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Create a Collage.

Updated on July 18, 2013
"Dancing Green and Blue"
"Dancing Green and Blue" | Source

Collage Can Be Serious Art.

There is more than enough information on the origins and the artists that are serious about creating collages as a fine art. If you are looking for history you can start with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque during the years 1912-1914. Juan Gris will also show up in this search as well, and he is the one who really carried the early baton of the cubist/collage movement continuing along its line until his death in 1927 well after Picasso and Braque had moved on to something different.

I find it quite fascinating, but if I were to expound on this history here it would be painfully redundant for you and me. I want to have fun! That is the only reason to be an artist as far as I'm concerned. It is fun, and I can tell the world about what I see and feel and think both consciously and unconsciously.

I often discover things about myself as I work, which is sometimes difficult, but I am infinitely interested in what lies inside me. I think most artists are fairly self-centered, (please don't assume selfish, because the two are not the same) because they are intent on expressing their unique point of view to the world. This is the source of great art, and it a long way from easy.

"Study #23D"
"Study #23D" | Source

How to Make a Collage.

I don't want to be insensitive to all the other folks who are exploiting this wonderous world we've come to know most recently as the internet with their own take on collage, but there is nothing to the creation of a collage. The webs have a plethora of folks making videos and writing about how to make collages. There's photo collage software, hanging a bunch of framed pictures close together on a wall, or photo collage frames. Basically, collage has come to be understood as more than one photograph placed in close proximity to each other.

All of this is simply a cluster-cuss, if you'll pardon the expression. It's really very confusing, and I believe it is a result of people capitalizing on a commonly understood term to sell a product. Collage has lost its concise meaning, and literally fallen out of vogue in the fine art realm. Most professional artists who work in the medium now call their collages "mixed media" to avoid being lost in the amatuer misunderstanding of the artform.

"How do I make a collage?" You ask. Take anything basically 2 dimensional (flat) and glue it with other 2d objects onto anything. That is it. If you build a sculpture out of objects that are not flat then you're creating an assemblage. Another fascinating form of art I intend to explore in the future. But for our purposes collage is as close to 2 dimensional as possible and made up of anywhere from 2 to infinty things glued together.

All you need is glue, basically, but you'll probably want scissors or a knife of some kind, but thing can be torn or broken as well. You can do it digitally if you want, (I haven't yet) but be creative, don't just print out a piece of paper with a bunch of photos on it and call it a collage. Listen to me laying down the law ;).

"Hail to Dr. Know."
"Hail to Dr. Know." | Source

Amazon Art Supplies

ExcelSteel 5-Piece All Purpose Scissors
ExcelSteel 5-Piece All Purpose Scissors

This is a great scissor selection for collage.


Discover How You Do Collage.

Play with it. Glue some stuff together. See what you find interesting or beautiful. Clear your head and flip through some books, magazines, or newspapers to see what you find. Try ribbons or colored paper or thin pieces of wood or fabric or draw on you project. Literally let yourself go and find out what feels good and right to you.

I encourage you to avoid the how-to videos and websites at first, just glue. When you feel good about what you do then seek out inspiration, but don't copy others. Incorporate what you learn from them into your own creations. Trust your artistic ability. If you are doing it right your work will be different than everyone else's.

Granted, there are technical realities to be explored. Types of glue are very important, because they don't all work the same. A glue stick is probably easiest for paper items, but rubber or paper cement works much better. I use both regularly. Good scissors or a sharp knife and a cutting pad are good tools as well. This is really the only reason I ever take in how-to stuff on the net; to see what their using and see if it might work for me.

Mostly, I like to search the innerwebs for completed works just to see what other folks are creating. Much earlier in my career as an artist I used to search for art that looked like mine, to sort of validate what I was doing. As if my work was unworthy if someone else wasn't creating the same thing. This is absolutely wrong. I will repeat: if you are doing it right your work will be different than anyone else's work.


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    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 

      5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Taking two separate concepts or more, and merging it into one artistic vision is the idea... and you've described it nicely! Great post. :)

    • theraggededge profile image

      Bev G 

      5 years ago from Wales, UK

      Nothing more fun than cutting, gluing and making a mess :)


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