Framing Small Art with Big Impact

So, you have purchased a little, teeny, tiny piece of art. It is perfect and everything you have been looking for is rather small. Now what? How do you display this little gem with all the glory it deserves? Believe it or not, small artwork can have a large impact being displayed on the wall. The solution: opt for an oversized mat and frame.

A large mat will give the viewers eye plenty of breathing room around the image. This space draws the eye straight to the art by creating a focal point inside of the frame.

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This is also a great way to make small art fit into ANY space. Maybe the budget doesn't allow for an 18x18in piece of art that would fit perfectly in that 20x20" space, but you can afford a 4x4" piece of art. Don't let the small size of the piece stop you! This framing look could be your best bet. All you have to do is get an 18x18" frame and mat the 4x4" image inside of it. Voila! Perfect fit! Small art in a large space.

Seriously, doesn't this look so chic and expensive!? It is really easy to recreate and is very contemporary. You can also change the style by using a more ornate or distressed frame. This look is very flexible.

Bonus tip: Notice in the second image, it is possible to change the orientation too! The photo of the mountain is horizontal, but the frame is vertical. Again, a great way to really customize your wall according to the space you have available.

Magazine Collages

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the local hospital for Art in the Lobby. I was setup at a table in the hospital waiting room and people could join me in creating art while they waited for their loved ones. My typical mediums were instantly taken off the table (oil paints are too smelly and photography is not possible due to privacy policy) so I turned to something atypical and easy to do, collages.

Collaging is a great way to practice your design skills, create interesting narratives, practice color theory, explore interesting compositions, explore new themes...on and on. A finished collage could also function as a mood board, or inspiration board, for future work you might create! It is great for all ages and does not take an "artistic" person to make one. As long as you can tear paper and use a glue stick, you can collage! 

I was able to get 6-8 magazines from the local Goodwill for a whopping $0.49 each! I went through each page and cut out things that caught my eye. Once I had a stack of imagery, I spread it all out and grouped images/colors that worked well together. Lastly, I arranged a composition and glued down each piece once it was in the perfect spot. Below are the pieces I created while at the hospital. Click to enlarge!

Atomic Age Revisited Catalogue Design

One of the reasons I chose graphic design as a major in college was a slight obsession with book design, art and photography books mostly. I enjoy designing with grids, images, and typography to create an easy-on-the-eyes layout. It is like a giant puzzle where you must put all of the pieces together in just the right place to create a story.

My first job after college was at Marquand Books (now Lucia|Marquand). I was always impressed with the design of their publications, and it was great to learn a few things firsthand. I wish I could go back in time and learn much more. I was young and had yet to come out of my shy shell. I could have gotten a lot more from that experience if I had the balls to ask more questions! Live and learn.

Recently I have returned to my love of book design and have been putting together a small art catalogue for my series, Atomic Age Revisited. These 12 mixed media paintings have since found a home with a collector, but I wanted to share the work with more people. Having the paintings on my website is great and all, but being able to produce a physical object, like a book, has a greater impact than the 20 seconds someone may spend online looking at the same work. In the future I may remove the series from my website and this book may be the only way to see these pieces! Tragic, I know.

I will keep you up-to-date on the progress of these catalogues as I plan on ordering a couple of proofs from the printer before the initial release. Feel free to contact me if you would like to preorder a copy for your bookshelf. It will be 8x8in perfect bound, approximately 20 pages, and will sell for around $15.