We collaborated with artist Wendy Gold on the all-new Butterfly MOVA Globe. Wendy launched her company, ImagineNations™, in 2010 and has seen great success making one-of-a-kind decoupage globe designs and gaining popularity with people looking for creative upcycled items. When we first saw her amazing decoupage artwork, we knew it would be the perfect addition to our MOVArt line. We asked Wendy to tell us more about her design inspirations and how she started making her beautiful artwork.
What did you do before you started ImagineNations?
I’ve always been inspired by unique canvases that have inherent commentary before adding anything else to them. In 2001, my husband went away on a fishing trip, and came back to find our dining room table covered with toilet seats. Yes, toilet seats. While he was gone, I had been making decoupage picture frames for holiday gifts, and when i took a bathroom break, inspiration struck. I went to the hardware store, bought some toilet seats and began decoupaging them immediately. My first business, Art de Toilette was born. I loved the idea of using a toilet seat for a canvas, because it could be covered with imagery that you loved, or imagery you hated. For instance, I ended up doing a seat for Billie Joe Armstrong of the band Green Day adorned with photos of some of his “less favorite” artists. It really was a limitless canvas. From there I went on to design a line of bathroom scale art. People have such a love/hate relationship with scales, it seemed like the perfect canvas to add some levity to checking you weight (which can be really stressful for some people). In 2007, when I got pregnant, I had to take a break from Art de Toilette because of the glues and finishes I had been using at the time. After my daughter was born, I was looking for a canvas that would be more environmentally and physically friendly to work with. In 2010, I was at a local flea market, saw the most beautiful vintage globe I had ever seen, And ImagineNations was born.
What was the impetus for decoupaging antique globes?
After I stumbled upon that beautiful globe at the flea market, I found a bunch more, and realized because they were no longer geographically accurate, it would be fun to make “new worlds” out of them. Since I had experience decoupaging on round surfaces, it seemed like the perfect medium to try out.
When did you know it was going to be a full-fledged business?
I launched these in November of 2010. I set up the website myself and sent it around to some of my favorite design blogs. A few of them featured the globes, and before I knew it, I had to start turning down orders for the holidays, because I couldn’t source them and make them fast enough.
Where do you get all your vintage globes?
I go to the local flea market the first Sunday of every month. I can usually come away with 20-30 globes per visit. If I am looking for a specific color palette, I also shop ebay and other online resources.
What is the inspiration for your designs? Do you base it around the type of globe you fine or do you search for a specific globe to go with a design idea you have?
I always start with the globe, and then try to seamlessly integrate the imagery so that it looks like it was originally made that way.
What is your process for making a design (hand sketching? Computer graphics? Testing placement on globe?)
The process for each design starts with the globe. From there I either find the imagery at the flea market. (I love the idea of using recycled imagery as well because the look of vintage graphics go so perfectly with the globes), or I create imagery from scratch on the computer. The sizing and placement is all trial and error.
On average, how long does it take to make one of your globes?
Hard to say, because they come together in so many different stages. Also, some are incredibly labor intensive, and others less, so I would guess on average, from globe sourcing, to making to finishing, about 4-8 hours.
You also do custom work. Do you have a favorite or memorable custom design you’ve done for a client?
I did a tribute for a father whose son died of cancer which was incredibly touching. I’ve done more geographical based globes, like what flies you uses in what part of the world for fly fishing, as well as completely fun globes covered with neon stars. The sky is really the limit.
Why did you decide to collaborate with MOVA International on a MOVA Globe?
Even though they are not vintage and have a newer look, I found the movement element absolutely amazing. It adds a whole other dimension to my butterfly globe when the butterflies can actually fly.
You’ve expanded your designs to canvas and lithograph maps. What’s up next for you?
I’ve started making pin globes and pin maps, and those have been keeping me really busy. It’s a fun way for people to visually track where they’ve been in the world. I’m not sure where inspiration will take me next, but I can’t wait to find out!
To learn more about Wendy Gold and her amazing artwork, visit her website at www.artonglobes.com. The Butterfly MOVA Globe will be available in retail stores at the end of July. Find a retailer near you and ask them to carry the globe so you can see it in person!