Attempting collage

As you might have guessed from the title, I’ve been attempting collage. It’s not exactly gallery worthy*, but it was a lot of fun, and I thought I would show my work, as well as write about a few things that I would do differently.

The image is made of a few different magazines – mainly health and lifestyle, believe it or not, with a bit of National Geographic thrown in. I think there’s about three or four magazines in there all together. The people climbing over the rocks and the demonic/buddha masks were from the same health/lifestyle magazine; they were what gave me the idea of someone being helped into hell.

I cut them out using a scalpel and a knife – I’ve never thrown away my old dissection kit for this very reason; it always comes in handy. The knife was good for cutting the spines of the magazines, to release whole pages, while the scalpel was better for cutting out the images. The tip of the scalpel blade went blunt about three quarters of the way through, however, and they’re sort of the wrong shape to be able to use the rest of the blade. Plus, holding and pressing solidly on a thin, hard-sided rectangular piece of metal for any length of time was pretty miserable. The tip of my right index finger went numb. I’m going to try and get an Exacto-knife, with a nice barrel handle for the next time I do something like this. As for the rest of it; it’s Prit-stick on to A3 sketch paper. Very high tech.

The biggest lesson I learned making this was patience. I was very impatient to get started, and once I had an idea, I didn’t want to wait and collect more materials before cracking on. As a result, this image is made with what I had to hand, rather than thoughtfully with images that might have made it better.

Take colour, for example. It’s a very busy image, lots of different colours, some clashing. If I was a little more patient, I could have found different images that were more complimentary colours, that performed the same structural purpose. The background, for instance, is pretty hectic. You’ve got the blues, the out of focus smudges of white and pink and the stripes of green. I think a block colour or gradient colour might have been better – I could have created a colour gradient myself using pencils, or used block colour card, or crepe paper, or found a block colour image that I liked.

Structurally, it’s busy, too. I wanted the bottles and the honey spoon in the background to be representatives of some sort of city or deliberate structure, (hence the honey towers), but I don’t think that they’re arranged right for that to be conveyed. I’d either leave them out or re-arrange them, next time, but this time I was too impatient to make something.

Of course, some elements are there out of necessity, rather than aesthetics. The flowers are there solely to cover text. If I’d slowed down a bit, collected more materials, perhaps, I might have found something that did the same job, but less obtrusively.

C’est la vie. It’s very okay. That’s not to say that I don’t like it at all. Three furious creatures helping someone up a rock is nice and incongruous, and I like the flipped honey spoon as a structure; its ‘upward’ drips looks like some sort of translucent golden castle on a precipice.

Most importantly of all, tho’, I had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. I had fun imagining how to fit all the images together once I found them in magazines, and cut them out while watching Twitch and YouTube, etc. Arranging and gluing them made me feel like a child, back in primary school again. Making stuff in general is an enormous amount of fun. I encourage you all to get inspired and make something!

Much love from the alien hellscape.

*are there universal signifiers for understatement? <und> and </und> maybe? 😛

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