On the hunt: Advertising and self-expression on the cheap, part 2

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Last week we learned how to decorate your life according to your personality with stencils and spray paint, and how to advertise your thus-far unused knowledge. But there are myriad other ways to express your ideas, ideals, loves, hobbies, job and school spirit. Let’s get down to a few of them now.

Wall hangings

A house with art on the walls is usually a house of stability and affluence. But there’s no reason the poor students of Utah Valley can’t decorate with more than lame posters. There are better ways to project your personality onto your abode than thumb-tacking up these mass-produced, screen printed glossy pages that say that you, among a million others, are passionate about a certain movie, sports team or naked lady. Students can cheaply hand-pick and create wall hangings that will accurately express their character, as well as impress visitors.

As in many of these tips, the first step in finding the perfect wall hanging is a trip to the thrift store. If you want to create something entirely your own, simply look for a frame that suits you. If you want to expound on someone else’s creation, find a framed painting, picture or portrait that by itself is lackluster and could benefit from your touch.

If you’re brave enough to create an entire new picture in your new frame, you’re on your own. Because there is only so much space in a newspaper. However, if you’re opting for the second idea, here are a few tips.

Armed with paint, glue, thread, needles, sequins, confetti, random papers and/or glitter, consider what the picture you bought is missing. Does that snowscape need a sparkling sky and a blood trail in the snow? Could that portrait of Ulysses S. Grant benefit if you gave Grant an eyepatch and glued in a picture of your goofily smiling nephew behind him? Do those rolling hills need to be threatened by a painted hairy monster? Does that blown-up picture of the Emerald City long to be covered with the lyrics to your favorite song, sloppily written in sharpie? The answer to all of these questions is yes. Carefully remove your un-changed portrait from it’s frame, and bring your plans to fruition.

Business card

Perhaps a few astute business majors already follow this rule, but it’s time to cheapen the concept and bring it to the masses. What better way to express yourself than by sending each person you meet home with a small tangible reminder of who you are? Enter the business card.

Though these generally come on expensive cardstock, professionally printed with a well-thought-out graphic, business cards serve the same purpose when unformatted and printed on regular printer paper. If you have the resources to design something fancy, more power to you. But for the rest of us, plain text will serve as long as it spells out something worth saying. Don’t have an occupation? Print your name on the card, followed by what you want to be when you grow up, your personal motto or an insult just for kicks. Include your phone number, e-mail address, website or whatever else you want to share with the world. Maybe include a bit of advice. The card is, after all, a projected miniature-you, so don’t feel limited by convention. Print off your new creations, cut them to size, and hand them out to those worthy of getting to know you.