Snips and Clips. . .Collecting Scraps and Images for Mixed Media and Collage-Making

There are lots of places you can find great images for collage work.  I like to start at the library in the free magazine bins. . .it’s even sort of an adventure to go there. . .not really knowing what I am going to find.  And as a result, I come home with a nice little stack of interesting publications thanks to partaking in that little excursion.

And if you decide to meet me over there sometime, just be prepared to get side-tracked into collecting recipes, fiction pieces, poems. reviews, etc.     You might get lost there for awhile as well.

Publications like “The New Yorker,” “The Atlantic Monthly,” “Poetry” . . . these are all nice for cutting lines of prose and poetry to incorporate into you work as well.  One publication I was kind of excited to find at my library was “Opera News,”  You will find lots of drama there, stage photos, images of sheet music. . .that’s an early photo of Uncle Walt (Whitman) in my collage there

Guitar News is great too:

Make sure you have good scissors. . .you want to get some of the better quality kind for that. . .sharp and lightweight.  I recently found some nice padded handle scissors for around eight dollars. . .and my sister gave me a pair of neon fiskars in chartreuse last christmas, along with a nice assortment of scrapbooking papers:

Other places I like to mine for materials are dollar stores and thrift shops.  Thrift shops offer some really great used photography books and collections of National Geographic. . .all nice to keep on hand for these projects.  The dollar stores carry colorful tissue paper, lace doilies, handmade papers and stationary, which are all nice to cut and tear into.  I also like to have bags of feathers, glitter, scraps of fabric, lace, ribbon on hand.

Depending on the weight of the media you’re planning to incorporate into your piece, this will determine the kind of support you’ll be using underneath.  For most projects, I end up using arches paper, mixed media paper, canvas board, birch panels. . .   Again, you want to consider the weight and density of the material you’re using.  For simple paper collages, the mixed media paper works just fine.

I like to use gloss medium and a brush to affix the images, a thin coat of this on the back and another coat on top to seal it.  But you can also use Mod Podge and Yes paste, which is much less toxic-smelling than rubber cement; basically it serves the same purpose.  You just want to be careful and experiment a little as Mod Podge can sometimes buckle if you use too much or too little of it.  (. ..which can be a happy accident if you’re wanting to add some wrinkles, bubbles and texture.)

Make sure you have some killer tunes for the background ambience and nice lighting.

(Photos reproduced from Opera and Guitar as fair use for demonstration and educational purposes only)


3 responses

  1. Great post, Tess! I always enjoy hearing about your creative process. Great picture of Bob Dylan at the end there, too!

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