The Orion

Inspiration through imagination

Dana Muensterman

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Artist Victor Porter explaining the process of how he creates some of his artwork. Photo credit: Sam Barker

The Thursday Night Market flourishes with people in a variety of age groups. As I walked around one of my favorite booths, admiring the paper maché sculptures and palm tree masks, a little girl stood next to me as we were both mesmerized by the works of art.

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Artist Victor Porter talking with a young girl about one his works. Photo credit: Sam Barker

“What do you think lives inside there?” asked the artist, Victor McLaglen Porter.

“Smurfs,” said the young girl as her eyes lit up with pure imagination.

I took a moment to ask Porter for an interview and he enthusiastically answered my questions.

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Artist Victor Porter standing under his display booth at the Thursday market in downtown Chico. Photo credit: Sam Barker

What inspired you to create these pieces of art?

I’m actually a fine illustrator, and what I would do is paint these on paper and on canvas. I wanted to see what it would be like to bring it to life in 3D. I was just messing around with some tape, paper and some “Chico News & Review” newspapers and this is what happened.

What material do you use?

I use paper and tape, most of them are recycled “News & Review” newspapers. I use fimo and different things to sculpt with them; it is a paper mâché process. I make the other pieces with palm trees. I pick them up in Southern California or in Sacramento. I carve into them making different characters.

How long have you been creating these?

About eight years. A friend of mine had asked me to make him a tiki mask. I’d been doing art for about 40 years and I do mostly mural work and fine illustration, but I dabble in other little things.

What do they range in cost?

These (pointing to the paper mâché mushrooms) range from $100 plus. I have smaller versions that I am working on right now to be more affordable. And the masks (made out of palm trees) range from $40 and up. So they are pretty reasonable— and all weatherproof.

Do you have any last words?

To me, it is just like finding the inner child in all of us, holding onto your youth. You never really get old inside your mind— everything still always stays the same, trying to find fun and happiness in things. When you can do something that you like to do or you see these little kids come up and you think, what is going on inside their little mind?

I am able to still be a kid by doing some of this stuff, so I enjoy this, It is all fun. I can channel all of my energy through it. What I get out of it is what that little girl saw.

It is really fun to see the sparks of imagination in kids— makes it all worth it.

Dana Muensterman can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Inspiration through imagination