If you follow this blog, you’ll know that I’m mad about bus tickets. I’ve designed tote bags, tablet cases, and notebooks with bus tickets, (check out Bus Ticket Tote Bag, How to Design Your Tablet Case with Bus Tickets, and How To Use Bus Tickets to Design Your Notebooks), and now I created my first bus tickets artwork.
This obsession with bus tickets all started on a random day. I was riding the bus and realized that I naturally accumulated an art material–a colored paper, a bus ticket. So I started collecting them because I knew I liked making crafts but I had little money to buy expensive paints.
From that day, I became sensitive to the free art materials that constantly came into my life. This is the case with bus tickets. I don’t have to go out of my way to get them. I just have to go through the course of my day, and hello, these colorful critters will say Hi, Jasmine! Nice to see you again. Where to now?
If you’re thinking, that bus tickets aren’t free because you pay the bus fare, your’e wrong. You pay for the ride, the journey from point A to B, so getting a colored paper is a bonus. I also sometimes get the leftover tickets that are crammed into the back of the bus seats or in the windows, but I make sure that there’s no bubble gum surprise inside.
I am attracted to the bus tickets because it’s a record of history. It’s the record of bus companies that have plied the streets of Manila. If some of these companies become extinct, the tickets become remnants, even collectibles, like phased out money, or stamps from a different era. Soon these bus tickets will cease to exists as many bus companies are starting to use that electronic ticket machine that spits out those white characterless receipts.
You’ll also see how different companies design their bus tickets. Some put smileys, flowers, crowns, etc. If you collect them long enough, you’ll also see how the bus ticket design of one company has evolved over the years.
Gears of correction tapes
Using naturally accumulated material to design something isn’t new to me. I remember when I was in high school, I used to finish up lots and lots of correction tapes. My test papers, especially the essay parts, had paragraph blocks of white correction marks. So I easily finished up these correction tapes and kept buying new ones.
Then one day, I felt that it was such a waste to throw them away. We had a project in school. I forgot which one, but I remember opening up a used correction tape and realizing that I can use the gears inside to design my project. I began saving these gears, and I incorporated them as a design element in my school projects.
Now I don’t do that anymore because I’m no longer a student, so the need to buy correction tapes, and thus the habitual accumulation of this material, has ended.
Besides bus tickets, my job as a reporter makes me naturally accumulate papers, CDs, tote bags, propaganda buttons, and mugs. I am thinking of turning them into some craft project because it’s a more productive way to get rid of trash, and it’s a way to turn trash into treasure.
Now on canvas
When I heard about Modern Art by Craig Damrauer which goes: modern art=I could have done that +yeah, but you didn’t.
I was like, I have to do this bus tickets thing before someone else beats me to it! I met a girl from a theater group who told me she knew three people who designed their notebooks with bus tickets too, and recently I interviewed Jose Santos III who told me that he also collects bus tickets. So I was like, I got to do this before these artists realize that they can use this thing for their art! I might not have the awesome technical prowess that they have developed over the years, but at least I’ll have the novelty of doing it first.
I wanted to put the bus tickets on a canvas because it was ironic. We recognize bus tickets instantly because we always see them, but at the same time, we never look, we never examine, because they aren’t important. They belong to the world of the masses, composed of people who most consider to have baduy aesthetical leanings.
The canvas on the other hand, belongs to the world of art. The posh world of the elite. “The people who have taste.” The “significant” ones.
By placing the bus tickets on the canvas, the world of the lowly gets to invade the high class world. And maybe that’s what I feel right now as a reporter of the art world. A person from the middle class, a person who has never studied art, is now eating caviar at gallery openings.
I also felt that way when I got a scholarship in Ateneo and got to rub shoulders with the hacienderos and hacienderas of society, or when I entered the world of debate and met people who can spend P10,000 in one go or book a flight to Singapore at a moment’s notice, or in the writing world where there are many people who are there because they are rich enough to not earn a lot from their writing.
I’m an invader of these worlds, but I choose to stick around.
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All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with. I am a person. I’m not just a manifestation of corporate interests. I have an identity that is separate from my company because even if human beings are paid for a service by corporations, human beings are not owned by corporations.