Sugar Skull Art

By: Ahvay Powell

My Project Planning

This Project is based on Mexican Folk Art and the art of sugar skulls. The day of the dead is the inspiration behind the sugar skull and the art done on them. The day of the dead is practiced on November 1st and 2nd, during which the graves of loved ones are decorated. Sugar skulls are clay molded sculptures, usually made in the honor of departed souls. We aren’t making clay skulls, we’re making a paper Mache version instead. Paper Mache is just layers of paper glued and pressed together that becomes hard and strong when dry.


I did a lot of research on Mexican Folk Art because I didn’t really understand the artwork and style because each one had a different meaning but most of them looked the same. A lot of the forms, patterns, and designs of the art were identical especially for the sugar skulls. I wanted to be different I didn’t want my project to look like the typical sugar skull. My sculpture won’t really have a repetition of patterns, I want it to be out of the ordinary to where it’s so much going on you can’t keep your eyes off of it. I also want the colors to be bright and bold. I want it to be this way because we shouldn’t be so sad when it comes to death we should celebrate the life they lived and try to think of all the happy times we spent with that person.


My inspiration behind my project is my dog. He died sometime last year and he was the closest thing to me that died. I never experienced anyone close to me die before and he was the closest to family to me so when he died it was very traumatic for me. He was full of joy and excitement all the time. He wasn’t always like that though, when we first got him he was sick but as soon as we got him feeling better he became another dog. He taught me to just enjoy life and to enjoy the moments I can with people. He meant a lot to me, I cared for him as if he was my own child which I know sounds weird. That’s why I want to use bright colors with a sort of dark background to show how my dog brightened up my day and all the joy he was filled with. There was never a dull moment with him so his unexpected death took a big impact on my life and how I saw things. Like I said before though I chose to celebrate the life he lived and I choose to remember him in a positive way because that’s all he was was posititve.