9 Artists Who Push The Limits With Their Medium

Many people, including artists, think that art is restricted to the more “traditional” mediums including but not limited to oil, acrylic, watercolour, and graphite. A large portion of my childhood consisted of using only graphite and oil pastel, I had no idea of what art truly was. But, the truth is, art, is everywhere and can be anything. These 9 artists utilize a variety of mediums in ways that I could never imagine.


1. Emanuel Pavao

Emanuel Pavao uses different coloured tapes to construct these beautiful street scenes. From electrical to duct, Emanuel makes use of a large array of different tapes, and through cutting with an x-acto knife, he carves out different shapes to construct these Toronto landscapes.  

"My interest in Tape Art was due in part to inspiration and the other part to frustration. I was inspired by the realist works of such artists as Chuck Close, Richard Estes, Alex Colville and Tom Forestall but I was also not satisfied working with the mediums of oil, acrylic and watercolours. My process of creation starts with a photograph that I take and base the layout of the design on. I hope to explore the limits of what is possible with this medium of tape and with myself and at the same time capture the essence of urban life."

2. Laetita Ky

Laetita, aspiring fashion designer and feminist, creates images using her own natural hair. Every day we wake up, get ready, and do our hair, though I’d never imagined that it could be taken to an artistic level like this. Other images she’s created include a dog, a bicycle, an umbrella, and a fish.

3. Annette Gaffney

Annette Gaffney proves that recycling can look beautiful. She approaches her art with a passion for conservation and environmentally conscious intentions. Her art consists of a variety of media including coffee pods, coffee grounds, plastic bags, and much more!

"I believe that it’s important to consider the effect of our individual carbon footprint on the world. We use plastic for many things including medical, structural, technological and functional purposes. Plastic can be, and is, recycled into many useful forms. Unfortunately though, single-use plastics have had a negative environmental impact on our world by ending up in our lakes, rivers, oceans and corresponding ecosystems. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By thinking critically and creatively, we can reduce the negative impact of plastic by giving end-of-life items a new life or “upcycling”."

4. Lucy Sparrow

Lucy Sparrow is a felt artist who recreates items that you would find in a store. In fact, one of her previous exhibitions masqueraded as a convenience store in which there were roughly 9000 felted works for sale. 

5. Abigail Goldman 

Abigail Goldman makes dioramas, each of which consists of a gruesome murder scene. Some miniature scenes are dark while others have a slight humour to them. As an investigator, Abigail is surrounded by the sight of the dead, and she spends her free time creating these grisly miniature dioramas. 

6. Sarah Gonzalez

As children, we were told not to play with our food, but in this case, I think it’s okay. Children can be picky eaters, and Sarah makes lunch fun and enjoyable. With child-friendly images, Sarah Gonzalez creatively utilizes food to construct these joyous characters.

7. Tatsuya Tanaka 

Tatsuya, like Abigail Goldman, creates miniature scenes. She uses ordinary items that you can find in your daily life and combines them with miniature figures. Everyday she posts a different scene.

8. Dain Yoon

Dain Yoon is known for the illusions she creates with her makeup. “People live in illusions,” says the 24-year-old artist from Seoul, South Korea. “People see everything in their own subjective way.” Her work is 100% authentic, no photoshop.

9. Salavat Fidai

Salavat Fidai carves from the led of pencils and sometimes coloured pencils. He uses an x-acto knife to whittle the shape, often taking a few tries due to the led breaking. The level of precision needed to execute this type of medium astounds me. 

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