‘Waxplay’ – IB Art Project 4

‘Waxplay’ – IB Art Project 4

IB Art Project 4:

‘Wax play’

1/11/2018     Mingi Webber    P8



This is my fourth project related to my themes, addictions. This is the addiction to sexual pleasure with wax. Wax play is within the BDSM culture, which is a mysterious culture. Many in the BDSM culture do many strange things for  pleasure, like pouring wax on to themselves, or harming themselves, or many other things people tend to stay away from. While some others might see wax play as a form of art, it can become addictive can be harmful or deadly in some cases because wax can get into areas of your body that damages you and case burns (as some candles need to be up to 122 F or 50 C in order to melt). In other words, someone could use wax too often and end up harming themselves because they enjoy the pleasure they get from wax and feel they can’t live without it.

Digitally done piece


My project will be digitally done, with candles, wax, and a frame. The piece within the middle of the frame will have an ambiguous person in the center of the digitally done part. The person is ambiguous to show that wax play can affect any sex or gender. Wax is covering the person. The message is simple in that part, showing that their addiction is overtaking them. There’s small burns around the wax because some people do overdo it with the wax. Within wax play you’re not suppose to be burning yourself with it. If you get burns from wax that’s a bad sign and normally means you’re doing it with bad wax/candles or you overdo it, not allowing the skin to recover. The person has their back facing towards the audience because it shows they are more vulnerable towards others. This can also be  interpreted as the person is facing away from others, not wanting help with their addiction. So they turn away shamefully, falling into their addiction.


The color of the picture is mostly red (like the gradient, background, shading, eye color). Red can mean many different things. Anger, love, etc. In this case, I wanted the color red to mean lust. The person is so far into their lust that it overtakes everything. While the colors upwards are mostly normal, it descends downwards turning more red. The color doesn’t start changing right in the middle either, in fact, it starts changing about 30 to 40 percent into the picture. This shows they are descending into it at a fast rate and they’re letting the lust overtake them. The background is also a red with other shades of red mix into it. This could show that they are letting this lust take over everything, even things that are a background part of their life. The red could also represent a semi-light burn, as burns normally don’t bleed, but turn into a nasty red with multiple shades of red. They are hurt by wax play, and it effects them when doing background tasks and such.


Originally in the picture I had the person looking downwards, looking away from their fate. It didn’t make much sense, as the person was looking at the audience and it was somewhat unreadable what they were trying to communicate. It could of possibly been shame and they just didn’t want to see what they were going to become. Overall the looking downwards didn’t make sense, so the person is now looking upwards. They are looking at their own fate, accepting it. It’s almost like looking at something horrible (like a murder). You want to look away but you just can’t because of the human curiosity we have towards morbid or messed up things. So the person can’t look away, dreading, yet curious about what’s going to happen to their future.


Within the picture the person has their hands ‘tied’ up from the wax. Within BDSM culture, many people are tied/chained up , or the ‘submissive’ one in the relationship. It’s a way of showing the other person is ‘defenseless’ or ‘trapped’ and they can’t escape. This reflects on the person, as they are trapped with their addiction. The wax ropes/handcuffs are melting together, becoming more permanent and showing they won’t be able to escape their addiction to wax play.


Some candles towards the top are lit up, while the candles towards the bottom are melting and fusing together to make many more candles. Towards the top, while it isn’t shown, you can assume the person can escape a bit more easily, as it’s somewhat liquid-like and it’s somewhat easier to break out of stuff if it’s melting, even if it requires effort. While towards the bottom, it’s more solid and harden (as all of the candles aren’t lit, so it’s cold and is dry). It’s much harder to get out of a huge pile of wax that’s harden (attempting to break a huge amount of wax requires great effort). The person is stuck there, and is unable to get out because they stayed with their addiction for too long, and there is no going back for them.


I ended up using a cartoonish style with this piece, and didn’t try to make it realistic. I wanted to make this discomforting for others to see this. Something so familiar, like a cartoon style, mixed with something so unfamiliar and sexual. It’s a strange mix that adds to the creepiness factor for the piece.

Work in progress gif


My main artist inspiration was The Thinker by Auguste Rodin. While it is a sculpture and my project was mixed media (digital with real materials applied to it), I was inspired by one piece in his art. It would be the hand’s in The Thinker. The hands in that sculpture are exaggerated to be much larger than a normal person’s hands. Within the art, I exaggerated the hands to make them seem much more cartoon like and not realistic. Another inspiration was the artist/creator of Steven Universe, Rebecca Sugar. She draws her character’s teeth as single vertical lines with no horizontal lines, so it looks as if there’s only one row of teeth. This also adds to the fact it’s a cartoon, and not meant to be realistic.

Steven and Thinker, both used as inspiration for style


The tools I used for the digital part of the project was Paint Tool SAI2 and Photoshop. Paint Tool SAI2 allowed for me to have smooth lines and a cartoonish style. While it does have realistic capabilities, it’s a wonderful tool for creating cartoon illustrations with. Photoshop was used to make RGB to CMYK to make the colors correct for printing. For the physical part of the project, I used an 11 by 17 inch frame, 11 by 17 inch standard paper (for printing), colored ink, and candle wax. The frame was used to put my project in to keep it protected. I melted the candles onto the frame and art, to make the addiction of wax play much more real, as it is coming into the real world.

Before wax was added
After wax was added


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