My traffic box art was installed at the intersection of River and 15th Street in Boise a few of weeks ago! Many of you have asked me about the process of taking a 2 dimensional piece and wrapping it around something 3 dimensional-- so this post is for you! As you are reading, please keep in mind that this concept, using vinyl wall-covering, could be applied to a large wall in a home or office.
I was awarded a traffic box by the Boise City Department of Arts and History back in the spring. I submitted a digital mockup, which was based on a study I created called Foothills in the Moonlight I-III (image below). Each panel measured only 6" x 6". Once my proposal was accepted, I began working on a much larger piece. The largest side of my traffic box measured roughly 48" x 48", and based on my experience I knew that I had to create something that was about half of that size so that when enlarged there would not be a significant resolution loss. My collages are clean, crisp, and detailed, so this was very important to me. I purchased three cradled birch panels from Dick Blick and got to work!
Creating a collage on a large scale is rather difficult as one might imagine, specifically because I use a lot of different found papers that tend to be small. Due to the size of this project, I used some large store bought colored papers and brown kraft paper which I keep on hand in the studio at all times. There were a few specific colors and textures that I had in small format but needed to enlarge for the final piece. Thus began a new method of digital manipulating elements in my cut paper collages. Using Adobe Photoshop, I scanned the small papers, mirrored and repeated them in order to increase the size of the texture for the final design, which was 24" wide.
Next, I printed my files at the local Fed Ex using their large format laser color printer. Once printed, I drew the mountain contours and cut them out by hand using an X-acto knife as usual. It wasn't until the final composition was refined, and the entire image was perfectly placed on the panels did I dare glue it down.
Evermore, a local company in town, scanned my artwork and submitted it to Signs 2 U, who then worked with me extensively to perfect the final design. They printed my artwork to size on a vinyl wrap (similar to the graphics you see wrapped around vehicles), and then applied it to the traffic box.
So there you have it. It was a fairly complex process, but I am so pleased with the final result!