Monday, October 4, 2010

Homage to Vintage Electronics

TC and I recently finished a project that we'd like to share with you. But first, the story.

I love to wander into Z Gallerie. TC and I especially love looking at their art. Several weeks back we fell in love with these prints. But being the do it yourself-ers we are, we decided to make our own, inspired by this art. We knew we would put it up right above our computer in a little cove we've created. On our way home we immediately thought of ways we could personalize it.

Futhermore, we thought of the irony of placing images of vintage electronics above our modern computer, which in many ways replaces or enhances those technologies.

Yeah, so we got kind of artsy fartsy with it.

Our version:

We are Sony nerds all the way, so we chose a Sony video camera and a Sony Walkman. We chose a Minolta film camera because Sony acquired Konica Minolta a few years back. And we know this because, well, we are Sony nerds. Lastly, we chose an old school Mac, because the irony of seeing that above our new Mac is delightful to us.

Once we chose photos of the electronics we wanted, I took them into Photoshop and deleted as much of the background as possible.

Then I brought the image into Illustrator and used the Live Trace feature, which allows you to trace images and make them into vector images. I traced twice: once to get the solid colored image, and then again to get the outline. After adjusting the settings to get the images just right, I brought them back into Photoshop, created the background image, put a color overlay on the image of the electronic, and tweaked until I got the effect I wanted.

So with our images designed, we printed them up at Costco (12" x 12" for around $3 a print).

The other supplies we needed were:

  • Wood panel art boards ordered from ($7 a piece). 
  • Elmer's Repositionable Mounting Spray that I for some reason have lying around.
  • Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish we picked up from Home Depot ($8).
  • A paint brush.
  • Latex gloves.

After trimming down each print so it would fit perfectly on the top of the art boards (they had a bevel, so it was necessary to take off less than .25" from the side and bottom), we sprayed the back of each print with the mounting spray, and positioned it on the art board.

Then we slathered the whole thing in the Minwax finish. We ended up putting on 5 coats (waiting at least 2 hours between coats), just because we wanted it to be extra shiny.

One "mistake" that ended up being a happy accident is that we over-brushed the finish, creating brush stroke creases. In the end, it gives the art a texture, which we like. But if you are ever finishing something that you don't want to have any texture, take care not to over-brush. Just apply the finish and let it dry. Don't go crazy with the brush strokes.

Once all that was done, we hung our new art.

And here's the view of our computer cove with our art. 


  1. Wow. How modern and sleek does that look!? I wish I could un-clutter my life in such a functional (and completely awesome) way! Look spectacular.

  2. Are you kidding me? Why do some of us (and by us I mean you) have all the talent. Those are so cool.

  3. Awesome! Very cool looking. And I love your hanging dividers too--what a great space.

  4. Very neat art project! Those are great!

  5. Now why couldn't you in all your craftiness live by me???


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