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I can’t paint. I can’t draw. I am a Pictionary partner’s worst nightmare. Even my stick figures are atrocious. I can, however, operate a can of spray paint. I can use cordless drills and miter saws and despite having what’s known as an “essential tremor,” I can hammer in nails without taking out my thumb.


When I had my own ad agency, I bought some metal rods from The Home Depot, spray painted them different colors, put them in sleek containers and had something cool for our conference room.


Twenty years later, in search of a hobby, I thought of those metal rods. I had a vague idea of buying some more, cutting them somehow and using them as connectors and design elements in mixed media artwork. As I later learned, working with metal is hard. But Home Depot had wooden rods, too, and that discovery was the start of my journey.


The first step was buying a workbench for my garage. Then I bought power tools and stocked up on thin slats of poplar wood and assorted cans of spray paint, stains, and lacquers. I did some concept pieces connecting wooden slats with wooden down rods. It worked! It looked good and held together.


My first pieces were large and two-dimensional. Eventually, I started layering slats upon slats, playing around with shapes, sizes, color palettes, cutting angles and methods of assembly.


The Home Depot is my art supply store and is integral to my creative process.


Everything I need to create the only art I’m capable of I find at The Home Depot.


Their inventory is my inspiration.


Mitchell Erick

Alianda Artworks


I’m an advertising copywriter. I’ve worked at ad agencies in New York and Honolulu. I worked for Disney for nine years, ran my own creative boutique and now I’m part of the Atlanta marketing team at Synchrony, a financial services company. At work, my stock in trade is words, pictures and creative concepts. Virtually everything we produce is digital. When I’m creating for Alianda Artworks I’m in an analog world that, for me, is a perfect counterbalance. Sometimes, after a pressure-packed day of digital marketing, I can’t wait to hammer in some nails, rattle a can of spray paint, and fill my garage with the loud buzz of a power saw.

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