As I made this week's set of tags for the #365somethings2018 challenge, I picked up a few insights about creativity and collage that I'd like to share with you today.
(As you know if you've been following along lately, I am making seven mixed media tags every week this year, and my plan is for each set to be inspired by what we're making in the studio that week in Art Fix classes. )
This last week, since we were diving into collage, I decided to start with a blank slate for the backgrounds—slate grey being the color inspiration—and began to build quick collages. As a first pass, my goal was to just get the images down in one sitting and then come back later to add the final layers. Which I did.
Collage really just begins with paper elements glued down on a surface (and yes, get the mind out of the way when you do that!) But truly, the magic happens after the gluing.
More layers! Outlining! Integrating the separate elements into one piece with further embellishment! I love to get out my pens and embellish to my heart's delight. It can feel risky for sure. Each time I took out a pen or marker, I worried that I might ruin it. But you know what? I never did. I am reminded of what Julie Fei Fan Balzer says: "More is more!"
I thought you might like to look more closely at before and afters, so here are three of the tags
First, just collage:
Then, I added outlining:
And finally, here they are fully embellished:
And here are all seven again:
And another thing...
For these tags, I challenged myself to work quickly and without thinking—which means I really had to put away rational thought.
I was uncomfortable at first working so quickly, but I'm glad I did. I usually like to work slowly and intuitively, but at that pace I found that I would have to create pieces without meaning.
I realized that at least when working with imager, I usually intend to make meaning with almost anything I create—art journal pages or canvases books, whatever. Meaning is something I haven't questioned before. But with these tags, I came to release all intention to create collages that mean something and that was a good exercise! I found it to be a really effective way to quiet my rational mind truly just play.
While meaning was thrown out the window, composition was not. I still challenged myself to create miniature compositions and I surprised myself because I could do that without thinking. Very interesting, as they say.
Anyway...I made myself dizzy with these thoughts this week so I thought I'd share. I really thought about creativity and the role of meaning and rational thought and what the intuitive mind can do on its own with composition.
I hope this has all been helpful to you and inspires you to go out and create some collage!
Until next time—