3D Project How-To

Step 1: Brainstorming. The big question is… How do I translate my 2D project into a 3D project?

  • A lot of brainstorming is involved with this one. If you could envision your 2D project in 3D form what would it look like? Is it doable? Can you continue to expand on your original idea? What do you consider 3D? Can you continue to work outside of your comfort zone?
  • As I looked at my 2D project (above), I wanted to create a giant food sculpture, but then a few thoughts came to mind. Thoughts such as, this may be very expensive, it’s a waste of food, it will rot, how will I create this food sculpture and what will it represent for me?
  • I began looking at food sculpture anyway, like that guy who made Nike sneakers out of sushi, carved food, food glued together into faces. I took the night to sleep on it.
  • I did more research the next day, and then it came to me. A 3D book, like a 3D food journal, but still playing off of my original thoughts and images. But how would I do it? Here is some inspiration I found:
  • Pinterest is the best. Not just for what it offers but the unlimited amount of creative posts on there to inspire new ideas. I’ve taken Book Arts in the past as part of my BFA in printmaking program, but I had never accomplished a 3D book. I’ve done accordion style books, homemade bound books, illustrated books, but never had I attempted a 3D book.

Step 2: Begin your 3D process.

  • Where do you begin? What materials do you need? How will you physically create this?
  • I walked into Michael’s and found myself looking at a ton of different sketchbooks and journals. Ultimately I chose one with blank pages but with heavy cork covers to hold itself open. I opened the book to what felt like the middle and glued all the pages together on both sides.
  • I found two main images to work with, a brain and a mouth. I printed and cut them out around their contour. I traced them on the right top page and the left top page. Using an xacto knife I carved the tracings into the book until I reached the cover on each side.

  • I then colored both sides in with black sharpie to create some depth. Also, if any of the backgrounds were showing, it would be black instead of white.

  • I cut the mouth into separate depths of field. I glued the the dark back of the throat down to the cover.
  • Using a cardboard box or any deliver box, I cut tiny squares to hold up different parts of the mouth. The higher I wanted it, the more squares I added. So the tongue had two squares holding it up, the teeth three and the lips had four. The same went with the food falling into the dark abyss of the mouth.

  • Next was the brain. Using the same previous steps to add black, and cut the brain into different depths of field. This time, I incorporated the rusted gears which required me to cut more of the brain out to show them.
  • I worked back and forth between the two sides of the paper, treating them as two separate projects.
  • I also used real fruit as I originally wanted to, covering the with a thick gloss before gluing them together.
  • When I thought of my last project and using food to paint, I used blackberries this time, with some blueberries to paint with a better stain.
  • Because of the weight I felt on the right side with the mouth and fruit, I kept the left side of the brain more open by just gluing some gears around the image.

The fruit did eventually rot and the book has a lot of mold on it, so it is a temporary piece. However, I am much more satisfied with this outcome than the original 2D project. It was a push out of my comfort zone and a constant lesson learning process.

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