Collage is a great medium for those who are just beginning to tap their creative energy, and it can also be attractive to seasoned artists. Collage tends to be a more inviting and versatile medium—it relies less on skills of drawing and perception and more on skills of collecting and combining interesting elements.
Collage comes from the French word, coller, which means “to glue.” Essentially, you are gluing together interesting elements to create a composition and point of view. Collage differs from “mixed media” in that it is usually 2D elements. There are many pieces you can combine in a collage: ribbon, fabric, patterns on paper, written documents, words, and photographs, to name a few. A collage can give unique insight into sources of depression, stress or hope along your journey.
Take a look at Pablo Picasso, Romare Bearden, and Hannah Höch’s work. You may also recognize Eric Carle’s books, such as The Hungry Caterpillar, as collage too! Eric Carle paints on pieces of paper first and then combines them to create his compositions. The possibilities of collage work are endless.
One way to start diving into collage work is to begin collecting interesting images. Begin a collage box! Collect images that inspire you, images with great texture or pattern, images of people doing interesting things, colors you enjoy, etc. Sometimes for creative inspiration it takes having some of these elements already there.
Once you have your images, begin to assemble them. Perhaps you notice a theme happening, or the combination of elements becomes humorous or surreal. Have fun with this activity! You can go with these themes, or you may also start with an idea, such as:
- a Visualization Board, that contains images of goals and dreams
- a celebration of your accomplishments, with photos and items from the past
- a self portrait
- an image telling a story in your life
Let the imagery inspire you, and let the stories and reflections unfold.