given me something consistent to work on, something that will be there for me every day. The book I’m working in is very small so it doesn’t feel overwhelming to commit to completing a page in it each day. And I didn’t limit myself by giving it a specific theme. I decided I’d simply find something that inspires me each day and use it to create a page and tell a story. This practice has made me more aware of the world around me. I see the little things I used to overlook (like 4-leaf clovers in the park), and I’ve realized that just about anything can provide inspiration, even the junk I find on the ground or the annoying/difficult things that happen in life.

After participating in so many challenges hosted by other artists, I knew that someday I’d like to host my own. So I decided to take that idea for a test spin and in honor of the launch of my Etsy store, I’ll be using the month of November to create 30 Days of Found Object Art. Every day I’ll create a piece of artwork that was inspired by something I found either on my morning walks with Murphy in the park, in a parking lot, at my kids’ schools, or around my house. Some items will be used as tools, others for color or pattern inspiration, and some may become a story starter. There aren’t any prompts for the month, I will simply respond to the “junk” I find throughout the course of my day. I’ll be posting the artwork every day in Instagram and you can find me here or by searching for my account @mrkanthony (there is also a link on the left side of my blog). I’ve completed the first four days and you can see them below.

Day 1:

 

Day 2:

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Day 3:

Day 4:

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I’d love to have you join me! Don’t worry about catching up, you can start any time you like. Just create something inspired by a found object. If you post your work on Instagram, don’t forget to tag me (@mkranthony) and use the hashtag #30daysoffoundobjectart so that I can see your work and follow your journey. And by the end of the month, you’ll have a new habit of looking for inspiration in unexpected places all around you!

Let’s go exploring!

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Opening Day!

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I’m very excited to announce that my Etsy store is officially open for business! I am slowly working on getting it fully stocked, but I do have a variety of my Found Object Creativity Kits available for purchase.

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Each kit contains:

  • A Found Object Creativity Kit Guidebook – a 14-page book that explains how to use the tools in your kit, provides a list of prompts to get you started and explains how to go on your own found art walk and add to your collection
  • A unique assortment of carefully cultivated found objects to ignite your imagination (there is a combination of both natural and man-made objects included)
  • A packet of paper scraps
  • A handmade book from reused materials for note taking and mark-making exploration

Each object in your kit, including the container itself, can be used as an art supply. For example, the jar can be filled with water for painting, the lid can be turned into a paint palette and the envelope with the paper scraps can be glued into your journal to hold treasures you collect on your own found art walk.

You can click here to visit the store or you can search on Etsy for the store name: TheFoundArtWalk.  I have more items that will be listed soon so check back for updates!

Join me Monday at the Minnesota Center for Books Arts!

I’m excited to share that I will be the guest speaker on Monday, July 17th at the monthly meeting for the Visual Journaling Collective at the Minnesota Center for Books Arts. I’ll be sharing my story about The Found Art Walk, my passion for using found objects in my work and my current project: The Found Object Creativity Kits (if you’ve been following along on Instagram, then you may have heard about these. If not, I’ll be making an announcement here soon so stay tuned!) I will also be bringing a portion of my collection of found objects for people to try out. Bring your own journal to work in and I’ll provide the objects, paint and other tools. There is no cost for the meeting, it is free and open to the public (adults only, sorry, no children are allowed at these meetings). I hope to see you there!

Monday, July 17th
7:00pm – 9:00pm
Minnesota Center for Book Arts
1011 Washington Avenue S., Suite 100
Minneapolis MN 55415

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