the Sketchbook Project | Creating with masking tape

iHanna's Sketchbook Project 2010

Can you “paint” and be creative with something as simple as masking tape?

I believe you can! I actually know you could be creative with almost anything if you just look at the possibilities there are… It is also known as “thinking outside the box” when you really look and touch and try to see new ideas that wasn’t taught to you by someone else.

Don’t limit yourself to “what is”. Just try it on your own. My theme for the Sketchbook Project last year was Grids and lines so it was quite natural to me to create a few grids using masking tape. It’s simple, I know, but also fun. I always have masking tape handy at my desk and I use it in all kinds of ways.

iHanna's Sketchbook Project 2010
In the scanned page below the yellowness of the page is exaggerated. I very much like that at a first glance this page is almost empty, but if you take a closer look the grids and lines are there, as a subtle texture.

Masking tape grid & map grid
I also used bits and pieces of old maps. What could be more illustrative of grids and lines than the imaginary lines we draw in nature (country borders), make in nature (roads) and the magnificant lines that nature draws itself (rivers and mountains)?

Normality in a grid
Normality keeps us in line, not traveling too far outside the grid… As artists we should seek to reach outside of the normality grid, just a little little bit each day. Wear a funny hat, smile unexpected to someone, paint your nails blue or knit in public as you travel by subway to work.

If nothing else, experiment with some masking tape to make your own creations with it…

Peek-a-boo pages
This is my favorite spread of the whole sketchbook, not just because it’s got my initials but because it resembles “me” more than the rest of the pages within the very experimental sketchbook project approach.

iHanna's Sketchbook Project 2010
Plus, I played with tape and vintage book text and then cut windows into the page, kind of peek-a-boo holes that transforms the grids and lines. I don’t want it to be so rigid and serious but simply playful..

This weekend I have gotten a few emails with notifications that my sketchbook has been looked at! What a cool library system they’ve set up! The last email from [Art House Co-op] said:


We just wanted to let you know that Rodney O. just viewed your sketchbook (#23087) at SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME!

Your book has been viewed 4 times so far.

The Brooklyn Art Library Librarian

Thanks Rodney & Co. for picking up my sketchbook and browsing though it. Thanks guys for reading this post and thinking outside the box a bit this week!

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13 Responses to the Sketchbook Project | Creating with masking tape

  1. Solveig says:

    Your use of masking tape is really inspiring :) It’s creativity at its peak I think ? taking something so simple and ordinary and using it to create something… Thanks for sharing!

  2. Andria says:

    Interesting timing on this post, Hanna! I just worked in my art journal last night by laying down masking tape in a grid (like a street map) over a page painted with green watercolor, then stippled pigment ink over the top. When I pulled the tape back up, I had this great little map-looking area in the corner of my page. I worked the idea of a road into my journaling on the page. Also, in your “also enjoy” list, I see a post about security envelopes, and I included a page from my art journal using security envelope linings just yesterday! I think maybe we were on the same wave length…
    I love the pages you shared here. Congratulations on the sketchbook viewings. That must be very gratifying!

  3. Sara says:

    This is so inspirational, Hanna! When I perk up (I’m very ill with a cold and can just about surf the net and my favourite blogs) I think I’m going to play with masking tape in my altered book. Thanks for the inspiration! ~ Sara

  4. Anonymous says:

    Love, love, love it Hanna. The use of masking tape in all of these ways is great. I like your thoughts on getting outside of the normality grid. I haven’t done that for a while and think it is about time I did just that.
    Thanks for the prompt.

  5. April Cole says:

    Love it! As always… very creative :]
    I just adore the “window” pages, so much fun.

  6. MissKoolAid says:

    I love your approach here. Yes, we can create with just about anything if we just give it a try.
    I love looking at your grid pages and I especially love the one with the peek-a-boo windows!
    Congrats on the 4 views for your sketchbook!

  7. TJ says:

    Lovin’ this masking tape grid! You are the grid master Hanna!! And your sketchbook has been viewed 4 times? That is just amazingly terrific news… America loves Hanna!! (Or at least Rodney does hey??) xxx tj

  8. Camille says:

    I love the grids and how your pages look. I guess I am not understanding. Are you leaving the masking tape in your journal?? Or are you painting around it and peeling it off?? I would suggest you not leave the tape in your journal. It will not stick for very long as it dries up very quickly and and will fall off of your pages within a couple of years. Ask me how I know !!

  9. Svala says:

    I love my masking tape. I’ve used it to both paint and draw alot. Worked with both acrylic, watercolour, coloured pencils, pen, pencil and ink etc ontop. It’s so freeing… It wont last forever though but that is also kind of nice i find. (work i’ve had for over 4 years now are still fine though so…)

  10. George says:

    Very inspiring post. Will have to consider using masking tape….

  11. Oooh! Love your use of masking tape! It’s one of my faves – love that it comes in so many widths now. Washi tapes are so tempting and lovely but nothing beats the good old masking tape. Loving the whiteness here.

  12. SNARLing says:

    awesome. the other thing i like about masking tape is that it darkens and stiffins when it ages which will go really nicely with the found vintage text / imagery

  13. Lay Hoon says:

    Awesome !!
    Very inspiring post.
    I love how you use the marking tape.

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