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Do It Yourself - For The World Do It Yourself - For The World
by Arman Nobari
2013-02-19 10:29:58
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When I was 20 I started painting. I felt like I missed the "apprentice" stage. I wasn't a child prodigy, I didn't go to art school - what the hell could I possible know about art? All I did know was that the current state of the world bothered me, so I wanted to do something about it.
During the insomnia-induced late nights spent thinking or painting, I'd often consider things such as, "How far can I push this medium?"
This might seem like a very strange question to ask oneself, especially while actively working with paint. It's kind of like asking yourself "I wonder how far I could take running" - Granted, pretty far, but I don't think anyone knows for sure how far they could run non-stop if they absolutely had to.
That night I poured the last of the ink I was using down the drain. The art store I frequent was closed weekends, and this being a Friday night with a painting due Sunday night, I was forced to improvise. This led to me to inventing a special kind of ink you can't buy anywhere - one of the be
st feelings of any DIY project.
See, with mass consumerism globally sedating anyone with money, the idea of "making something" comes off as a foreign concept. After all, why would anyone make something when you could just buy it? The truth is, a higher quality product can almost always be "made" rather than buying a carbon-copy. I was determined to find a way to make ink; mainly because I had around 48 hours to come up with the recipe.
I started studying water solubility and a little chemistry one night, and the next night I came up with an ink mix of oil, solid pigment, water, food dye, clothing dye, ash, and alcohol. When thoroughly mixed, it appears red like wine; as it's applied to a canvas, different layers of the ink are exposed to the air and canvas at different times, resulting in a variety of colors and effects. In the photo posted here, you can see how it started off pink, transferred to a rich blue, moved in to red - all with the liquid remaining purple.
Making this kind of ink out of on-hand materials has saved me thousands in the long-run, as making a gallon of it costs around $5.00 USD, as opposed to $7.00 USD for a 2oz container of ink from the art store.
Most important is not being afraid to try to do something, even if you're unsure if you're able to complete it to a comparable quality.
One of my friends, a chef, knows nothing about fixing cars - but with a little guidance and confidence, he managed to repair his car's air intake and timing belts. Another friend of mine is a painter who can't cook to save her life - but by telling herself she could cook from raw materials, she managed to slow down and pull it off.
What is it that you want to do? Perhaps your kitchen knives are dulled - why not sharpen them instead of buying all new ones? Instead of paying someone to paint the inside of your house, why not take a day and be able to say "I did that" by painting it?
No one has free time just laying around now-a-days, that's a given. Little steps towards breaking from mass consumerism can be taken without even noticing, though. If you usually shop at a franchised grocery store, why not visit a local market? Instead of a movie poster, why not support a local or established artist with an original painting or photograph? With a little bit of work searching the internet and asking around, true gems of craftsmanship can be found for cheap - and at the same time you'll be supporting the actual person who did make it. Or, just make it yourself!
Granted, it's a bit impractical to, say, build a TV from scratch. A mirror, however, is completely do-able. Building an oven is a bit complex - but oven mitts? Very simple to make. Building a sofa is a bit rough - but building a table? Much simpler!


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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-19 12:41:20
You hit it on the nail, Arman. Anything we can do for ourselves to feel a bit less like a "consumer" and a bit more like a creative human being that we were meant to be, has to be a healthy practice.

Leah Sellers2013-02-20 06:22:49
Yes Sir,
All Art is Alchemical in Nature. You and your Talent are a part of your Sacred Alchemy.
I am always telling folks that an Artist will always find a way to create Art no matter what their circumstances. Paid or impoverished, whole or disabled, free or enslaved - a True Artist will always Create the Art springing forth from their MInds, Hearts, and Souls.
Thank you for the Sharings and Creations of your Sacred Voice, Mr. Arman.

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