Michael Mize Art Blog
A little over a week ago I posted a blog about a Post-It Note Mural I was working on for Topeka Bible Church where I attend. I was surprised and flattered at the feedback I received in response to the blog, and in support of my efforts in creating the mural. It is because of that interest that I thought I would offer an update about the now finished product, which you see pictured here.
First off, let me address some of the FAQ's I've received about the project. The final mural ended up being just over 3 feet tall by 5 feet wide and incoporated approximately 670 Post-It Notes. My best estimate is that I put in about 25 hours of labor producing the work. But the most impressive stat about the work is the fact that over 1,200 names were generated for prayer from church members!
It was certainly an interesting media to explore and was not without its benefits and limiations. Being able to easily manipulate and change the color combinations was pretty fun. In fact, at one point I moved an entire four colums of notes from the left side to the right to better balance out the composition. That's a feat not easily accomplished with paint! It also presented a unique challenge to some of the OCD like tendencies I can display. Working with a bunch of perfect little rectangles triggered that part of my brain and I often found myself overly concerened about getting everything lined up just right. And the mess generated from cutting up several hunderd sticky pieces of paper is still present in our house in the form of little bits of Post-It's tracked all over the house.
I encountered a bit of panic in the last stage of the mural, in which I sealed the notes with a coat of Modge Podge. Having never used Modge Podge on paper that thin, I was not prepared for the unexpected result of seeing many of the notes start to curl up and shrivel. After some frantic praying, a lot of patience, and an a hour or so of taping down the especially bent notes, I decided the work was done. My wife, as always, had some great insight into the new texture of the mural. If each of these notes represents a person, she reasoned, than it only makes sense that they are bent out of shape and imperfect. But despite that, God can still use all of them to make something good. How's that for a practical application of Romans 8:28?
Still, my favorite part of the project has just been the blessing of the experience in making it. Even with the Biblical paintings I've been doing in the past few years, this is without question the most spiritually motivated piece of art I've had the privelage to make. And the most significant lesson I learned in this process, is one of humility. As an artist, it's easy to get wrapped up in an attitude of, "Hey, look what I did!". But that just doesn't seem as applicable with this work. It's not supposed to be about me. It's supposed to be about those people whose names appear on the notes. It's supposed to be about the church congregation making an effort to come together as one body in an effort of prayer and worship. And ultimately, it's supposed to be about God, and directing attention to Him.
I definitely had some inner conflict in regards to that lesson too, and need to remind myself that for this project, the glory is not mine. I was merely acting as the brush, or in this case, the tape and scissors. And I realize that writing this blog seems in contridiction to that point, but I present this in hopes that it might be of encouragement to those unable to see the work in person.
If interested, you can visit my gallery to view some larger shots of the mural.