Story Telling through Mixed Media


This article was written by Madeline Faiella

Hero’s Return

Mixed Media Art is a great way to tell a story with your art.  It can be a color theme that is beautifully put together or similar objects that tell their tale.  Mixed Media Art is a great venue for storytelling and I have a piece that I was inspired to do that tells a story.  It is called “A Hero’s Return”.

textured artwork using the irresistible Neon Pico Embellisher.

In this piece you a bit of mystery and strength in that the eyes are in the background and one can only imaging the many people who have lived and still live behind those eyes waiting and wondering about their loved ones.

There is layered texture and the color theme is strong.  The American Flag is paper that was put in water to age so it hassome life.  The soldier’s buttonsare “stand-out” elements that gives some call to your attention.  The burlap placed over the mirror allows you to see yourself and it causes you to think.  It is the reflection of yourself in the work.  The burlap adds that element of roughness and also stands to keep that reflection of you less clear; again, causing your mind and “eyes” to move (think) and look around the piece.  Keep the viewer’s attention. The color red is a great theme for a strong piece.

When creating your Mixed Media Art, ask yourself what is the story you want to tell.  It can be deep and intense or playful, fun and whimsical – or simply a work in colors.  No matter what story you are telling remember 3 things: 1) have a story to tell; 2) be sure your color theme is a good one; and 3) have fun while creating!!!


Author bio:Madeline Faiella is the owner of Madeline Faiella Designs, LLC.  She is a “tradigital” artist.  She works traditionally and digitally in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.  She is licensed and her work is featured on home décor, electronic devices, stationary, fabric and more.  Her arsenal of tools is large and broad and work is varied.  She is licensed, published, appeared on TV and radio and has written continuing columns for newsletters.  She also has a line of non-toxic acrylic paint “Art Jacket”   Her art education hails from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and the many years she absorbed global cultures during a 23 year singing career.  She’s been drawing, sewing and making since she was a child. Madeline sometimes exhibits at local galleries and she sells directly to a group of collectors of her fine art and jewelry. See more her work at




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Funky Calligraphy: Adventures in Hand Lettering

This article was written by Martice Smith II

Funky Calligraphy: Adventures in Hand-Lettering


Funky Calligraphy: Adventures in Hand Lettering, Tutorial by artist Martice Smith II

My graffiti-style lettering is a fun mixture of bold, expressive calligraphy with a whimsical, urban vibe. It’s what makes my handwriting so recognizable and unique.

Sometimes, I prefer my letters to look imperfect and scribbly. It’s important to me that my spirit, at the moment, transcends into my artistry.

Today, I’ll be your guide for a quick adventure on finding your “voice” within your hand-writing.

So, where do I find inspiration? Literally, everywhere!

Look around you…the world is your oyster. Take an adventure!

I challenge you to look at your surroundings differently. Here are a few places of inspiration I like to start with:

  • graffiti murals / graffiti on trains
  • billboards
  • food packaging
  • tribal symbols and jewelry
  • kids’ writing
  • Expand your powers of observation. Photograph interesting walls and surfaces, print them out and add to a visual journal. Doors, facades, an vintage signage are my favorite things to look for!
  • Flip through architecture catalogs and fashion magazines for contemporary design inspiration.
  • Look at brand packaging. Notice how the typefaces exude various emotions for you.

Now that you’ve been inspired, let’s play!

Here are some basic supplies to get started with lettering: 


Funky Calligraphy; supplies to gather

  • Speedball’s Super Black India Ink (waterproof, free flowing, and contains a deep opaque pigment. It’s one of my favorites!)
  • skewer or toothpick
  • assortment of markers and fine point pens (include a chisel-tip marker / calligraphy pen)
  • paper

Funky Calligraphy and graffiti; step-by-step process by Martice Smith II

  1. First, grab your biggest chisel-tip marker or calligraphy pen. Write large letterforms and work randomly across the page.
  2. Next, use a pen with a smaller point. Try writing a phrase in a circular shape. Rotate the page for smoother writing. Allow the words to look like a series of marks. It’s OK to leave some words illegible. By layering letters and strokes you create interesting effects and backgrounds.
  3. Exaggerate letterforms and lines – make them your own! Vary their size by alternating your thicker, chisel-tip markers with fine point pens.
  4. Finally, draw scribbly flourishes with a toothpick or skewer dipped in India ink. (Do this part last to allow the ink to dry without being disturbed.) Set aside to dry for a few minutes. Spray varnish to seal the surface.

Your creative design potential is limitless if you think beyond traditional calligraphy methods. Take a playful approach, forget about the “rules” and allow your imagination to soar!

Think about this:

What kinds of fonts make you feel happy? Do they happen to be skinny, thick, bold or a mixture of all three?

What about fonts that help a product look timeless and fresh?

Analyze the differences of vintage style vs. a more kid-friendly look. What would they look like combined? Try it!

Remember, the key to developing your own style is to allow yourself to play and experiment.

JOIN the fun!

If you want to learn more about expressive, free-style hand lettering, be sure to sign up for Martice’s newsletter. Be the first to know about her upcoming mini-workshops, featuring in-depth handwriting techniques.


Mixed-Media artist, designer, and instructor Martice Smith II

Martice Smith II is creative director of Martice Smith II – Illustration & Design Studio, based in Missouri and owner of Uneek Art Boutique. She established herself as a freelance Illustrator and graphic designer after receiving her Bachelor of Arts Degree. Specializing in mixed-media illustrations, Martice’s love for fashion, typography and wildlife are infused with a combination of traditional and digital art techniques.




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