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The Unexpected Canvas: Drawing on Everything

This article was originally published on June 5, 2020 for Might Could Studiomates, and has been edited to remove community-specific content.

I have a faint memory of drawing with a crayon on a white wall in my house, a common pastime for small children that usually results in negative consequences for the young artist. We learn as children where and when to draw, then what aesthetic we should aspire to in order to be considered a "good artist".

As Christine Nishiyama has mentioned in many of her essays, we have the creative rebel within us that wants to break the rules. How can we break the rules in a creative way and think out of the box? Here are some examples of how some artists break the rules by making their canvases everything and anything!

Permanent Marker on Everything Shantell Martin

Image from Shantell Martin’s Official Website

Shantell is known for her signature drawing style that was developed from doing live drawings at clubs in Tokyo. She literally draws on everything - walls, bicycles, clothing, circuit boards, you name it!

Turning Ordinary Household Items into Art Tatsuya Tanaka

Tatsuya was probably one of those kids who didn't listen to his parents about not playing with his food. He not only uses food normally found at a Japanese dinner table but goes a step further to integrate other household objects into scenes that mirror real-life and fictional scenes from TV, games, and movies.

Adding Flourishes to Daily Use Objects

Revitalizing an old canteen was a fun experience!

Applying what I used in a Skillshare class by Peggy Dean (Botanical Line Drawing), I revitalized this old canteen with some fun florals in a variety of colors and finishes. For this project, I used a combination of permanent markers, including metallics. I also continue the project by drawing on my iPad case as well. I wholeheartedly recommend this project for rebellious artists of any skill level who enjoy expressing their unique style!

🙋 Are you a rebel artist?

Have you ever tried drawing or painting on an unexpected canvas? I'd love to hear from you about the rebellious projects that you have tried and or rebellious artists whom you recommend. 😎

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