California-based artist Kristen Cumings spends hours on end piecing together detailed works of art out of thousands of colorful jelly beans. Needless to say her pieces look good enough to eat.
Although it must be fun working with jelly beans for a living, making 4 x 6 feet murals out of them is definitely painstaking work. Cumings uses between 8,000 and 12,000 jelly beans for her stunning masterpieces and it takes over 50 hours to complete each one. She starts the artistic process by looking at a close up of the reference photo, and then visualizes where each colored jelly bean has to go. She then paints an acrylic version of the photo on a blank canvas, and once that dries, she begins applying the small beans and tries to match the colors as best she can. The painter/illustrator uses spray adhesive to make sure the jelly beans stick, and usually likes to start her artworks by recreating the main features, like the eyes and nose. Then she just starts applying the other jelly beans from the bottom up until the piece is completed.
I first heard about Kristen Cumings jelly bean art when we posted the innovative music video of singer/songwriter Kina Grannis, which was created out of a total of 280,000 jelly beans , over a period of two years. That was literally the sweetest music video I have ever seen, and a truly monumental achievement for Kristen. In the past, she was also asked to make a series of jelly bean paintings, including portraits of various celebrities and recreations of famous works of art, by the iconic Jelly Belly company.