Painting on Packaging
Part of my job working as a graphic designer is to create package designs for products. The shapes that are created by the edges of a package or box when it is flat fascinate me. I began to deconstruct some of the product boxes around my house and at work. I received a few strange looks and comments when I was caught in the act of carefully dismantling toothpaste and cereal boxes but I was not discouraged. I discovered that once the box was flattened, the bold graphics combined with the typography and the repetition of imagery on the different sides, created a completely different object that I couldn’t stop thinking about.
Even though I feel the flat boxes themselves are compelling enough to be placed on a wall, I add my thoughts and interactions to them. I do some web searches based on the copy and images and allow myself to get lost following the different subjects that relate to them. I then created some digital versions using graphics software and found the best positioning for the new image on the packaging. The last step is painting the images on the packageI have used both oil and acrylic for the paintings.
While deconstructing and painting on the packaging, I experience a feeling of being released from the power that the packages have over me. When they sit on a shelf in a store, these boxes are doing their best to control my vision and draw me in. So even the simple act of shopping for the right package to use for my next painting gives me a bit of this feeling of escaping their grasp.
As I am shopping beside other customers, it feels exhilarating because I am not looking for the best toothpaste or stick of butter, I am shopping for the next box to paint on. It feels as if I am beyond the control that the other shoppers are experiencing. This feeling continues as I flatten them, paint them and put them on my wall in a frame. Once on the wall they are not controlling me any longer, I have transformed them into something they were never intended to be.