How to Personalize Flea-Market Art

I don't know about you, but I'm a die-hard thrifter. I live for a well-developed patina and thrive on perfectly imperfect secondhand finds. Almost every weekend you'll find me design-stalking at the Brooklyn Flea, hoping to find my Next Great Deal from a trusted list of vendors.

Flea market art | © Sean Santiago)
I stumbled upon this work of art one such Saturday morning. It wasn't the art itself that caught my attention, but the fantastic green metal frame it lay within (unfortunately not quite visible in this iPhone pic). I knew it had potential, and the price was right, so I bought it—and waited to find myself inspired.

Flea market art | © Sean Santiago)
I ended up removing the interior framing mat and cutting a nude sketch, also bought at the flea market, down to size to fit the frame. I love the way the mat's faded pink coloring flatters the figure drawing and the way the frame, with its dings and scratches, looks of a piece with the hand-drawn lines. Voilà—completely recycled (and totally personalized!)
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