When last I posted about the utility box wraps project I am working on, I was on my way to the meeting of the neighborhood advisory group for their approval on my designs. They loved them! (Thank goodness!) So I can share a little more about them now that we have made it past that step.
I spent several afternoons walking around the neighborhood taking photos of things in the neighborhood: manhole covers, address numbers, bricks, peeling paint, leaves and plants. Then I spent a couple of afternoons at home photographing everyday objects. My idea for this project is that the designs on those utility boxes should be made up of things you might see every day and not notice them. They might be things you have in your house or business. They might be things laying on the sidewalk.
I also looked for texture, like peeling paint and weathered styrofoam, that I could layer on top of designs. I really like to work in layers. And these are some textures from some pretty definitive buildings in the neighborhood: Pratt School, Tierney Bros, the Witch’s Hat Tower, Cupcake. So I wanted to include those as well. I had about 450 photos collected when I got done.
Once I had collected all of these images, I started to make designs. These were the first two I came up with.
The first is made from leaves that I picked up and scanned in patterns, combined with all of the circular objects I had in my photos: wheels, flowers, latte, outlets, yarn, masking tape. The second is a photo of a pink rose with a honeybee. These roses are iconic to me as they grow all over the neighborhood in road medians and they are always full of bees in the summer and fall. I love these patterns, but then I imagined them covering a 4×5 ft box and I thought…. snore. It’s interesting, but it’s not enough to draw people in. It looks like a quilt. Which is beautiful, but not exactly exciting. And it seems cliche. I am usually a fabric artist and what do I design when I get a chance to do something a little unusual? A quilt. Argh. It just wasn’t working for me. It was definitely a love-hate relationship that struggled with for days until I had an idea. But that idea is a story for another post.