Questionable Things – Mixed Media Tag

This is one of the mixed media tags for a backer’s reward of Curator Prime’s Mystery Art Envelope Kickstarter project. The backer has graciously given permission to share the creative and practical process that created their custom art.

One of the backers “Likes” on their survey response was science fiction, so Curator Prime chose that as the theme and began to play with colors for the background.

Using Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads, specifically Shaded Lilac and Faded Jeans, Curator Prime wiped some of the ink onto her Ranger Inkssentials Craft Sheet (which truly is as amazing as everyone says). Water was added by a few pumps from a small spritz bottle.


The inks were mixed with the water, and a bit with each other. The tag, a Ranger #8 (6.25″ x 3.25″), was dragged around which resulted in the following:


As Curator Prime has learned, mixed media is very much about layers, and while the current state of the tag was interesting, it could be more interesting. Therefore, adding a bit of Picked Raspberry became this:


A bit of Broken China tapped onto the tag with a paint brush became this:


And some Walnut Stain smudged on with Curator Prime’s finger became this:


A touch more Faded Jeans, and the background was considered completed:


Now it was time to add some elements for the theme of science fiction. Part of the money raised by the Kickstarter project was used to purchase new art supplies, one of which was a lovely circuit board-ish stencil from the local craft store. Barn Door ink was used to apply the pattern in strategic places …


… AKA I-think-this-would-look-cool-over-here.


Circuitry brought to mind computers, which lead to artificial intelligence, which wandered off in search of androids (robots that look like humans), and actually found cyborgs (a “cybernetic organism” that has both organic and machine parts).  Thus the vintage image of anatomical human heart was an entirely appropriate design element to add. This particular heart came from the Architextures™ Parchment Rub-On – Live created by Seven Gypsies.

As it is a transfer, the image appears to be backward …


… until placed where it was to go, with the print-side on the tag.  And cut in half, because cyborg, not human. A bone folder was rubbed across the transfer paper to move the heart image onto the tag.


Not all of the heart imaged transferred. This could be considered a philosophical point, regarding how much organic material need a mechanical being contain to be considered living? Or it could be a factor of Curator Prime not burnishing hard enough on the back of the image, but liking the result enough not to mess with it any more.


Additional circuit stenciling was added over the heart to balance out the design.


Feeling the need for a touch of contrasting color, Mustard Seed snowflakes were added via a wooden block stamp.


Feeling the need for a few more details, Faded Jeans numbers were added via a stencil to the top and bottom of the tag, as well as some hard edges of color.


Curator Prime contemplated the result, and was pleased … though that slightly higher-than-center area called out to have something added.


Having refined the theme from science fiction to cyborgs, Curator Prime got specific, and decided to finish out the art with an homage to Blade Runner‘s replicants by pulling a quote from Roy Batty’s monologue at the end of the movie.

An interesting font was sourced and the text printed out on copy paper via a laser printer. Pumice Stone ink was wiped on to color the background.


To reinforce the nature of those “questionable things,” a Barn Door red finger print was added.


Curator Prime torn the edges of the text and added the focal point to the tag, created the finished result:


Which looks far more intentional then when she started with the plain manila tag. But thus it is with mixed media projects, an aspect Curator Prime is finding most intriguing and enjoyable.



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