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What to do with Ugly Art? Upcycle of course!

Well, I've made quite a lot of ugly art. When I first started out on this incredible art journey I used to get super frustrated and feel like I had just wasted precious time when I realized the art I created did not look like it had in my head! And that’s ok, as it all adds up to practice. Lots of ugly art means I am practicing a lot!

A few years in on this journey I have changed ugly art to "upcycle" art! Because that's exactly what I am doing. I am taking art pieces that I don't like and turning them into something better.

Here are a few tips on how to upcycle your art!

  • Don't throw it away.

  • Put it away for a rainy day and then pull it out with fresh eyes. Maybe just adding a few details, new lines or a pop of color is just what it needs!

  • Grab a white mat frame (or use croppers or even a mat from a photo) or make your own. Take your white mat and drag it around your artwork to see what is visually pleasing then trim it out!

  • Add on to the area you like with more details or leave as is and pop in a frame.

  • Not frame-worthy? Then trim into gift tags or bookmarks. All art can be used as something. As a last resort, it could be cut up into collage elements for a future project!

All of these ideas are really for artwork that is on paper. However, I also do a similar "upcycle" on my canvases too. I never paint white gesso over it and start again, I just begin painting on top and leave the original art as premade marks for the background.

Hope this was helpful! I'd love to know if you have other ideas on "upcycling" your art?


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