Sugar Skulls with AIGA Connecticut

Back in October, I attended a crafting event hosted by AIGA CT. A large group of us met up to paint sugar skulls in celebration of Dia de los Muertos. It was a great opportunity to catch up with my college friend Lindsay, craft something new and meet other creatives.

The hostesses were very welcoming and generous with their selection of art supplies. There were two papier-mâché skulls to choose from: white and black. Feeling bold, I took a black skull. I was excited to see neon paints pop off the background, reminiscent of scratch board art. I put blobs of purple, orange, pink and white paint on my plate and got to work.

At first, I kept things simple around the edges of the eye sockets and nose. Eventually I slid into a more free-form style with swirling streaks of paint originating from the back of the skull and creeping forward. There were also plenty of accessories available to use: cloth roses, plastic vines, glitter glue, fuzzy pipe cleaners, and more ghoulish items like plastic eyeballs and fake spiders. Some of these items were easier to hot glue than others. We all had to be extremely careful. The plastic vines in particular liked to melt on us. I affixed a few onto mine, along with some roses, but kept it minimal.

Toward the end of the event, as nacho trays emptied and margarita glasses dried, we were asked to display our sugar skulls on a table. We were each given a handful of leftover crafting gemstones. These would be our voting tokens. We went around the room assessing everyone’s skulls and placing our tokens beside the ones we liked best. Some skulls were meticulously dotted with neon paint, a few were enveloped by ribbons and feathers, and others were bedazzled with gemstones and glitter. There was also a fair share of skulls with vines, leaves and flowers lovingly glued on. Each seemed to tell its own unique story.

As we admired everyone’s handiwork, the hostesses tallied up the votes and began announcing winners. Decorative trophies, travel mugs, Lego sets and gift cards were handed out. The gift certificate was most coveted. First place, second place, and third place prizes came and went. There was a lot of laughter as the winners revealed their Lego sets, none of which were Dia de los Muertos themed. We didn’t mind. It was fun to see the different sets: Halloween themed, Star Wars themed, and a campsite theme complete with a Winnebago.

Special thanks to Monique Duquette for taking such lovely photos. More can be viewed on Facebook here.

Published by Melissa Nosal

I'm an illustrator and graphic designer.

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