Sunday, November 17, 2013

It starts with an image {mini collage}




Collage is my current favorite medium.  Though I have made my way through other materials, collage just seems to have the perfect blend of simplicity, potential for bold messages, and the never-ending well of ephemera from magazines, vintage books, copyright-free internet images, and decorated papers.  I find it to be an amazing inspiration for my art journal pages.




I have an obscene amount of disorganized piles of paper scraps and old books.  Surrounding my art table in the basement you will find everything from old dictionaries to fashion magazines, manga comic books to vintage children's workbooks.  I have varied scrapbook papers, assorted tissue paper, and yogurt cups full of clipped words just waiting to be used in a found poem.  If I ever feel uninspired, all I need to do is shuffle through a pile and something will just beg to be used.




I don't always start with an idea or topic in mind.  I will often let the images themselves tell me what they want to say.  It almost seems magical, the way a magazine clipped image and a certain word that was unrelated will all of a sudden need to marry each other right there on the page.  Color inspiration may follow, and the page continues to whisper to me until it's finished.  This is my favorite part.




Currently I am collaging in a mini moleskine sketchbook, inspired by Emily at Stamping Bella.  {If you're interested in playing along, we use the hashtag #minigluebook on Instagram.}  The size is perfect, the pages are oh, so creamy and firm, and I can carry it everywhere.




When I'm out and about at my four children's activities, I bring a beautiful Vera Bradley bag {gifted by my mom} that I have packed with my favorite mobile materials: baggies of fun clippings, mini journals, washi tape, gel pens, glue sticks, watercolor crayons, scissors, etc.  This bag is an investment in my sanity, as I don't get down to my art "den" nearly often enough.




Collage is all about choosing pieces that speak to you and then shifting them around until they click.  Here are a few tips for starting up a collage practice of your own:
  • Just start clipping and collecting whatever catches your eye: junk mail, magazines, old ticket stubs, lists you've jotted, old children's books (you can often get them at your local library sales for under a dollar each.)  Keep a baggie or pencil case of what you find.
  • Start small: I collage on old recipe cards, index cards, even old playing or flash cards.  You'll find it much easier if you don't have a huge white space to cover.
  • Choose a background piece with uniform texture: maps, dictionary pages, scrapbook paper, graph paper are good examples.  
  • Find an image or word and go from there.  Let one photo guide your color choices, or one word set the mood of the piece.
  • Don't feel you have to add a ton of elements.  Some of my most powerful collages are the ones with only a few items artfully placed.

A couple of resources to explore:

{{Psst...follow me on Instagram @Fruitnseason}}


9 comments:

  1. "I have an obscene amount of disorganized piles of paper scraps and old books. Surrounding my art table in the basement you will find everything from old dictionaries to fashion magazines, manga comic books to vintage children's workbooks. I have varied scrapbook papers, assorted tissue paper, and yogurt cups full of clipped words just waiting to be used in a found poem. If I ever feel uninspired, all I need to do is shuffle through a pile and something will just beg to be used."

    This whole paragraph made me hyperventilate.

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    1. Haha!! Totally. If the paragraph did that, setting foot in the actual room might bring on a coronary... <3

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    3. {me, too, Thea! in a positive way!}

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  2. I can feel the calming peace in the pages. I'm doing something like this too these days. Wonderful therapy. :)

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    1. Yes, I agree! Calming and revealing all at the same time.

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  3. oh i love this peek inside your creative process. i am always so moved by your striking images and powerful messages in your work. xo

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    1. Thank you, my friend! <3 You're such an encouragement to me in so many ways!

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  4. Christine, I love your process by using the moleskin and your "to go" bag with collage essentials! I keep saying I need to do this too, but I do...it IS such therapy. Also, to have a table full of an "obscene amount of disorganized piles of paper scraps and old books" (not having to clean up) makes my heart leap and say "yes!" Thank you for sharing your words and process.

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