The work of Maggie Muth first caught our attention on Instagram when images of abstract art hashtagged with #cerealboxart started to appear in our upcycled feed. One day we gave in to our curiosity and inquisitive contacted Maggie to learn more about her upcycling art.
When we first got in touch with Maggie she was temporarily a resident in Shanghai, however, on her way to move again. This time to Moldova.
‘For the past few years I have been occasionally traveling or living overseas due to a new job my husband started’ Maggie wrote us from China.
How does all that traveling affect your work?
‘Due to the short term nature of the work, I have not been able to set up a studio with any consistency or to have a variety of materials with me. I have been looking for small projects that incorporate my love of painting and quilting and playfulness.’
I asked Maggie why she chose to work with cereal boxes and living overseas seem to be part of that explanation.
‘I love the texture of cereal box cardboard. In developing countries, where we have spent time, the quality of the paper board is different, due to the widespread practice of recycling paper products. The cereal box paper in these countries is thinner and has more texture than the boxes used in the States. There is something about the quality of the thinner, textural cardboard that I like. It is easily available and cheap. Sometimes I am unable to find traditional art supplies.’
Can you briefly describe the process?
‘I gesso the cardboard, then ‘doodle’ on the second, third and fourth layers using cheap paints, oil pastels or marker. I loosely cut out shapes with a utility knife. Then I just play with the combinations. Sometimes I will add a cutout image for a magazine, or stitch the paper together if I have a sewing machine available.’
Thank you Maggie, be careful in Moldova!