Like any other kid, I did a lot of exploring and experimenting when I was little: finger painting, playing with dirt, pouring honey on my cat... In high school, my obsession with pointillism ended up damaging nerves in my right hand resulting in a permanent jitter. I couldn't do the pointillism that I loved, so I looked for other ways of making art. I began experimenting with fragmentation of different materials and became enthralled by the exploration, the process and the breakthroughs.
In bringing my work to the public, a lot of viewers emailed with curiosity about how I get my ideas. I thought about the creativity side of it and how anyone can learn to approach everyday life with creativity. But we can only be creative with things we have some knowledge of. So I started messing around with supplies around the home such as bananas, cardboard, potato peels, and plastic bags; materials that we are all familiar with, are easily accessible, and affordable. By exploring familiar objects, we can break through any mental barriers about materials and techniques, and challenge accepted norms by turning anything and everything into art. If you can approach a banana differently than the way you have your entire life, then maybe you can approach your work differently, and weave creativity into other areas of your life.
Here are five projects from Tattoo A Banana [Perigee Books, $15.00] that can jumpstart your creativity today. Play with your food, distort with your scanner, or up-cycle a plastic bag. Don't have those handy? Grab a piece of chalk and go outside. No formal training needed, just a willingness to create art with anything at hand using offbeat techniques. Once you tattoo a banana, print on marshmallows, or mold a Mona Lisa sugar cookie, you'll definitely be curious about what else is possible!