This is the story of my journey as a paper artist and the creation of Jewel Starz Light Box and Shadow Box Art.
From the Beginning
I’ve always had a passion to create and design. As a child, I loved to explore, experience and learn. I’d experiment with all kinds of arts & crafts.
This was a special time. I’d dabble in mixed-media and experiment with what I could combine or subtract in order to create art. During this phase, I discovered so much and it was easy to let my imagination run wild and try out the possibilities without questioning.
I enjoyed the process of starting with nothing and bit-by-bit turning it into something to put on display or give as a one-of-a-kind gift. It was always my goal to create something new that can now take on a life of its own.
High School Discoveries
Oddly enough, I didn’t take any art classes in High School. Instead, I took band and computer-related courses. I’m really glad that I did. I learned how to build websites, model things in CADD, and how to use 3D Studio Max to create new worlds and characters, and animate them in the computer. When it came time to decide what I wanted to be in life, I was certain that I wanted to be a 3D Animator and work for Pixar someday.
On To Art College
I attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and obtained a degree in Media Arts and Animation. Before we got into the computer courses, we had to learn basic art fundamentals. I absolutely loved all of the art classes. Sculpting, painting, sketching, drawing. So many opportunities for hands-on learning. I did my best to soak it all in.
The 3D Modeling and Animation courses never ceased to amaze me. I’ve always loved imaginative worlds and characters. I found my niche in creating 3D models of characters and objects. I was on my way. Pixar here I come!
Life After Graduation
After college, the next step would be for me to move out to California in order to break into the industry. But there was one gigantic problem, I didn’t know anyone in California and I didn’t like the idea of moving across the country on my own. So I started locally. I decided to start my own business doing print and web designs, and a few 3D Architectural Renderings. I took the web development skills that I had learned back in high school, and through online instructors and real-world application, I learned the rest of what I needed to know in order to design and code websites.
Once I got married and started a family, I no longer had the desire to work the long hours needed to run my business, so I decided to shut it down and work full-time for one of my good clients. This gave me the freedom to work the 9-5 and then have time in the day to spend with my growing family.
Back to the Beginning
Life was good and my work fulfilled my need to learn and grow in my skillsets. But something was still missing. There was a constant tugging at my heartstrings for me to do something more. Something that fascinated and surprised me. Something that I could do with my own two hands. I longed for the things that intrigued me the most in childhood.
So I began to experiment. First, I dabbled with all different kinds of paints and canvas. Then, I dared to drill holes in the canvas and add lights. I’ve always been drawn to miniatures, shadow box art, and lights. After trying a bunch of different combinations of things, I began to see a pattern emerge. I started to figure out the mediums that I enjoyed working with the most.
Jewel Starz Light Box & Shadow Box Art is Born!
I combined my love of paper, paint, LEDs, and miniatures and started creating light box and shadow box art; little miniature worlds and dioramas. I love pushing the limits through creative play. The limited space of a light box and the limited dimension of paper challenges me to dig deep and find creative ways to express an idea.
I’m looking forward to all of the stories that I can tell and the experiences that I can create through my paper art. This is only the beginning of a new journey and I’m strapped in and ready for the ride.
Is there something that you would like to see created in a shadow box?
I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.