Kill Art Block Now with Vintage Objects

In an earlier post, we looked at the use of shape to work our way out of art block. This time around, we’ll add to that discussion by utilizing shapes from vintage objects as our starting point.

Why vintage objects? Unlike most modern everyday objects, older objects have a very interesting blend of large, medium and small shapes contained within them. Take, for example, my dad’s old 16mm projector. It has a lot of buttons, knobs and doodads. To me, it really gives off a steam punk vibe. Where some see a projector, I immediately see the torso of a robot.

With that idea in mind, I used the reference and blocked out the basic form of the projector. There are three shapes to notice here. The largest shape is the body. The medium shape is the front plate on the body. The small shape is the handle.

When selecting vintage objects to draw, make sure there's a variety of large, medium and small shapes contained within it. 

For iteration 1, I grafted a robot’s head, arms, and legs, using the projector as a torso. For iteration 2, I flipped the projector upside down and repeated the same exercise.

A 16mm projector – or is it? There’s more than meets the eye…

But don’t just stop there. Part of working through art block is to squeeze as many ideas as you can. Iteration 3 was drawn up as an ominous robot head, Iteration 4 was conceived as a sci-fi gun by rotating the projector on its side, and Iteration 5 was realized as a futuristic building by adding smaller elements around it.

We can expand on iteration 4 to bring it to life!

Developing the projector into a sci-fi ray gun (color flats)
Raygun complete!

There’s an infinite number of ideas you can generate by using vintage objects as your starting point. And before you know it, you’ve killed art block!