Paying Homage to Friendships, Via Visual Art

It’s important to have a variety of friends who are our cheerleaders, our supporters, when it comes to our creative endeavors. When you find one of these friends, don’t let them go. They’re rare gifts. There have been times in my life, recently even, when I’ve met someone new and we connected immediately. I’ve even had fleeting encounters of connections with strangers. Once, while traveling alone, I was sitting in a crowded airport terminal and I looked up from my book just as a man walked by. We smiled from a distance, and he traveled on, leaving me feeling less alone.

If only I could express this type of appreciation for kindreds through visual art, like Thomas LaBadia does. The following is a Q&A he did with Kristy Conlin in Art Journal Kickstarter: Pages and Prompts to Energize Your Art Journal.

Mixed-media artists
Separated at Birth (Strathmore mixed-media paper, Golden acrylics matte medium, pens, antique book pages) by Thomas LaBadia. 

Kristy: What was your inspiration for Separated at Birth?
Thomas: This piece was created to visually communicate the essence of a profoundly deep friendship. A soulful connection unlike any other that occurred quite suddenly and most unexpectedly. The type of friendship that is unexplainable, yet requires no explanation. Two people seemingly sharing one soul, yet living in two different bodies … separated at birth, but together again.

Kristy: What interesting or unique techniques did you apply to this artwork?
Thomas: If I were to pick one thing I consider unique, it would be the contrast of collage fodder scanned and printed on antique book pages, layered and mixed with the same image printed on thick new paper, then painted over. Mixing the old with the new seemed like an accurate representation of a new friendship that felt like one that has existed for hundreds of years.

While fleeting recognitions are serendipitous and easy to welcome, it’s the ones who stay that can influence us so greatly. It’s not always easy to open the door to new people in your life, especially as adults, but it sure is worth it when you find the right one. I hope, dear reader, that you have at least one friend with whom you feel that you were separated at birth. I hope that he/she tells you to keep making your art, no matter what other odds are against you.

Your friend,

Before I end, I want to let you know that Thomas’s work is featured with almost 100 more mixed-media artists in Art Journal Kickstarter, and this book is included in the current Interweave storewide sale at 40% off.


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques


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