Unconventional Ways to Use a Scanner: The Art Edition!

Scanners are neat. They help so many homes and businesses to work more efficiently, stay organized, and in general just operate successfully. But, all work and no play makes a scanner a dull toy. Pretty sure that’s how the saying goes. Anywho, did you know that there are so many cool things to do with your scanner that don’t involve billing reports and memos? In particular, creating art and all things artsy with flatbed scanners is becoming more and more popular. Actual artists are showing their work with flatbed scanners. It’s a thing.

You can absolutely use your scanner to make your own art, too. Whether you’re just bored at the office or trying to get an image that will go perfectly with the wallpaper in your bathroom, your scanner is there for you. We’ve got three techniques to use to achieve your own personal masterpiece!

Technique #1: Still life. This isn’t your norm painting an apple on the stool still life. You can put any background you want (think sheets, blankets, scarves, anything that could give your scan the feeling of depth), and arrange any 3D thing(s) you want. Take a scan. Don’t like it? Rearrange and scan again! I mean, come on. How great would the pears and banana smiley look in your kitchen? Or the shell in your nautical-themed bathroom? So easy, and so inexpensive. And you have complete bragging rights when anyone (and everyone) asks where you got that picture from.









Technique #2: The more refined selfie. Okay, before you move on to technique #3, hear me out. I know, selfies don’t have the best rep, seeing as the word has attached itself to pre-teen middle schoolers who have mastered the duck face. But, you can legitimately take some pretty cool self-portraits using your scanner. No, I’m not talking about the office prank of scanning your butt, though I’m not against it either. I’m talking refined, modern scans of your most noticeable and remembered feature: your face. Look at these amazing face images captured from flatbed scanners. Totally worth trying. If it doesn’t work out, resort back to butt scans.

Warning: KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED if you’re going to do this. Just trust me.

scanner art face

scanner art face 2







Technique #3: Paint! Like, on the scanner itself. Obviously this technique is only to be used if you’re completely done using your scanner for any “normal” activities. Let’s say you bought a new, amazing scanner and have an old one that’s just lying around collecting dust. You can put it to good use by getting creative and painting on it. Watercolors are probably your best bet–you want to be able to clean it up after you’re done and do it again, of course! Just get your brush, some paint, some water, and go to town! They can look very intergalactic and/or psychedelic, but obviously super cool anyways.

scanner art 2

scanner art

Feeling inspired? Good, go use your scanner for something fun! Not that office memos aren’t fun. They totally are. Got another unconventional way to use scanners? Let us know down in the comment section!

9 responses to “Unconventional Ways to Use a Scanner: The Art Edition!

  1. Wonderful post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  2. This design is steller! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  3. Hmm it appears like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for rookie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

    • Thanks for the compliment! Writing for Imaging Systems is my first experience in the “blogging world,” so I’m still learning and feeling along myself. I think the best advice is to just jump in! Think about what you want to write about, and just go for it! If you’re enjoying what you’re writing about, then others will too :).

  4. Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  5. I put cling wrap down on the scanner bed for the messy stuff… happy scanner art.

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