I can finally show you the Mystery Project. First what it is: You join to participate and everyone who joins is given a box full of art supplies. The same supplies. I suspect the supplies are chosen in part to give as large a variety as possible. This year it included various woods, poles (wood and metal), metal mesh, clay (non-hardening), plaster wrap, wire, thread, Styrofoam, canvas and odds and ends. It had a few weird items like a foam Van Gogh ear, a artist’s mini mannequin and a plastic egg. The bonus is that you can also use the plastic wrap, the box and the packing peanuts enclosing the items. Your project can be a working model that fits the theme, a sculpture or whatever. You enter into the finals with photos or a video. The theme this year was ‘Build a Dream’. You are sworn to secrecy of the contents until the entries are up.
As an artist I love thinking of a thing and creating it however I want, using whatever materials I want. I love thinking of something and figuring out how to make it work. Or thinking of something and bringing it to life. I enjoy the Sketchbook Project because it’s limited only by final size. I found the Mystery Project website and thought ‘this sounds fun’. And it was. BUT it was also super challenging because you are limited by the objects and materials given. Mind you, glue and paint are ok to add, but that’s it. So it was like stepping into a different place of creativity. The world of ‘here’s my idea and can I use this stuff, how do I make that work’. My project both turned out better and worse then I hoped. I couldn’t always make the materials behave, but I did more then I thought possible and it was great solving all the problems. I definitely felt like I had to grow a bit and concede sometimes. All in all I’m pleased, I hope if you have a chance, go check out all the projects, mine is #183, if you should want to vote for it.