Making Art with Mia
As a designer, I spend a lot of time on the computer typesetting to perfection, and creating engaging layouts and experiences for users. But most of my thinking and design solutions comes well before I start on the computer. It’s when I’m sketching and laying out my ideas with pen and paper that my thoughts make sense.
But it’s been some time since I actually sat down and did something artistically for myself. So a while back, I spent two afternoons with my little niece, Mia, to create playful pieces using sun sensitive paper.
This sun sensitive paper was purchased at FLAX Art & Design in San Francisco. The blue paper is coated with light-sensitive chemicals, so when exposed to sunlight, will react and turn white. By placing objects on the paper, they block the light and turn white, while the paper around them stays blue until exposed to light. Placing the paper in water stops the process and fixes your images.
For the first afternoon, Mia and I walked around the house, looking for small, flat objects to fill the sun sensitive paper. I chose some leaves, safety pins and my Marc Jacobs key necklace. Placing the objects on the paper and into the frame was simple but the biggest challenge was the sun itself. It was a sunny-with-clouds kind of day, so the sun wasn’t strong enough to jumpstart the chemical reaction. It took approximately 4 hours to completely expose my piece.
The next afternoon, Mia chose her objects which included a leaf, some coins, a dress magnet, yarn, and a terrier barrette. She carefully placed her objects and we set it down for sun exposure. For Mia’s piece, the exposure time was about 1.5 hours, since the sun was out in full force.
She was anxious and super excited to see her results. I think her smile really sums up her experience.
It was a simple but really fun activity to do with my niece; I loved every minute of it. It was nice to step away from the computer and I’d love to continue making art with my nieces. Now the only thing I need to decide is where I should place her piece in my new place.
(Images by: Jessica Hoang)