Thursday, October 18, 2012

Art Journaling and More With Mini-Collages

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time now you'll know how much I enjoy working with magazine cut-outs: words, phrases, photos; I collect them all. Whether I'm using them to plot out my next novel, or simply illustrating my art journal, I can't imagine being without my various files of cut-outs.

The sizes range all the way from items so big I have to crop them (or fold then into quarters) to fit my pages, to teensy-tinsy little things I find in the classified or other obscure sections of magazines and catalogs. I've ended up with so many of these miniature gems that I've started using them for what I call "mini-collages," small pictures no larger than 6" square, usually less.

The best thing about mini-collages is they can be put together in minutes--they're almost like doodling. The materials are easy to carry to work, or while you're on vacation: just a glue stick and a Zip-loc bag of images and supports. They're especially great for those times when I don't have an art journal handy--once I've finished I just stack them up to glue into my journal later.

Readily-available supports for mini-collages can include:
  • Index cards; lined or unlined; white, pastel, or fluorescent.
  • Business cards.
  • Old greeting cards.
  • New greeting cards (treat yourself!).
  • Envelopes--new and used.
  • Origami paper.
  • Scrapbooking papers cut or torn into smaller pieces.
  • Mini-canvases and art boards sold in small packs from art supply stores.
  • Disposable coasters.
  • Cocktail napkins (especially the pretty, printed ones).
  • Old calendars divided into pieces. The page-a-day type work well, too.
  • Old paperback book covers--both the backs and the fronts.
  • "Failed" drawings and paintings, cut up or torn.
  • Empty matchbooks.
  • Old photos (duplicates, or ones that are no longer important, of course!)
  • Larger-sized magazine cut-outs.
Right now I'm using mini-collages mainly for my art journal, but here are some ideas I thought would be fun to try in the future:
  • Add to, or frame, a larger collage.
  • Glue on top of small cardboard or wooden boxes.
  • Turn into greeting cards (even the ones made from old greeting cards!)
  • Use one as the basis for a book cover design.
  • Use as templates for drawings.
  • Photograph, scan, enlarge, and make transfers for T-shirts, tote bags, or cushions.
  • Use as the background to a website, blog, or social network sites.
  • Create a deck of prompt cards for creative inspiration or meditation.
Let's go! 

Tip of the Day: The next time you're gathering magazine photos for prompts or other uses, don't overlook anything you might think is "too small." Good things DO come in small packages, especially when put together as a group: see how many mini-collages you can make in one sitting.

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