Lucy Sherman/Courtesy Photo
Not long ago did i take a trip to our beloved walmart supercenter on mount auburn avenue. i came across 1. silly straws, but also 2. construction paper. You know, that cheap, dull, colored paper that we used as kids to make letters and shapes and collages. I have a pair of scissors in my room, and i really only use them to cut tags off of the clothes that i order. Oh, and opening amazon boxes. But i forgot that scissors and construction paper really do go hand-in-hand.
So i sat on my wooden chair in my dorm room and started making letters and shapes and collages. I tried making a ‘kitchen’ sign for my… well… ‘kitchen.’My makeshift kitchen, my sriracha-grape-pretzel-seltzer-kitchen. I cut different letters in different colored paper and rearranged them around the wall.
It did not look good!
So i sat back down on my wooden chair. I looked at my college walls. Decorating walls is kind of… hard. I don’t do it at home. mom let Olive (my sis) paint her walls blue. One time i demanded she let me paint my walls… I was allowed to do just one. I chose green. mom suggested that i go lighter, but i said “NO!” i guess it was my only piece of “decoration” that i could claim, and the color said something about me.
we can’t paint the walls in college dorms. if i could, i would paint this wall behind my bed. It’s not a very big wall; it’s tall but relatively slim. Olive is taking too long to send me her artwork that she gifted to me. I have been leaving this wall empty until they (butcher-paper drawings) get here. But she’s taking too long and well… who knows if it will even go with the room.
So i started cutting this paper. Almost like… silly straws. I cut squiggly lines in different colored papers at different lengths and about the same thickness. I taped (i bought a glue-stick and did not use it) one of these squiggles to my wall. And then i taped another one, attaching the two, so it looked like one continuous line. I kept doing this, and allo-asudden, a cohesive pattern filled my wall.
And you know what? It did look good!
I was confused about what i did. Almost felt like vandalism. i usually put someone else’s work (posters, canvas, drawings on paper, etc.) or personal artwork on my walls. But what i had done did not feel like this. It felt like i had painted my wall.
i realized that what i had made was completely acceptable. The reason it feels so odd is because this time, i did not collect my usual materials and arrange them on my wall. so i’m wondering if the expression of your wall comes from the arrangement and placement rather than the actual art. Don’t get me wrong: I have stuff like that; i am normal, i do college things. But, my construction paper transformed this wall into artwork. It no longer looked like a wall with things on it.
a week later, olive’s drawings came. she sent me an InStyle magazine, homeopathic pastilles (lemon flavor), cigarettes, and a book. i’m kind of mad they didn’t get here sooner, but it’s okay – her delay allowed me to create this! Of course its not my job to tell you what to do, but i will at least suggest a different approach to designing your room. It is yours, and don’t forget it!