What has four wheels, is made out of wood, and causes most people to scrape up their elbows?
You guessed it: a skateboard. After a brief interest in the art of “getting from here to there” on a skateboard, I decided that looking like a fool and regularly falling on my rump in front of a large portion of the 60,000 students at ASU was not something I wanted to continue doing. But, like most of my short-lived interests, I had already invested time and money into buying the necessary accouterments, and so was hesitant to entirely give up the activity.
There I was: a student artist with a useless skateboard, a thinned out wallet and a bruised ego. Determined to legitimize my purchase of this skateboard, I decided to reinvent its purpose. I was going to make it into a piece of art. Its smooth underbelly offered a beautifully inviting surface to paint on, and the allure of a somewhat hidden canvas (to the rest of the world anyway) was irresistible.
I know that painting on skateboards is not exactly “reinventing the wheel,” especially these days, but for me the process of taking an item with a set purpose and reinventing that purpose was reinventing my idea of surface. And setting. And application. And limitations. If I could take an everyday item and change it into a piece of art, then there would be no limit to the definition of art. Marcel Duchamp would be proud.
So there you have it, folks. Have something you don’t use anymore? Why not challenge yourself creatively and give it purpose again?