• 09.29.14

“Quotes On Shit” Turns Junk Into Shiny New Objects

Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman use spray paint and hand-lettering to turn a bunch of boring old crap into cool new crap.

Chances are you have too much shit: collections of old cassette tapes, childhood toys you don’t have the heart to throw away, random plastic knickknacks from who knows where. New York-based designers Jessica Walsh (of Sagmeister & Walsh) and Timothy Goodman–former collaborators on the viral 40 Days of Dating project–started feeling bad all the old, unwanted shit of the world, much of which ends up in landfills and junk shops. In their new project, “Quotes on Shit,” the duo rescues old shit and makes it new, using spray paint and a sharpie paint marker. The objects, transformed by colorful new coats of paint and hand-lettering, make sassy quips in the first person: a plastic duckling insists “I’m not ugly,” a glass of wine boasts “I’m cheaper than therapy,” and a purple soccer ball says “let’s roll.” It’s still shit, but it’s artful shit.


“When my grandparents passed away, I was saddened by all the stuff from their home that they once loved that no longer had a place to go,” Walsh tells me in an email. “I took what I could but much of it ended up at junk shops. This saddened me, and it always has been in the back of my mind to create a project that gave new life to old things.” A few weeks ago, Walsh and Goodman were walking down a New York City street, and came upon a pile of old, discarded objects. “I found out Tim had also always wanted to create a project like this as well,” she says. They are in the middle of working on a much more involved side project, and loved the idea of doing a fun, simpler project in between.

The pair has gathered objects from the streets, junk shops, friends, and the junk-filled corners of their own homes. Since launching more than a week ago, they’ve gotten more than a dozen offers from people who want to send them their old shit to transform with quotes. But you don’t have to get designers to put quotes on your shit for you–you can do it yourself. “It’s very easy!” Walsh says. “Just find an old object you don’t want or don’t like anymore, or something you find that’s been discarded. Go pick out a great spray paint color. It only takes five minutes to spray paint it. Then get a Sharpie paint marker and draw on it.”

Walsh and Goodman are posting photographs of these objects on a Tumblr. Check out Quotes on Shit here.

About the author

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering art and design. Follow her on Twitter.