A Collage A Day In August

Daily Collage #30 - Her Majesty
For August, I set myself a creative challenge: create thirty-one collages in thirty-one days, with the intent to flex my creative muscles, share my work with the world, and build a new body of work.

Here are some of the things I learned over the course of the project:
  • Showing up to the page (virtual or otherwise) every day, whether I want to or otherwise, is powerful. Necessity really is the mother. 
  • There are images that I like to use again and again, like vintage photographs, stars, the moon, the sky, wings, flowers, leafs, trees, ravens and other birds, cats. Finding new ways to use them is wonderful.

Prints (and some other fun things) are available in my Society6 shop.

Here's my basic process, more or less, when creating a collage:

  • Usually the first thing I do is to look for an image in a vintage photograph that I want to work with. It may spark something in my imagination, or it may simply be pretty. The figure may be posed in an interesting way or holding an object I can remove or replace with something else. 
  • Once I've found an image, I start thinking about how I can change it or (best option) tell a story with it. For example, with She Is Her Own Shelter, the original image was of a woman sitting on a swing. Instead of the swing's ropes, I pictured her looking up into a stormy sky, unafraid. I found a public domain lightening storm photo and brought it into the picture. An early image showed the lightening shooting right into her heart (or maybe out of it). I decided to keep pushing, and edited the photo so that the lightening bolts would be going into her hands. It went from haunting to powerful, and one of my favorite pieces for the month.

She Is Her Own Shelter - beginning steps.
  • Once I've got the basic idea down, or a story of some kind starting to come together in my head, I start editing the images to clean them up, make them crisper or softer, heightening any drama as appropriate. I really like to add just a hint of color to the vintage photographs, to cheeks and hair and eyes. Anything more than that though, and the image gets too "colorized" and loses some sense of integrity to me. Just the hint of color adds a spark without trying to drag the image too much into the present. What I really like about some of the images is a sense of timelessness.
  • From there I bring in embellishments and textures, adding to the story that I'm trying to tell, creating visual interest, balance and flow. A layer of texture on the top can sometimes even unit the image as a whole. As an example, this piece became much more interesting and united with the addition of the final textured layer:
They Come Out At Night - without final layer and with final layer.

All images that I incorporate into my collages are either in the public domain, or created by me, or used with permission.

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