The winter holidays are about all the things that fill you with joy – fun, food and family. Two of our junior reporters went along to Stick with Joy – The Masking Tape Creativity Fair at the former Police Married Quarters (PMQ) in Central, to find out why masking tape art using patterned masking tape can also bring joy to people this winter as well.
Getting stuck in masking tape art
Masking tape art has only recently become a recognised art form, but it’s already gaining popularity in the art world. This creative hobby, which originated in Japan, is more complicated than it first seems.
We found our artists inside the PMQ on December 16, one of whom was Enta Cheng – a certified Zentangle teacher. Zentangle is a method of drawing that focuses on structured patterns. She said that it has inspired her to start using masking tape in her work, as being creative with tape requires the same sort of skills that you would use in Zentangle.
We started by drawing circles on a piece of paper, and decorated them so that they looked like Christmas ornaments, then stuck tape on them. The hardest part for me was using the tape itself – it turns out that making sure the tape pieces were small enough to fit inside the circles, yet still look pretty, is much harder than you’d think. The good thing about art though, is that there isn’t a right or a wrong way to do it. Once I was done, I had a great piece of art and I had gained a new set of skills that I would be able to use in the future.
We then moved onto the next workshop, where we made Christmas cards using what we now knew about masking tape art. Our teachers, MG and Che Che taught us how to add texture to the masking tape and how layering it can help give our artwork a 3D effect. They taught us how to crimp the tape into badges too. This means taking some tape and placing another piece on top. You then have to fold it little by little on top of each other until it forms a circular shape.
MG told us that she has been creating masking tape art now for five years.
“I liked stickers, but I was always worried I would run out of a certain theme or set of them. That’s why I like tape – it comes in rolls 10 metres long, and it’s reusable. If I don’t like a design I can just peel it off and try again,” explained MG.
Che Che, who found love for the art form three years ago in high school, says she remembers her first use of masking tape. She had used it to decorate her diary.
Both MG and Che Che showed us some of the artwork that they had created using masking tape – including a version of The Starry Night by the famous Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh.
Working with masking tape is a lot of fun. I would say that masking tape art is perfect for those who want to relax and de-stress in a fun and creative way. The multitude of colours and patterns that masking tape comes in means you really can create anything. Do you want to join in the fun but you don’t know where to start? Look up masking tape art online – there are so many tutorials out there.
How to make your old stuff look better than new
Now, you might think that weaving your own Christmas card cover sounds pretty easy – or at least not hard – but we messed up a lot because we weren’t used to using masking tape in this way.
Here’s how you create a Christmas card with a woven effect. Prepare your selected combination of colours and patterns in tape before you get started. Then apply vertical columns on your card with the tape. As you apply the horizontal lines, weave them over and under the vertical lines of tape – just like you would if you were weaving something for real.
Zoe Siu, a fashion designer and an online accessory store owner, showed me her Christmas card design using this weaving technique.
Even though she had gone for very simple colours – black and white – the patterns on the tape made her card look amazing. She had blended modern and Japanese themes together by using three types of masking tape to create a background for a woven layer on top to stand out against.
”Masking tape is a really flexible and convenient art medium,” she said. “You can tear it off and do it again if things go wrong.”
The next workshop we attended, our teachers MG and Che Che taught us how to create badges and bows to decorate our cards.
“I love masking tape way more than stickers,” said MG. “You can cut it into really small pieces.”
She taught us how to make a badge by overlapping two pieces of tape against each other and folding it on anything circular. You can then add a sticker in the middle of the badge to hide the empty bit in the middle that doesn’t have any tape on it.
MG and Che Che then demonstrated how to make a bow – you need to fold a piece of rectangular tape four times, before tying it in the middle. It’s simple, but very effective.
Masking tape is considered a bit of a collector’s item by those in the know because of the different patterns and colours that it comes in. They are one of the first decorative items that people will reach for when they want to personalise their schedules.
Using masking tape to create your own art means that no two pieces of masking tape art will ever look exactly the same. Just think – any boring old, dull-looking item can be livened up and personalised through the magic of masking tape. What are you waiting for? Go get sticking!