You can imagine that I get a lot of book solicitations from publishers- but only now and then will I get them from the actual AUTHOR. Such was the case with the The Collage Workbook: How to Get Started and Stay Inspired
This was interesting to me because while collage is VERY hot in mixed-media right now- specifically as a scrapbooking format- I’d never taken more than a by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach to collage. And to be perfectly honest, I wanted to see how a male artist approached it. And how that approach varied from the “pretty” collages that I’ve been seeing across the webs.
So enter this book. Here’s how it’s described on the website:
Both a popular hobby and a recognized art form, collage encompasses a wide range of creative styles and techniques–explored here by the creator of the popular A Collage a Day blog. Offering step-by-step instruction, visual inspiration, and even a library of copyright-free images, this hands-on guide covers all the necessary materials, tools, and know-how, from adding color and transferring images, to décollage (tearing away layers). And to spark the reader’s imagination, there are 52 creativity prompts, such as a collage using the letters of a single word.
I dug into the book and immediately found it accessible and engaging. (And not “pretty” at all, by the way.) Randel gives the reader a series of practical exercises to help get you “out of your head” so to speak and just MAKING, while giving you one point or technique to focus on.
I was intrigued by the color study exercise. I chose the color blue, hunted through a magazine, and got started.
While I usually really enjoy collage, I actually found this REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE. I kept wondering, what am I looking at? Where is this going? Why don’t I feel connected to my piece? And then I realized that I usually work from a narrative- that I’m telling a story of some sort with my art. This wasn’t a story-it was an exercise. And it’s OK to be uncomfortable to make art without my story.
I also worked on a numbers-themed piece, and had the same feeling. The first layer is excruciating for me! Which is probably my indicator that I need to do this kind of collage much more often, and just let myself explore more.
Wanna see my “finished” pieces?
I also like that if you need some cool images, there is a set of papers in the back you can photocopy and use.
So here’s my take-away on the Collage Workbook: it will push your boundaries and maybe your buttons. You will NOT make “cute” collage- but you just may tap into a part of your brain that has been laying dormant. I know that when I get into a rut, this book will be a great resource.
- 132 pages
- published by Lark Books
- resource guide for materials
- guide to basic materials and techniques
Disclosure: sample provided for review. My opinions are my own.
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