Back in the 80’s I used to make collages for myself by using scissors to carefully, carefully cut images from magazines we had bought or been given at home, and then blast whatever song was filling me up at the time while I played with the arrangement and placement of the images and how I wanted them to come together to present as a whole. I had a wall that I had placed poster board backing on, and just kept adding images to until the whole wall was full – but not crowded; if space was required in certain areas in certain ways, I paid attention to the balance of it to let it breathe and draw the eye to all the lines and colours and images so that nothing was overshadowed by something else, unless I’d intended for something to be more emphasized than something else. For that, I just curled little pieces of tape over to make sure that enough of the image that I’d cut would not curl but remain affixed and smooth. Once I started using a scrapbook, I sometimes used glue, sometimes tape. And in the scrapbook I could write in between the images, drawings, doodles and pictures, place personal photos as well, etc. The images were mostly fashion and the arts, sometimes science, as well as great design in any area. It was a lot of fun, and enormously satisfying.
FAST FORWARD yea, many years, and then came Apple – and Thank God for Steve Jobs and every genius who helped create everything that is noble and good at Apple!
Through the use of the Pages app and an iPad (though any touch device will do this, I just find the screen size easier to work with for this purpose), I was able to save images from a variety of sources on the Internet, much like people do at Pinterest, etc., as well as from newsletters, resize them, arrange them, tilt them, move them around, until they sat as I wished them to, in a digital collage, which I would then have to screen shot to save in my photo library so that the images would not move around while looking at them (in the Pages app, once you’ve made a collage, sometimes while scrolling through the image the images will move around by virtue of it being a touch device; trying, but solve-able by either emailing it to yourself as a pdf and then saving in your iTunes library or tilting the iPad to portrait view and then taking a screen shot to save in your photo library).
What’s great about looking at the collages I make for myself is that on the iPad, I can expand any part of the collage that I want to look at more closely, and then zoom out again. I like making my collages in silence, and I also like making my collages while listening to music that I feel like listening to in the moment, and letting it carry me. I make them entirely by feel, going through thousands of images and randomly accepting and discarding which images I will use for the feel of the piece while I am working on it. Some of the images may not be as readily understood for their inclusion in the collage I created that I am showing here, as they may be referentially evocative only to me, though don’t let that dissuade you from being inspired to create your own collage for yourself, nor is it intended to be exclusive.
This collage is actually quite ‘busy’, in comparison to some of my other ones, but when I look at it, read it, explore it, zoom in and zoom out, scan it, and just let it wash over me, I feel it, and it both informs and inspires me, which is the point. The nice thing about collages, too, is that you can do whatever you want with it, and once it’s in your photo library, you can use the Over app in the iTunes App Store, and even select artwork or a font, font colour, and font size and placement, and write over top of the image – SO cool!!
You could choose a theme, like comedy, or like happiness, or like childhood, or a dream or goal, or just thinking of another person and, endeavouring to uplift them, create something so inspired that it just sends love and/or supports them in a meaningful way where they now have it to be able to refer to for themselves, over and over again, as often as they wish.
And because the creator is always greater than the thing made, you will bubble up with more and more ideas that grab your attention, especially as you continue to grow and evolve. So while you are limited to the size of the overall piece while creating, what does not end up in one collage can end up in another; it is not exhaustive, nor is any one collage, and so nothing is lost, there is simply more to come.