Abandoned Art Project

in #fun3 years ago

I don't know about you but when I get in a creative mood I do a lot of experimenting and in the process I make a lot of the things I'm working on. I make as many as I feel like while the mood is on me. Then I wonder what in the world to do with it all! For several years I sold my crafts at shows but when I stopped doing that, but kept on making things, I ended up with bags and boxes of finished crafts that just sit around taking up space.

Flower Magnets.jpg
Flower Magnets! They all have new homes.

I think I held on to my hoard with the idea that maybe "someday" I'd do more craft fairs and sell them all! But time passed and I didn't do anything about selling them. Then one day I heard about the Abandoned Art project. I thought it was a very cool idea and I started unpacking my boxes, looking for things I could 'abandon'.

(A sample note)

The project involves artists of all kinds and it can be any kind of art. Usually small pieces, but they can be any size. The art is placed in random areas where people can find them. A note is left with it to let the finder know it is a gift, to keep or share.

There are several groups that do this, all around the world. I chose a small group to join on Facebook – Abandoned Art (https://www.facebook.com/groups/art.luckyme/) There people can post the items they are leaving and the people who find them can post their reactions.

I have a partner in this - @stormyowl – who got me started and went with me on my first 'missions'. We went to our local Farmer's Market which is held in a small park with benches and tables, perfect little nooks to leave our art. Then we casually sat in the park to see what would happen.

The first was a small family with two young girls. The girls were observant and spotted two of the art pieces right away! These were necklaces with angel charms, @stormyowl's work. She said she'd never watched her pieces being found and it was a true delight all the way around. The girls shouted out and ran to their parents to open their gifts and have the necklaces put on. Then they ran around laughing and showing everyone what they had found!

3 Hats_ed.jpg)
Some of my crocheted hats for the project

So of course we went back and did it again. We also found a few vendors who let us hide things at their booths. We didn't watch for them to be found but the vendors told us about it later. They had enjoyed the surprise as much as the finders, acted just as surprised and got a huge kick out of it. They never revealed who we were, they loved being part of the secret.

Ladybug Magnets!

I have left these surprises in our library, on walking trails, and near our city hall. I have left hats, bracelets, magnets, and crocheted bags made of recycled plastic bags! Over this past year I have 'abandoned' so many things that I have almost none left and might have to start making more! Not all of them have been reported found but enough have to let me know people love finding them.

A crocheted bag made from recycled plastic bags.
The instructions I used can be found here -
I've started adding little flaps to close
them with a crocheted loop and 'button'.

This project has been a pure pleasure for me, it's like being the Easter Bunny and Santa's elf all at the same time! And of course now I have more space in the house, an extra bonus for me!

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Hola @donna-metcalfe , seleccione tu post para participar en el concurso, "Pay It Forward". está ahora en su semana Nº 27, Es un concurso maravilloso. Estas invitado, a participar.

I like this project very much.

The project involves artists of all kinds and it can be any kind of art. Usually small pieces, but they can be any size. The art is placed in random areas where people can find them. A note is left with it to let the finder know it is a gift, to keep or share.

People will be happy getting gifts from you. It is some kind of suprise. This is really good idea. Thanks @celinavisaez for choosing this post in pifc curation contest.

Such a cool initiative! Brilliant, @donna-metcalfe! :-)

I've found you because @celinavisaez featured you in her entry for the Pay It forward Contest

I love this Donna! Have you heard any good feedback from people finding them?

Yes I have! I would keep doing it even if I didn't, but have to admit it feels good to hear from the finders.

On the little notes I leave with the items I put the feedback info - the email address and Facebook page for the project. The responses have been excited and positive, it makes me happy all over again to think about them.

One of the places I've put things has been our Farmer's Market which is held near our city offices. I'd left a red crocheted hat (with red sparkle beads!) near one of their back doors and saw someone find it. That was exciting right there! I saw her taking photos of it and later I saw her talking to a group of women at the market, explaining what abandoned art was. Weeks later I found out that she had given it to the market manager who wore it all through the Christmas season! She had sent a photo to the FB page so I got to see her wearing it.

Yes, I would do it anyway but so very nice to have the feedback.

Such a fun project. I love the flowers!

I've found your post today thanks to @celinavisaez's entry to the Pay it Forward Curation contest. Keep up the great work!

Thank you! The flowers and magnets were from my magnet-making days. I made hundreds of them, not all flowers, a wide variety. The flower faces are stuffed bits of nylon stockings, and that was another phase - I made larger faces with different expressions, Santa and Mrs. Claus. When I get started on a craft I keep exploring the possibilities!

This post got a lot of attention and I hope it means that at least some people reading it will also abandon some art and keep widening the circle of giving and sharing the fun!

I'm the same! When I like something, I can't stop. I would be doing more and more and more until I eventually get fed up and stop. I see that this is where you differ from me :) I love the project. I am now thinking to start in Switzerland :) Thank you for sharing!

We are not so different! ;-) I keep going, trying different ideas but on the same theme until one day I look up and say that's enough! One summer I was obsessed with making beads from polymer clay. When I wasn't making them I was thinking of designs and color combinations. I'm afraid to count how many I have, at least several hundreds. I am thinking they will be part of my next abandoning project.

It would be wonderful to start a project where you are and see how far it spreads! It wasn't my original idea, many groups have been doing it for years and all over the world. You might like to see if there is a group going on where you are. Or start a whole new group!

Hahaha, I also do things in hundreds :D and then I have no idea how to use them :D My husband is not such a fan of this approach but he got used to that :D

I will google a little bit about these projects to get different ideas as well.

Thank you for getting back to me so fast! :)

I hope your husband will be okay with the project? My husband at first was not happy to hear that I was going to give away things - that I put time and money into - that I could sell! But when he saw how much fun I was having and heard how excited people were to find the things, he was all for it!

Oh, no, no, my husband would give everything what we have to the less fortunate people :) He would love the idea and would support me 100% :) I'm glad to hear that your husband supports you at the end too! :)

Excellent! It's fun to go out on secret missions with a partner. He might come up with more ideas of things to give too!

I love the magnets especially the flower ones. Very cute! I can already imagine how the refrigerator door will look like if it is filled with those. It must be lovely. 😊 I did not realize those are magnets until I read through. Good job! But on top of that, you have a big heart leaving those as anonymous Santa and make any day a Christmas day. Bless you!

I suppose you already know about the Pay It Forward Curation Contest wherein @celinavisaez have featured your article. The contest is open to everyone so you are welcome to join.

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.

Thank you so much!

Wow this is really awesome. I have heard about this with books but not art. Neat idea and wonderful that you are contributing :) plus frees up room to create!

For some reason we don't have those little libraries around here. Maybe because we have an excellent library in town?

I'd not heard of the art project before I joined but it's been going on for years. Once I got started it was really addicting! I'm always looking for new places to 'hide' things. And yes, I'm loving the space at home that I'm creating.

Hey, did you see this, going on in New Zealand?
A rock, some paint, and a whole lot of love!

@tattoodjay is my friend :) Steemit friend anyway. He is in Connecticut now. Not sure I ever figured out how he got from NZ to US.

I might have misread it. Wherever the beach is I love the idea!

I love this idea @donna-metcalfe! What a fantastic and selfless idea :)

I found your post because @celinavisaez featured you in her Pay it Forward Curation Contest entry :) We'd love to have you back again with an entry of your own :)

Yes, she let me know she picked me, very cool! I was going to enter this week but then thought that might be weird, to be a nominee and a curator at the same time. That's okay, it gives me more time to make my choices.

I wish I can find one of your art one day... who knows? if someone from my country were taking that lucky bag from somewhere and then make the same action like you did, not very near from my home.. that'd be a miracle and really amazing story to share later.

love the action @donna-metcalfe and the art crafts too. uhmm... I like that crocheted hat

In all of my life I have never found a hidden gift like that! But the more people who do it the more likely it will be to find one. It is such a simple thing but something that gives joy to both sides - the artist and the finder. A good thing for the world!

Well.. I was once like to do that kind of act fir my sisters 😉 usually I put the money😊 in an envelope between her clothes or books or sometimes present for a friend but nothing like this for strangers... something that I made myself... love this idea, hope that I can do this later. This is inspiring

What a sweet surprise for your sisters!
Yes, I think It is different, doing it for strangers. Someone will find it and not know where it came from, and I don't know who finds it, I just hope it cheers their day.

I Think it is a great way to pay it forward 😉 and I think this action also a good attitude we shall teach to the children too... thank you @donna-metcalfe 😉 I know what I should do next time I go home to my parent's in Aceh.

I upvoted this post @ 50% to welcome you back to #ccc as a "new" member.

Please update the code for #ccc posts -

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A lot of people in pifc or my friends are joining #ccc. I also gonna join #ccc in my next post. And I will translate you post in burmese language.

people in pifc or my friends are joining #ccc

It's good to know. I started #ccc with the hope and intention to collaborate or compliment pifc.

The difference❓

  • pifc expects more from those nominated or even the entries.
  • #ccc is to encourage, nurture, guide and "level the playing field" to help newbies grow while learning the rules

The additional purpose is somewhat like the minnowbuilder except that #ccc helps without the formality - I am flexible, understanding and forgiving as long as members are willing to learn, grow, and help each other - I am also more patient (same as forgiving?).

Thank you, and will do!

I really enjoyed learning about the Abandoned Art program you and @stormyowl have been involved in. Sounds like great fun. Especially being there to see the faces of those who find the gifts.

It's a win-win. People are happy to find something they can use and the artist gets the thrill of making someone happy with something they created.

I wonder if any of this ever results in those artists that wish to sell their work actually being able to do so? In your case, you were just wanting to unclutter somewhat, but do you know if this has led to other artists actually earning something because someone liked what they made enough that they bought some more from them?

Guessing it's not about the money in this case, but sharing the love of art and creativity. I also know that it's difficult to keep making art if there's not a way to subsidize it's creation.

I think this all great and wonderful of you both. Highly commendable.

Long before the project both @stormyowl and I were selling things we made and she still does. She makes beautiful jewelry, wire wraps stones and crystals. A few of our other friends also do that but for the project they made new things to give away.

We made things to sell. Which means that we didn't make like one piece of jewelry to wear ourselves or give someone. We made lots of different pieces but of course not all of it sold.

For me I boxed up my creations, thinking I'd sell them someday. I realized my life was going in a different direction but I still kept them. One day I decided I had too much clutter and started clearing out old things. (But not my crafts! Not until I heard of the project.) I started letting go of things that had value - that could have been sold - but chose to donate them. Or, in the case of things that were broken, to be fixed 'someday', put in the trash. I wanted the space, not the 'stuff'. Not easy for a borderline hoarder! I learned the joy of letting go.

To answer your question, no, I haven't heard of people finding a market for the things they give away. I think a better way to do that would be to donate to a fundraiser type thing. I have made sales from donating my jewelry to a silent auction. Not many, but some.

I totally agree that it's hard to keep making art if it doesn't earn enough money to at least buy more supplies! I once swore that I wouldn't make another single piece of jewelry until I had a way to sell it. (I had an Etsy shop, didn't sell much there, but that's another story.) I kept to that for a few years but my creativity stagnated. I needed a creative outlet to be happy.

So these days I still make things, for my mental health! The project gives me a way to put them out in the world, letting others enjoy them, giving me space to make more!

Okay. I thought it could go either way as far as the giving away something followed up by a sale. I'm glad I asked. So much seems to be given away for free now I'm not sure how anyone actually makes a living, or how the competition can keep up. In some cases, they don't.

Well, it sounds to me like this is mostly for a means of seeing people happy with their art finds and for you to continue using your creativity without the added issue, and potential stress, not to mention time, of finding a way to sell it. The art goes, people find them and put them to use, you have more room to work again, you make more, and the cycle renews.

I think it's great. May it continue to bring happiness to everyone involved.

Doesn't mean it couldn't happen, only that I haven't heard it did.

The art goes, people find them and put them to use, you have more room to work again, you make more, and the cycle renews.
There you have it in a nutshell!

I did craft fairs for years. Many years. I mostly did pretty well. Did the Renaissance Faire for 3 years. Then I had my own store. That was the best, much easier having customers come to me. After that I found setting up and taking down a booth was too much like hard work so I stopped doing that. Tried selling online but a lot of competition there. Things went into boxes and that's the story of my crafting life!

I have many artist friends. Some struggle, a few make a living at it. They all do the work, put the time and effort in, some click and others don't. I don't know why.

I'm curious, if you're willing to share, what your art medium is?

Oh, well, I don't know that I have one. :) I like to create, but that mostly manifests itself in writing, and lately, the writing is for posts here. I prefer fiction and editorializing, but find myself swerving into all sorts of subjects.

I do like taking pictures, when there's something interesting to capture.

When I was in high school, I wanted to become a comic book artist, but never really got good enough at drawing and of course, talk about competition. I've dabbled in video here and there, but really, I end up back at writing.

I do like to see what others are doing, ask them about technique, what they use to create things. I would still like to get stories in my head into the real world, and while many of those will take novel form, others may wind up in comic book series some day, with someone else doing the art. :)

My first thought was Scott Adams draws Dilbert and he's not a great artist!
But, yes, it's a competitive market, no guarantees of success.

However you create, in one form or in many, it's a gift to the world. And stays a gift even if you get paid for it!

If you really like the idea of the Abandoned Art Project I could see you making bookmarks with some of your writing, maybe some of your photography? You could add contact/feedback info. You could even make it the 'tag' so no extra packaging, and if it's interesting or pretty people would probably save and use it!

It's an idea, anyway, right? I'll think about it. It would be cool to see what people think when they discover it and have an honest use for it.

re: Scott Adams

I guess I've never really looked at Dilbert from a technical standpoint. A lot of comic strip artists don't really need to be great, they just need to convey an idea, and be consistent in drawing their characters. You don't usually have a lot of different angles in that type of art. It's normally two-dimensional, from the side and more or less straight on the subjects.

That, I might be able to manage, if that was what I was interested in. I, however, tend to get more ambitious with my composition than what my art talent will allow. :) And I really haven't been in production mode for years. Roughly 34 years ago, I wrote and drew a small graphic novel. Other than some character developing here and there, I really haven't done a whole lot more than that.

Yes, just a suggestion!

You are right about the Dilbert comic. It conveys an idea and doesn't pretend to be 'art'. More is expected from graphic novels, as you know better than I. I think if you are still thinking about the idea from years ago it's worth letting it percolate, playing with pencils on blank paper, doodling, and seeing what happens. Nothing to lose, no pressure, no expectations, find out if it's still something you'd like to do!