Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Heart Lab: Marisa Carta of Flufflife

I LOVE Marisa's work. Her work makes me smile.

Step 1: Getting inspired
My inspiration comes from so many different things.. my love for cakes & pastries, textiles & retro patterns, typography, organic flora & fauna aesthetics. The list goes on and on. You never know what could inspire you on a day to day basis, so I definitely try to keep myself open to my everyday surroundings.

Step 2: Exploring different color combinations & patterns
I usually get knee deep in color swatches, photos and pictures before starting new pieces. I have developed a love for paint swatches from places like Lowe's & Home Depot, and I often incorporate them into my work, whether applied in abstract forms or carefully thought out illustrations. This usually takes me about an hour or so.

Step 3: Plywood preparation
While I really enjoy working with all types of materials, I'd have to say that plywood is my favorite. It's just such a nice compliment to the shiny & colorful paints I use. I collect wood panels & try to scope out garage sales and scrap piles for wood plaques, frames & shadowboxes. (Oh, before I do anything, I set myself up on our wonderfully useful workbench in our makeshift studio of a garage. It is such a comfortable workspace!) I usually take the wood & sand down the rough edges and corners that maybe a little jagged or rough. Depending on how I feel at the time, I will either stain or tint the panels with a light watered down paint application or just leave it bare. Sanding and staining usually takes about 1 hour.

Step 4: Painting
Once the plywood panel is smooth and damp dry from the sanding and staining, I will start to freehand shapes in the colors I've picked out for the piece. I normally take around 30 minutes to an hour to paint & layer different designs on top of one another.

Step 5: Cutting, collaging & Mod Podge
This is my favorite step! I can take up to around 3 hours just cutting out shapes and paper. I work through the designs in my head while using my hands to execute the ideas. And let it be known, I have had an on-going love affair with Mod Podge for some time now! It is a staple in my design process. It serves as a glue, a sealant, and helps to make collages look amazing!

Step 6: Drying process
Once I am completely finished adding paint & sealant to the piece, I turn on our fan in the garage to help it dry faster. After it is dry I will usually fasten a hanging apparatus of some sort on the back, along with some sticky bumps in the bottom corners for when it comes time to hanging it on the wall. This takes about 5 minutes tops!

Step 7: The Photoshoot
When I want to get some good, clear pictures of the finished pieces, I usually set up a little simple photoshoot area right next to my windowsill to get the natural light from outside. The pictures end up looking clean, crisp & fresh and are ready to upload! This usually takes me around 30 minutes to do.

Step 8: The "wrap - up"
Whether it is being shipped off to a new home or being stored in a cozy nook in my workspace, I carefully & lovingly wrap up my pieces in a nice little package of bubble wrap, packing paper, thread and twine with a few extra added goodies tucked inside! There's nothing like getting something homemade wrapped up in a nice little care package!! This usually takes about 15-30 minutes. (I try to take longer because I love wrapping up packages!)

Thank you Marisa!!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

I love Marisa's work too and she sounds as sweet and lovely as her work!

Anonymous said...

You are the one of the kindest people, and there are not enough words to say how grateful I am to you for featuring my work on your beautiful blog & site!!

Cheers, over & over!

Anonymous said...

Oh and Melissa, what a sweet thing to say! You are too kind!

Marichelle said...

You are soooo welcome Marisa!! Thank you for the kind kind words and thank you for being a part of Heart Handmade...and for filling out the survey :)

Melis, thanks so much for always having something nice to say!!! YOU ARE THE BEST!

Diana said...

I too use paint swatches. Free art materials always a great source of inspiration. Love the whale!