I recently came across a call for art put out by a community group in Brooklyn in association with the city. They were looking for designs to beautify a parklet triangle at an intersection of two main streets. While it hasn’t been built yet, they plan to pave it with asphalt and were looking for artists to come up with designs to paint on the asphalt floor.
I’ve only applied a couple of times before to public works projects because they usually seem to grand scale as a place for a beginner to start. When I came across this call for submissions however, they were looking for patterns and that’s something I feel very experienced with. They wanted bold designs and colors, maximum of four, that can be painted by volunteers using stencils.
I set myself the task of coming up with the design and thought it would be just right to produce in the computer. Unfortunately, neither of my graphics programs would work. I even downloaded an app for my iPad in order to try to design it electronically. Making geometric shapes and repeating those shapes over and over seem exactly what computers do well!
I was very bummed out that I couldn’t get any of my devices to help me out on this and wasted a lot of time trying to do it. In the end, I designed the patterns by hand, using handmade stencils and the copy machine.
I ended up producing two different designs that I could see working well in the space. For each of these designs, I created a number of color variations but only submitted two variations for each design. It still amazes me, after being a colorist for so many years, how arrays of colors can look completely different, even when used in the same design.