A Collage State of Mind / by Leslie Fandrich

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By Leslie Fandrich // Themes: Paper, Collage // Category: Personal Work

I'm in a collage state of mind lately. All of a sudden, it seems to be everywhere! Collage is my go-to method for creating quick compositions and keeping the creativity fresh. It's the way I have fun and play and it's something I often do in my sketchbook. This week though, I've been working a bit bigger in anticipation of a local collage workshop I'll be doing soon. Jonathan Talbot teaches a method for creating collages that eliminates liquid adhesives and I can't wait to learn about it.


I shared a few of my pieces on Instagram for the Contributor's March mini-project focusing on paper. Today is the last day to share your work or you can just have a look at the #aContributor hashtag and see what other people have been doing. The project is for anything and everything involving paper. 

Making a collage is a great way to get out of your head and have fun making art. There are no rules and I find the whole process very freeing. I was so in awe of this story about a prison inmate who made a gigantic collage from newspapers on bed sheets. What an amazing way to pass the time and a reminder that you really can make art anywhere out of anything.

From WikipediaA collage may sometimes include newspaper clippings, ribbons, bits of colored or handmade papers, portions of other artwork or texts, photographs and other found objects, glued to a piece of paper or canvas. The origins of collage can be traced back hundreds of years, but this technique made a dramatic reappearance in the early 20th century as an art form of novelty. The term collage derives from the French "coller" (which means to glue). This term was coined by both Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in the beginning of the 20th century when collage became a distinctive part of modern art.


You don't need much to make a collage. A magazine, a pair of scissors, some glue and thick paper will do nicely. You don't even really need scissors, just tear the paper. If you don't like using wet glue that can sometimes warp the paper, try an acid free tape roller. I use Tombo. If you want to get fancy, you can use an exacto-knife, metal ruler and a self healing mat to allow you to cut out details and straight lines. You can add paint and embellishments. I love to use old books from thrift stores. Art, nature and history books are especially wonderful. Look for colors and textures, patterns and shapes. Hunt for paper ephemera at garage sales. Look for old photographs, maps and music sheets.

Oh and one last thing, something I had to get over before I really started to be able to make collages:

Don't be afraid to destroy something in order to make something new. Cut it up. Tear it up. Recycle. Rebuild.