When I first spotted Muddyum’s artwork in an online article, I was hooked. Muddyum, a graphic artist currently working and studying in New York, has developed a unique signature style that plays with words and objects to create fun images that are part fine art and part puzzle. Muddyum’s photographs like this one:
really caught my eye, and I wanted to puzzle out more, and I wanted to show my friends and family. Working in partnership with Muddyum, we incorporated her extensive portfolio of images into a game app for the iPad, which can be played in single player mode, with two players, or more, with Apple TV. Muddyum’s WordPlay App will be available in the iTunes App Store in late May 2013.
Introducing Muddyum, the artistic talent behind WordPlay
I recently asked Muddyum some questions about her work as an artist and her process in creating her WordPlay images. Below are her responses:
PPB: Where did you get your art training?
Muddyum: I received my B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. I moved to Georgia in 2008 to purse an M.F.A. in Illustration at The Savannah College of Art and Design. I graduated in 2010 and received the Outstanding Achievement Award in the SCAD Graduate Illustration Department. Currently, I take Continuing Education classes at School of Visual Arts in New York City, which is where I started my Wordplay project.
What was your inspiration for the WordPlay project?
I am inspired my puzzles, puns and typography. I started making letters with chocolate syrup and glue when I was developing concepts for my first line of greeting cards. In summer of 2011, I decided to take Gail Anderson’s Type Play workshop at SVA. It was one full week of type and I wanted to spend some time experimenting with typography and hand lettering. One of the assignments was found object type and I new I wanted to write with condiments. That morning of the class I went to the grocery store and bought anything I could write in; jelly, sprinkles, ketchup etc. The only idea I had in mind was “Let’s Ketchup.” I figured out the rest on the spot in the workshop.
Where do you get your materials?
I buy materials from convenience stores, hardwares stores, flower shops, craft stores and I walk to the park to get materials such as grass, dirt, sticks etc.
Can you share some of the process of making the images?
When I randomly think of new wordplays I write them in a notebook. I can’t really explain how they come to me. Sometimes I think of an object I can write with and google it to see what other words come up. When I get enough ideas I write a list of materials I need to buy or get for free and spend a couple days shopping for these. Shopping and looking at all the items in the stores only gives me more ideas. Then I spend a few days cutting the materials or biting the food into shape and then take a few photographs of each WordPlay. Then I take them into Photoshop and edit a few things here and there.
Do you have any funny stories about an image that didn’t work out or that got messy?
The salmonella image was hard to do because I am actually allergic to some seafood. I forgot to buy plastic gloves so I put plastic sandwich bags over my hands while I cut the salmon. I also had to cut the kiwi in one image with the plastic sandwich bags on because I am allergic to that also. Those were a couple foods that had to go to waste after I was done photographing it!
Do you ever eat your artwork after you’ve photographed it?
Usually I do eat my wordplays that are edible before, during and after I photograph it. For apple pie I had to eat one apple to the core because I wanted to use it as an an “i.” I am not actually not allergic to shrimp so I ate the shrimp scampi wordplay. I did not eat the wordplays made out of condiments. The rest of the items such as chain, string, pins, rope, etc. I keep just incase I need them for a future project.
What other art projects or products do you have?
Other art projects I enjoy creating are greeting cards, book design and textile design.
Where can people go to see more of your work? Do you have a website, Facebook Fan Page, Pinterest or Etsy store?