Behold, my latest typographic masking tape mural
Read on for the story, and a time-lapse process/performance video. I accept tape mural commissions and I can teach workshops in tape mural art. (View some of my other tape murals here.)
About the Message
I made my first masking tape mural mostly because I wanted big typography on my wall, and since I rent, I can’t paint or put up anything permanent. I designed the first message that came to mind when I thought about what I wanted to see every morning when I woke up: today will be awesome. There were many days I felt bitter about “today will be awesome,” but I had the other two messages, added as an afterthought, to keep me grounded: everything will be okay, and be thankful.
After dealing with a difficult client, seeing a logo I designed squished and pixelated on a brochure, or getting a stomach flu at an inopportune time, “everything will be okay” helped me keep the big picture in mind. “Be thankful” became a daily meditation on reminding myself of the many small things I have to be thankful for: an umbrella and a dry home to return to when it’s raining, the ability to buy basically anything I want at the grocery store, hobbies that keep me excited about life, living in a town where I can walk and bike everywhere I need to go, and friends who think of me when they see an ampersand.
Those messages and meditations are ingrained in me now, so my latest tape mural is a new reminder to myself: one step at a time. In my media-saturated lifestyle, I frequently feel overwhelmed by all the things I want to read, all the feeds I need to check, all the creative projects I want to do, all the amazing people I want to talk to, and all the tasks I need to do simply to keep myself healthy. My new tape mural reminds me to take a deep breath, stop multitasking, and breakdown everything I need to do into small, actionable steps.
About the Design
The designs of my previous tape murals were somewhat limited to the restrictions of the tape – the letters were mostly geometric sans serifs with flat terminals. With the help of a projector, I wanted to try something more challenging that didn’t let the tape dictate the design: rounded corners, an inline style, and a script typeface. This involved cutting lots of teeny tiny triangles of tape, but it only took about 10 hours total. Definitely worth it. I think my next tape mural is going to start as a hand lettered design, maybe with some shadows and dimensionality…
About the Video
I’ve made a few time lapse videos before, and it’s fun to watch something unfold over time. But upon re-watching my other time lapse videos, I thought they were a little bit boring. I wanted to make this video not just a process recap, but a piece of performance art on it’s own. Plus, it’s been a while since I’ve done a circus performance, and I have a lot of great tights I rarely wear anymore. I learned in the process of making this video that to get dancing to translate well to the time lapse, I had to move in extremely slow motion and exaggerate my movements. (The charleston swing dancing and juggling tape don’t show up well.) There are lots of geeky tidbits in the video: ampersands, H&FJ bag, “support your local sign painter” bag, “I hate Helvetica” button (it’s really a love/hate relationship), even a little Battlestar Galactica.