January 26, 2012

✥ Matthew Heller Art Knock Off ✥

I saw the pic below ages ago, probably last Spring right when I began blogging. I adore the silvery letters, the classic look of the typography. 
From the moment I saw it I knew it was meant to sit over my couch, like from before I had even bought our new sectional. I also knew I just had to put "our song" on it, "Bubble Toes" by Jack Johnson. That was before I knew the name of the art- it's "Homage to Music" check it out m-kay, Matthew Heller and I are on the same wavelength for this one. Oh- and in case you were wondering, Molly Sim's has Heaven by Bryan Adams.
And here's a pic of the same piece from the artist's {Matthew Heller} website.
I like the pic from Molly Sim's home a lot more- the words look much softer and purpley- probably from photo editing or maybe the lighting in the room- but whatever the case I dig it.

This project was a real pain the buttocks. Like serious. I don't think I would ever do it again, well, maybe I would BUT NOT the way I did the first time.
Here's how it went down.
1] I scored a super large "piece of art" many moons ago at the close of a yard sale. Yes, sometimes being the last stragglers into a yard sale can score ya a massive piece of original Santa Fe art {and the before pic seems to be MIA, since I took it a million years ago last summer!}

2] Have it sit in your spare bedroom/office/"trash pit for projects" for months while you decide what color the frame will be. Prime the frame and the whole painting to cover the Santa Fe-ness. Wait an inordinate amount of time, decide on oil-rubbed bronze and finally spray paint the sucker during a wind storm off your third floor balcony.
{3rd floor balcony and wind storm optional, in fact- avoid them if at all possible.}
3] Because I was repurposing this canvas I had to level out some of the crazy shrubs painted at the bottom. The artist had built up the paint and it stuck up off the frame at least 2mm. First, I sanded down the most prominent areas.
Then, I mixed paint and Blended Fibers Texture Gel to create a thicker paint, looking more like putty, to level out the texture a bit. I painted on layers of this mixture until I was left with a texture I thought would work for my new piece.
Then I used plain old white paint for the entire background.

4] Format the text to your song on Microsoft Word, I used Publisher. I measured my frame, then set up a text box in the same length width ratio. For example, if you frame is 24 in. by 36 in. then you would want the text box to be in a 2:3 ratio, so you could make the box 2" by 3" or more realistically 6" by 9".

5] Copy the text you've picked into your box and change the "Alignment and Spacing" so the text fills the line.

6] Print'er up- You all know I use Staples to print cuz they're cheap yo! This print cost me $3.40.
7] I use spray adhesive to attach the print up to contact paper- you know the shelf liner that comes on a roll. I bought the cheapest kind- it was like 3-4 bucks. If you spray the back of your paper, then spray the front of the plastic, then wait for a minute or two, they will be stuck together permanently!

8] Now you need to make a stencil- this is the part that super sucked. I used my Exacto knife and several refills blades to cut the letters out.
To be honest, I thought about buying a Cricket or Silhouette for this project. I thought if there were ever a project to make the buy worth it, this would've been it. But then my crazy type A personality kicked in and I was all, hey if I cut the letters out I wont' have to worry about spacing of the letters or letters not being perfectly straight. And then I thought- I can do this, who needs a fancy schmancy machine? Answer. I do, or I did.

9] The good news is- once the letters were cut out I was able peel off the backing to the shelf liner and attach my stencil to the canvas. Use a credit card or something like it to rub all over the stencil, making sure it adheres well. I had good adhesion everywhere except where there was still lot of texture.

10] I mixed versions of silver paint and painted the letters the darkest at the bottom and lightest at the top. I added a few drops of purple paint, cause remember, I was looking for a result more like Molly Sim's room.
Here's the stencil coming off-
Then the after shot-

I decided I'm not really good with random. If I copied my inspiration piece and used darker paint randomly in places my mind would constantly be looking for a pattern in the dark and light paint. So  a ombre color pallet makes a lot more sense for me.

So there you have it.
If I was to do it again, I would def use vinyl lettering cut by a machine or if not that, then plain old stencils. This project was craaazy long- but, it's good to know you can make your own stencils using contact paper, right?- Even stencils that are as complicated as this one.

Molly Sims' art piece, Heaven, measured 48” by 80”. My homemade art is 40" by 50". I would've liked it to be a little wider- but no worries, I  think it fills the space.

So that's how you do it- if you're crazy type-A and decide you want your very own copy of a super duper famous and expensive art piece.
What have you made lately?