Recycled into Art

I’ve been collecting toilet paper rolls at home since the end of the summer. I had vague thoughts of eventually making them into “something”, but I was also interested to see how many would accumulate over time. The toilet paper roll is a one-time-use disposable item everyone has and pretty much ignores. But it’s made of perfectly good light-weight cardboard I was pretty sure my paper craft explorations could make use of.

Toilet paper roll art-3

I recently brainstormed a few ideas for the rolls and today did some playing around with them. I was less focused on making a finished product than I was on seeing the reality of roughly sketched ideas. These are crude unfinished pieces but I learned much from the doing. I can see I’m going to make something BIG out of these.

Toilet paper roll art

Toilet paper roll art-2

Exploring and experimenting with new ideas, materials, or processes is unbelievably important, and yet it feels difficult to justify the time because it seems like play instead of work. I’ve frequently struggled with different aspects of this mindset in my first year of being a full time professional artist.

I have much more to say on the topic, but for now, let me ask you: how do you distinguish between play and “real” work in your life or daily job?

3 thoughts on “Recycled into Art

  1. Roberta says:

    A similar subject just came up on another website regarding practicing and doing serious work. My opinion is…what’s the difference? You can’t have one without the other. While it may be considered play if the end result isn’t considered satisfying, if it is does that period of play not then become work?

  2. Rachael says:

    I agree with you that there is no difference, but it’s a mindset I know I have to overcome. Play leads to experimentation and is a valid part of my work. And yet I often find myself undermining the time I set aside for exploring, and feel like I should be doing “real work”.

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