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Bring new life to old photos with mt tape and Naomi Vona

mt tape with artist naomi vonaJapanese washi tape - or mt tape - is incredibly versatile. It can be used to add interest to a multitude of objects, from notebooks and pens, to glass jars and mirrors, to... photographs!

Italian artist Naomi Vona has turned the use of mt tape into an artform. A graduate of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, her many interests include photography, illustration and constructing collages, focusing on altering vintage and contemporary images to create a new interpretation. In an online workshop just for us, Naomi provides a step-by-step guide on how to bring new life to old photos. Over to you, Naomi...

'I've used mt tape since 2013, and it's where my art career started. I already knew this material, and I was curious to see how it would look on my collages. I have always been fascinated by sticky materials, and this tape was a perfect way to keep my works playful but also with a professional looking finish. The "magic" of this tape is about texture and the fact that you can easily work with it just using your hands. It’s made of rice paper, so it’s very easy to use, and it doesn’t require any particular skill or tool to use it.

'As a collage artist, I believe that this material is incredibly versatile and gives you a lot of space to experiment and play. I love to give a "new life to forgotten memories", like old family pictures. It also works very well on contemporary images too.

'During the workshop with Cult Pens, which you can view here, we explore some of the many techniques that I have developed over the years, where you can see how mt tape can radically transform the look of your pictures. You can allow yourself to make mistakes as the tape can be carefully removed from the surface without ruining it. The variety of colours and patterns is pretty big, and this is another beautiful thing about mt tapes.mt tape with artist naomi vona

'The best part of the process is to enjoy it. Allow yourself to make a mess and most importantly, have fun!'

How To - Colourful Wheel Technique


  • mt washi tape
  • Image of a portrait
  • Pencil
  • Round glass
  • Knife cutter (optional)


  • Take your selected picture and with the pencil and the glass, trace a perfect circle around your subject
  • Take your favourite mt tapes (you can pick 2 colours or more) and cut them in small pieces. Try to keep consistency in the length of your pieces of tape
  • Place one piece of tape after another, alternating the selected colours. The tape will cover the circle you have traced beforehand
  • Overlap each piece with the previous one, to cover up the whole circle nicely
  • Once you have finished, you can add a strip of one of the tapes you used for this decoration and place it at the bottom of the portrait as an extra decoration
  • Cut the excess tape with the knife cutter, or simply fold the tape behind the picture

Website: Naomi Vona Art Instagram: Naomi Vona

18 August 2022

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