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Balloons Over Broadway, Melissa Sweet, and the Engineering of a Picture Book

Mixed Media



The term "mixed media" refers to collage-style art in which the artist uses many different types of materials and objects in the composition of the art piece. This style of illustration requires an eye for design and also the ability to engineer combinations of different materials. As Melissa Sweet explains in the exhibit interview, she must carefully plan out how and where to attach all the different pieces. 

 

 

Melissa Sweet’s illustrations for this book included 3D elements that stand out in the pictures. Which materials stand out to you as surprising or memorable? How do you think Melissa Sweet attached those materials in her art?

 

Map on Watercolor Paper (Click to Enlarge)

Map with a Splash of Paint (Click to View)

Photo of Page with Painted Map (Click to Enlarge)

Published Page with Map (Click to View)

 

 

 

 

Sometimes mixed media means an unexpected combination of media. This old map of the New York City streets was printed directly onto thick watercolor paper and then given a splash of paint. This component was then tucked behind Melissa Sweet's painting of the parade and given more details to indicate the route.

Mixed Media Cut-outs (Click to Enlarge)

Cut-out Components (Click to View)

Published Page of Tony Sarg's Realization (Click to Enlarge)

Published Page with Cut-out (Click to View)

 

 

 

 

Many pieces of cut-out or collage art are added digitally, as in the case of this page of accents. You can see how the word "down..." was incorporated into the finished page, offering a surprising break in font style from the regular text.

Original 1933 Newspaper Page (Click to Enlarge)

Original Newspaper (Click to View)

Photograph of the Endpapers (Click to Enlarge)

Published Endpapers (Click to View)

 

 

 

 

 

Some pieces of the media are historically significant, like this actual newspaper page advertising the Macy's Parade. Melissa Sweet used this page as the back endpapers for the book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Marionette Mixed Media Spread (Click to Enlarge)

Published Spread (Click to View)

Clip Showing the Published Version and the 3D Art Side-by-Side 

 In the interview, Melissa Sweet states that when she makes art for a page, it must sturdy enough to hang on a wall like traditional art. This is especially challenging when it comes to the big 3D elements in spreads like this one!