Creativity is one of my favorite charcteristics a person can have. It’s fascinating that someone can have an idea in their head of something they want to make. Then one day, after some hard work and tools, they produce a physical product of some kind.
Some of my friends are so talented, like my good friend Mads. She started an art Instagram showing the projects she created in her free time. People were really loving the collages, trinket holders, records, sage holders, and more. So much so that they started messaging her and asking if they could order custom pieces. After doing custom orders for a while, she created an Etsy to showcase all her art.
Here are some of my favorite things I’ve personally ordered from Mads:
I’ve been fascinated with Mads’s art from the first time I saw it. How do you do this!?! I had to know.
Mads uses resin for a lot of her pieces, I had never heard of this particular form of art, so she broke it down for me:
“Most resin is like a hard plastic when cured. Common artists resin is mixed on a 1:1 ratio of resin and hardener. Most problems are from using incorrect ratios or not mixing well enough. Bubbles are also a common nuisance but can be removed with heat before the resin cures. About 24 hours after pouring, the resin will be cured and ready to de-mold. I normally pour another thin layer on the top of the collage to gloss over any exposed paper or fill air bubbles. Don’t forget your signature as the finishing touch.”
Although designing with resin is a strong suit for Mads, she doesn’t like to limit herself to one form of creating because she doesn’t want to restrict herself and her creative ability. As a mixed media artist, Mads really loves collages and giving practically to her art. The resin she uses in her collages allows them to maintain their beauty and structure over time. Mads enjoys that her art doesn’t have to be displayed or hung on a wall, but rather it can be touched and used.
Mads took me through her mixed media art process and I was thrilled to learn what goes into these beautiful products I love so much:
To create a piece I start out sourcing the materials, all found at my favorite used bookstore or thrift stores. When buying new sourcing material I try to find unique images in color. The book should be at least half photos to be worth the space it will take up on my storage shelf.
When starting a new collage I will focus on a concept or theme. Usually this is only 1 or 2 words such as ‘blue’ or ‘nature.’ Then I select 2-5 books that have contrasting ideas of those themes. I flip through until the images jump out at me.
After selecting a background or larger image and a few smaller images I start trying out layouts. This can be trying different arrangements or even starting over if the images just aren’t working together. Pay attention to things like contrast, balance and negative space. Look for interesting textures and patterns. Go for the unexpected and try to surprise yourself. If you like a piece, find a way to make it work.
Don’t glue anything down until the collage is done. After the collage is secured and glued together (I use spray adhesive) it gets placed in a silicone mold for the resin pour. I primarily make large trays but this can be applied to most molds.
I’m ecstatic that Mads has such a lovely way to express herself creatively and share those creations with the world. Her products are not only dazzling, but durable and sustainable as well, but don’t just take my word for it, head over to her Etsy shop and check them out for yourself: