Thursday, November 11, 2010

Collage Exercises

A playful approach to collage is the best tactic whether just starting out or feeling stuck for some reason. To that end, here are some collage ice breakers.

1. Find an image you like and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces, as in the sunflower above. How do the pieces interact in their new shapes? How can you make a new composition using them in any way but right back together?

2. Take a landscape image or some other patterned design and cut it into some commonly recognized shape: a circle, star, hand, heart or cross (as in the cross combined with the sunflower parts above). Use this as the starting point or repeat with many similar or contrasting shapes. You see this in commercial art a lot lately: the human body in the shape of a field of ragweed for an allergy drug, etc....

3. Take 3 or 4 images about the same size. Cut through all the pieces at once, making the same shapes. This might mean you cut the pieces quite randomly, almost making something like a jigsaw puzzle, or in any combination of known shapes. Take a look at the assortment of shapes you've created and put them together in a new and interesting way. Add to this as needed to form a whole composition.

In general, just sitting down with a stack of magazines, catalogs, etc. and giving yourself the license to cut out whatever appeals to you is the gateway to good collage. Doing collage with a group of friends is always fun, as collage can be very instinctive. Seeing what everyone chooses in the way of images can be revealing! Our obsessions pop right up. Making collages for me is something like a waking dream state, where all sorts of subjects and passions recombine and interweave. For me, collage is a world where all things are possible. Reinvention, integration and revelation sure to follow...

Collage by KAO: Flame of the Flower, 2008

1 comment:

Zom said...

Great suggestions. I have never really approached collage in such an abstract manner. Thanks.