Author: Brianna Jacobs

Wavy Collage

This image began as a still paper collage. Instead of scanning in my collage, I went back to the graphics I had used to create it. Using newhive I was able to layer my collage pieces back together except for the moving mouth. To create the wavy mouth I used MOSH (my favorite) to animate it. I had to go back into Photoshop and to turn it into a graphic asset but in GIF format. I then layered it on top of the rest of my newhive collage. With QuickTime I was able to make a screen recording of my finalized newhive collage and moved it into Photoshop. Since the file was way too big with over 300 image layers, I had to break it down into just 30 and save it as a GIF.

If I were to teach this in the classroom I would encourage my students to begin with their own graphic assets to create a paper collage. From there they could go back and animate one large part of their collage or a few small parts. Though the process is tedious and involves a lot of back and forth between Photoshop and newhive, the outcome is well worth it.

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.

2D Project How-To

Step 1: Choose a topic you are interested in.

  • When choosing a topic, make sure you can expand your topic into different ideas and then expand how it relates to you and your art.
  • For example, when I began my project I knew that I have a history of working with the human figure, but how could I look at it differently than I usually do? I’ve spoken about body image before, but this time I chose to talk about what you can put into your body and how it works.

Step 2: How can you artistically talk about your topic in a 2D form, using methods you may not have experimented with in the past?

  • Do you usually draw with charcoal? Why not experiment drawing with pastel? Do you usually paint with color? Why not experiment painting just black and white? What do you consider 2D?
  • Collage was a method I rarely worked in and decided to give another shot. It was almost too much control than I wanted of my art, I’m used to working loosely with an element of surprise.

For the two images above, I used the positive cut out and began to paste rusted machine gears and junk food onto it. When all the space was covered, I flipped it over and cut along the edge of the original figure.

For the two images above I began to paste clean gears and clean food onto paper underneath the negative of the figure. I had to align the paper first to make sure that the negative would be filled correctly. Then I glued the edges so that it would become one piece.

Step 3: Begin experimenting.

  • How can you expand your idea further? What could you do that relates to your topic and is still out of your normal realm of work?
  • I decided to experiment with spray painting as well as painting with natural food.

In the above images, I used spray paint. I went outside and mixed three colors I had to create a background for my positive figure.

For the negative figure above, I used spinach, blueberries, and strawberries in warm water to create a watercolor paint. The colors came out lighter than I expected so I mixed it with a few watercolors to enhance it.

Step 4: Presentation

  • How will you present your images? On the table? On the wall? On the floor? Outside?
  • For mine, I presented them on the wall side by side almost like a diptych.


Though I was not crazy about my outcomes, pushing myself outside of my comfort zone and experimenting with new methods and materials expanded my range of possibilities. Later on, I realized it was easier to paint with fruits that stain better like blackberries. I may have considered my backgrounds differently or may not have added them at all. Maybe I should have played with opacity with different papers to marry the figure to its background more cohesively. I could not have come up with these better ideas and considerations if I did not experiment in the first place. It gave me a platform to jump off of to create revisions, new outcomes and expand upon my ideas.