The Best Art...Waste Art

Many designers argue that wall art is what matters most in interior design. If chosen and placed thoughtfully it can make all the difference to a harmoniums space, to a mood, to the eye and even to the flow of energy throughout a home. However have you ever sat down in front of a piece of art and really absorbed it? Wondered what the artist was like, their reason for creating it, did happy or sad emotions make the brush stroke? Do you ever wonder if it was created ethically, safely, with passion as the main drive and not commercialism?

Yes, a piece of art needs to be admired for its visual appeal to its owner, and chosen thoughtfully for the space it will adorn. However on my "No Brand New" journey I have really started to think about the origin of art and discovered that the loudest, most meaningful, and pleasing art is waste art!!

I have discovered some incredibly talented artists & their soulful work that I can only compare to an adoptive parent when they explain to their child that they are extra special as they were "born from the heart". These artists create art from discarded objects, from things broken, thrown away or second hand salvaged items. Its totally zero waste art that is not only beautiful but has a rich story, born from a caring artist, and is helping our planet through the reuse, recycle and reinvent movement.

Check out these incredible works of art, handmade in New Zealand from materials and objects deemed as rubbish. A true representation of reinvention. At the very end of this blog post you will find a few creative tips on how to create your own waste art.

Unique wall hanging art work by eco friendly industrial furniture designer Paul Roest, featuring a combination of different NZ native hardwood and pallet wood off cuts. Made entirely from salvaged materials. This art work has so many varying colours and textures it will keep you mesmerized for ages! Not to mention a great talking point amongst guests. Each piece has a different history and tells a different story. Find it here plus more wall art...

Melanie Child is a young award winning New Zealand fashion designer,known for her zero waste and sustainable garments. She has just started creating textile hoops made from denim jean off cuts and smocking techniques. Find them here and more of Melanies work...

Flock Loves Art is the passion of designer & maker Sian Steward. Each mosaic is lovingly crafted from hand cut and sanded pieces of recycled vintage crockery salvaged from secondhand stores and opportunity shops. Money from the purchase of materials for these artworks goes to local charities around New Zealand. Contact Sian and view more of her work.

Hand drawn Tui on reclaimed Macrocarpa wood. Completely unique, no two are the same. Artwork by John Jepson a New Zealand artist who specializes in pencil drawings of some of NZ's most well known native birds or reclaimed wood. Available from

One Button is a fabulous children's boutique on Waiheke Island. Each of their one-of-a-kind designs is hand-crafted in New Zealand and made with all kinds of re purposed fabrics, up cycled materials, hand-painted designs, and vintage touches. These beautiful wall hangings perfect for a nursery are made from vintage fabrics and coffee sacks. Find them here:

Sneaky G makes children's play kitchens from up-cycled furniture however the passionate artist behind this venture hates living in a throw away society and rescues everything she can right down to the old screws and creates art. This particular piece is made from left over handles. Contact Sneaky G... and view more work.

Talented local artist Rachel Kent McGregor paints her original designs on recycled canvases and re-purposed mediums. These canvases have been discarded, or are found in secondhand stores, they are then restored and used to create beautiful one of a kind artwork. Contact Rachel for a commissioned piece

Create your own magazine waste art...

You may also have so much fun creating your own art from materials that you would of once deemed as waste. Think of objects in your home that can be reused...such as old newspapers, magazines, packaging, old wood, scraps of material, old clothes, greeting cards, broken china...use your imagination the list goes on.

Today I am going to show you how to make magazine art using only three things, you don't even need scissors!

What you will need:

1. Old Magazines

2. Something to stick the magazines too (anything you have lying around, old wood, cardboard, furniture, a shoe box, a old canvas, even an old skate board)

3. PVA Glue or Craft Glue that dries clear

For my magazine art above I have used the trays of an old baby change table to stick my magazine pieces too. I like to go through all the magazines and rip out pictures of a similar nature and colour palate. Here I used a floral theme, with pinks and peaches. I never cut the images out, ripping them gives a more rustic look and makes it easier to blend when sticking everything down. Arrange them in a way you like on your chosen medium, stick them down, wait for them to dry and then add a thin coat of clear PVA glue over the top for protection and shine. So much fun, easy peasy and a way to save those old magazines from ending up in the landfill, get the kids on board too.

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