Step #2 & black/white collages.

Hello Tuesday! First things first. My sister has shared some of her collaged pieces. This black bound journal may seem ordinary on the outside, but the inside pages contain various collages, paintings, drawings and some text too. Check ’em out! Thanks Kaitlin!

Journal collage pages

Journal collage pages

For today’s project, you may recall the supply list from the last post. You’ll need old black and white prints, other black and white images and/or small items like tags, fabric swatches, tickets, etc… (in black and white). This proved to be a bit of a difficult undertaking. Searching for strictly back and white is tricky in 2016! Below are some books from the local Goodwill that I’ll use for this project. There are some other black and white things I found too.

Black/white collage contents

Black/white collage contents

Maybe now is a good time to explain what we’re doing. I got lucky and happened on another amazing book titled, ‘The Trickster’s Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity,’ by Nick Bantock. The neat thing about this book is that it’s comprised of various exercises to finesse the creative senses to surface. I’ve perused them and have selected a few to try.

The Trickster's Hat by Nick Bantock

The Trickster’s Hat – Nick Bantock

It’s important to mention, in the book, Nick notes why he chooses to utilize the medium of collage in most of his exercises. “Not in the small sense of the word but collage in its broadest form, which includes everything from art and writing to humorous ranting and steampunking Barbie dolls. Unlike many art forms, collage is both highly flexible and forgiving. It’s also fast changing and nonlinear, which tends to promote a euphoric freedom from the predictable.” With that said, I tweaked the project a little from the exercise in the book, but it still holds the same principle. I mentioned that you should make an effort to NOT use family photos or mementos. You’ll also need:

  • scissors
  • poster board, cardboard, or some type of backing (heavier paper if your items are heavy)
  • matte medium (as opposed to other glue) – What’s this? Paint matte mediums are used by mixing into the paint to extend color, add transparency and help the paint flow better. You can use this kind or something like Modge Podge, an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish. You should be able to find either at a local craft store. Most importantly, use what you have; it isn’t a necessity that you go and buy matte medium.
  • brush to apply the matte medium

We’re going to create three separate collages. Nick specifies to size them at 6” x 6” but ultimately size them how you’d like. Focus your thoughts on your childhood. Pick the contents for the first collage, from your finds, that remind you of your childhood in anyway. Nick says to, “find elements or symbols that represent the general tone of who you were and the events that surrounded you.” It is going to be super difficult to include an image for every event that transpired while you grew up. Here’s where the second collage comes in, just as you may have guessed, use this one to focus on your teenage and youth years. The last should represent your adult life. Three collages helps to divide lifetime events. Even still, you won’t want to try to represent EVERY memory or event; that’d be a ton. Also, remember that using personal family imagery will complicate this process.

This project is a good way to delve into self-exploration and show your story to others. It’s a good foundation project that will help you build on what you discover doing it. Images you are drawn to, but don’t necessarily directly correlate to any event in your lifetime will, as Nick puts it, “be quite obscure, yet they often have a way of being more poignant than any literal illustration…” These collages will also emulate the true you. Once you find the true you, it will radiate and everything you do will be real, authentic, true, good and convincing; all of these make something good.

“The more open you are about sharing your passions, the closer people will feel to your work,” Austin Kleon, ‘STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST.’ Now, go and create!



Remember, I’ve been there. Finding my inner artist was not an easy task, but highly rewarding. Share your thoughts and your STUFF, e-mail me.



4 thoughts on “Step #2 & black/white collages.

  1. Pingback: Let’s write some things. | these boots

  2. Pingback: Black/white collages, round 2. | these boots

  3. Pingback: What have you learned so far? | these boots

  4. Pingback: 30 day project. | these boots

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