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Collage material from your own hand

The other day I was sitting at my desk making some new collage bits out of old collage detritus and thought it might be  entertaining? helpful? inspirational? to do a bit of a deep dive into the Hows and Whys of creating your own collage fodder. 

Often I have sheets of paper I use for rolling off excess paint from gelprinting, unsuccessful prints or pieces that are left from other collage projects and I throw these into a box beside my work desk. Eventually though, I've pawed through them for the 1000th time and the inspiration has long since left the building and that's when I take a low energy day or am between projects or waiting for paint to dry (cuz sometimes you need to know when to STOP; another post for another day) and go through that box and thin things out. 

What gets chucked? Obvious garbage ...  hand ripped edges off a magazine photo, blank paper bits (which go into another box for notes),  book pages with no useable words. What remains are pieces that I can still use but have lost their charm and need some zzuzzhing up OR bits of tissue paper, maybe blank or maybe with some pattern from gel printing. And I grab my acrylic markers and Letraset and fineliners and have at it. I make patterns...stripes, circles, dots. I write lines I've loved from poems or quotes. I spatter. Sometimes I'll collage bits onto other bits.  Or I'll paint transparent layers over the existing pieces to change up the palette. When I'm done, I have a whole new-to-me set of collage materials. So often I'm inspired to start something with these newly created bits. Win win!

But why, you ask? Why would I take time to DO this? Why not just bin the works and start afresh? Besides the waste...  and, seriously, I have a hard enough time dealing with the garbage I DO create... it allows me to make my own marks which in turn makes my work more ME. Does that really make a difference? I think so. All you have to do is look at work that is created solely out of purchased materials (thinking Michaels here #sorrynotsorry). It can be lovely. But kinda soul less. If I paint some stripes or make some dots they are not going to look like the same stripes or dots that YOU make. Similar perhaps. But definitely not the same. If we both use pre-printed striped paper from a store, they are going to look exactly the same, even if we use them in different ways. The end result of creating your own marks in your own distinctive way is your art reflects YOUR style, becomes more YOU. And that is always a Good Thing. 

Here's a little  video I made, showing some of the collage material I made in my latest session. Enjoy!