I ordered some iron filings from Amazon and was able to shoot with them and some magnets in the studio. With strong enough magnets, the iron filings can create some really amazing and abstract shapes.
Get them here
A recent project of mine featured floral lettering so here are my tips if you want to do something similar:
- Be careful with the floral selection, make sure the shape of the flower will lay down fairly flat. Avoid flowers with very triangular bases.
- Buy more than you think you need. I get all of my flowers through Mayesh Wholesale Flower Warehouse .
- Keep in mind the font you want to use when selecting flowers. Bigger petals will limit your options.
- Keep the font choice simple. Script works well because there is more room for errors in comparison to a recognizable font like Times New Roman.
- Print out the lettering at a size you want and trace onto the background paper you are planning on using. I taped the print outs and the background paper to a window to make tracing easier.
- Layer in greenery, and multiple varieties of flowers for a fuller, more dimensional look.
- Have fun + be patient!
Emily Lamb is a successful student and artist at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has consistently been recognized for her technical precision and creative concepts.
Who do you draw your artistic inspirations from?
Currently I draw a lot of my artistic inspirations from the other artists I meet. Not just aesthetic inspirations from their work but conceptual ones from the conversations I have with them. My professors and the grad students in my major are the ones I'm closest to. Our school also has quite a few visiting artists lectures that I attend and occasionally get to know the artist further after the lecture. Being exposed to lots of different artists and talking about their ideas beyond their physical work is extremely inspiring and influences my own thinking through adopting some of their beliefs.
Did the way you were raised influence you as an artist?
Having my mom be an artist that had her own studio for most of my childhood influenced me as an artist. Instead of watching cartoons, playing video games or other typical childhood pastimes, I was in my mom's studio playing with paints or making things out of her scrap art supplies. I was raised to be always making something and problem solving which I feel prepared me to be where I am today.
What mediums do you most enjoy working with?
I personally love any medium that involves working with my hands and process. Drawing, painting, printmaking, wood, clay, metal and recently plaster and glass. I've never been very technology savy so photography, graphic design and video have always intimidated me too much to really experiment in it.
What are your current projects?
Currently my projects are all glass based. I'm in a hot shop class which involves glass blowing and different color and pattern application techniques. Glass is fascinating to me because the learning curve to become proficient in the medium is so steep. Glass is by far that most challenging medium I've ever interacted with and even the most simplest of shapes or patterns can involve hours and hours of skill and labor to achieve. For now I take every opportunity to make as a chance to learn and experiment.
a look behind the layers from a recent shoot
I'm glad I occasionally keep the out-of-focus shots from a shoot; it can make imagery more interesting if the subject is obscured.
Here is a little behind the scenes photo of what my own workspace looks like. If I'm surrounded by pretty things it's easier for me to make pretty things. I'm also someone who needs to have a clutter free desk in order to work effectively.
A clutter free space = clutter free mind (for the most part).
As someone who is obsessed with textures, I'm so glad I discovered a little thing called oobleck. The name sounds like a lamp or bookshelf from Ikea, but it is actually a substance that can be poured like a liquid, and acts like a solid when you compress it.
It's super fun to play with - albeit messy. It is the perfect combination of liquid, solid and sheen; it photographs really well. As a bonus, it is incredibly easy and cheap to make; all you need is cornstarch, water and food coloring.
Mix the cornstarch and water together in a ratio of about 2:1; continue to add more water or cornstarch to make your ideal consistency. Once it is mixed you can add in any amount or combinations of food colorings. Because of its white color, it is easy to make pastel oobleck. It almost looks good enough to eat, but try to avoid this.
Here are some photos of the process. Happy ooblecking!