As filmmaker Kirby Ferguson said in his now-famous TED Talk, “Everything is a remix.” All artists borrow, steal and transform in order to create because creativity is really about mixing old elements in new combinations. And if you’re looking for some of that inspiration, then look no further than Plastic Classics, a super-cool collection by English artist Jane Perkins.

Plastic Classics is Perkins’ most current body of work. She’s been working on it since 2010, and the collection is all about using recycled (and upcycled!) materials to give classic art a contemporary twist.

Perkins has made several versions of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Mona Lisa. She feels the way Van Gogh thickly applied paint to canvas lends itself to interpretation using found materials. Like, who knew that Mona Lisa’s mysterious smile looked exactly like a headless, naked Barbie doll? Jane knew, that’s who.

The artist refers to herself as a ‘”re-maker” who takes inspiration from found objects and works them into something new.

Head over to her website, and you’ll find a quote from sculptor David Mach that reads, “Every artist needs to find the right material through which he can express himself.” In this case, that material includes toys, shells, buttons, beads, jewelry and springs.

Perkins finds her materials at charity shops, boot sales and recycling centers. Neighbors and friends have even donated junk for her to turn into masterpieces.

And here’s some inspiring personal info about Perkins. Her background is just as interesting as her art. She worked as a nurse for 17 years and a full-time mom for 10 years before deciding to pursue art full-time. She graduated from art school in 2006 and wrote her degree thesis on Art and Design from Recycled Materials, which all just goes to show that it’s never too late to pursue your passions and explore your creative potential.

What are you doing to explore your creative potential? Let us know in the comments.