Artwork is incredibly expensive no matter where you buy it from. Even if you go to a 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby, you could spend $30+ per piece after framing. The costs add up over time, and you may not have enough money from your ROTC scholarships to cover expensive art. The solution is to simply make the art yourself. You don’t have to be incredibly artistic to do this. You just need to take some time out of the day to make it work. Here are some fun art projects you could try to do.
Some of the boldest statements you can make in your room com in the form of simple blocks of color. Buy some canvases, painter’s tape, and paint of your choice. Then put strips of painter’s tape on the canvases to create geometric shapes (squares, triangles, trapezoids, etc.). Paint one section of the canvas with one color, and then let the paint dry. Remove the tape and repeat. If you want white lies where the tape was, you can paint on both sides of it at the same time. Otherwise you will need to put the tape over the painted area enough to paint the other side.
You can even take this to the next level by pitting black electrical tape where the lines are on your art. That will make a bold statement without forcing you to paint a skinny line on the piece. Finish everything off with a frame, and you should be good to go. You can hang your masterpiece right on the wall.
All you need to make graffiti art is a set of spray paint and something to paint on. If you have permission from Res Life to paint your walls, you could put graffiti on them directly. Otherwise you can look for drop ceiling tiles, scrap sheet rock, canvas, cardboard, or other boards that you could hang on the walls. Take some spray paint, and just express yourself on the board of your choice. You could just put little swirls all over the board, or you could try to write something out in an interesting font. Check out some graffiti art on the web and see if you can get any inspiration from it.
When I was in high school, I had people coming to me all the time asking for my song lyric book covers. These things were the simplest book covers in the world to make, but they were so darn cool looking (if I do say so myself). All I did was deconstruct a paper sack enough to wrap it around a book, and then I wrote the lyrics to an entire song on the cover. The catch was that I didn’t write them out just like words on a page. I would put them in different fonts and split the lyrics up all over the place.
If the song was “The Star Spangled Banner,” I would probably put America in big letters on the front of the book cover and then sprinkle the other words in sets all over the place. By playing with sizes, colors, and font styles, I was able to create really cool looking art for almost no money at all.
You could do the same thing with your dorm art by getting some butcher paper from your school. A local art supply store should sell it as well. Grab a set of markers, and just start writing the lyrics to your favorite song all over the butcher paper. You can use pencils to draw out creative fonts, or you can keep everything freehand. I used to also add blocks of color in the blank spaces when the words were all on, just to make it more interesting graphically.
When you’re all done with the piece, find a way to hang it on the wall. It’s as simple as that.