Last week was Spring Break and for the first time in my college career it was super low-key. Usually I am leading/participating in Mizzou Alternative Break trips and serving organizations benefitting things related to women’s issues. This break I decided to forgo all of that and took a road trip to Austin, Texas with a couple of my Texan Mizzou friends.
Each day we pretty much would just play it by ear and hit up places that multiple online lists told us were legit for food, fun, watching bats fly out from under the Congress Ave. bridge, etc. That whole idea of not having an exact plan within itself was a bit hard for my planner-obsessed self to swallow but it did make me be more creative. I had to think of different things to do/just be happy with relaxing. It kind of forced me to rest my still healing sprained ankle and pay attention to my body in that way.
Part of our Austin adventures was finding all of the awesome public murals/graffiti that were perfect for photo ops. We are products of our Millennial generations and we were looking for good things to Instagram. Besides making stretch my creativity with new pose ideas, finding these murals made me think of visual art in a different way. Many of them have become so much a part of the culture that is Austin that they are replicated in other places in the city and on mugs, tote bags and other fun souvenirs.
This sort of connects to the type of painting I need to be doing soon. I am going to a fraternity’s formal and it is customary to paint a cooler (and fill it with ~beverages~) for the gentleman taking you. This is a kind of visual art that is similar to these murals that sometimes use elements of common commercial things (like the Austin postcard mural or the mural made specifically for a Texas Monthly cover) or their little quirky designs are repeated over enough to create a new meaning to a place or brand (such as some restaurants/coffee shops that had murals on the side). Many people personalize their dates favorite brands with their name, the place of the formal or the fraternity name. It shows how visual art is intertwined with how we identify ourselves and what kinds of things we like, even if it isn’t something that is in a gallery. I will be using this mindset to attack how to make common logos and branded things apply to my date’s interests and personality as well as creating my own kind of art out of it. Though it may just be a insulated box, but creativity can take it further.