Keeping it Simple: minimalistic collage

I am a part of The Sketchbook Project but haven’t posted anything from my book until now. I have thought a lot about my theme though (girds and lines) and what I wanted to use my sketchbook for. I feel that a sketchbook of any kind should house sketches and ideas that can be worked on further, rather than fine art.

Keeping it simple

A sketchbook is notthe place for finished ideas or your best efforts even if it will be a part of a touring exhibition. My sketchbook will be on exhibit in the US during 2011 (together with thousands of other sketchbooks) and I think that is awesome, but I still feel it must be allowed to be what it is: a simple sketchbook with quite thin pages.

I am a fan of seemingly quick collages with very few elements. I am drawn to it and I can appreciate a minimalistic collage very much. Oftentimes they feel calming and interesting. It might look “simple and quick” (similar to abstract art) but you do need to practice to get a good eye for colour, composition and material. Learning when to “stop adding” stuff is the most difficult part to me. I don’t know if I will ever do it well and feel content about my minimalistic collage efforts, but I am trying…

Strips of paper

Considering all this I have decided to “keep it simple” with my Sketchbook Project pages. I will explore what I usually don’t do to see what happens. I have already noticed that for me simple is hard! I just keep adding details and colours until it is nothing close to minimalistic. I usually do bold, colourful and detailed. I guess my style is more Exploding Rainbow than it is Minimalistic clean, and that is totally okay. I love colours. I just am not used to this style at all, so I notice how difficult it is to “keep it simple”. It sounds contradictory but to me this is a fact. I guess it comes naturally for some artists, and that if they were asked to add a lot more colour that would feel strange to them! Still, I have decided that my mission for this sketchbook is to simplify.

Sketchbook Project
This is the first time I use a sketchbook in this way; to stretch beyond my comfort zone as an artist and expand my knowledge in my mission for life-long-learning. Well, if you don’t count all my beloved Art Journal who exist for that exact reason. With the thin papers of this sketchbook I am hoping I will learn to use a sketchbook (sketchbooking) as a new form of exploration that I will continue to use in my life. I am not sure my sketchbook will be “beautiful” in my own eyes, but it will be a real workbook that records my continues road as an artist.

If you like the concept of “keeping it simple” maybe you want to tweet this post, write a comment or just think about keeping it simple for yourself and what that means to you.

Have a great weekend!

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12 Responses to Keeping it Simple: minimalistic collage

  1. Carin says:

    I actually think “grids and lines” was one of the hardest prompts for this project, just because it is deceptively simple. I love that you’re cutting it back even further too, using it to explore rather than making complex sketches using grids and lines.

    Simplicity can be hard, especially if you’re used to art journalling and adding, adding, adding. The pages you’ve made/ shown are fabulous though in their simplicity. Can’t wait to see what else you make for the project.

    Oops, just jammed the printer for the layers of tissue print out! Gues I’ll be stamping instead lol!

  2. That’s great! I hesitated to join sketchbook project, since I heard about it late, and the prompts kind of intimidated me. But I absolutely LOVE your interpretation of “grids and lines”. I love simplicity as well, and yes, it’s super hard to hold yourself back from adding more. :) Can’t wait to see more!

  3. MissKoolAid says:

    I think those pages are beautiful so the whole sketchbook will be beautiful as well.
    I think that the beauty of a project like this is that everyone has a different view of how their sketchbook should be filled and it creates a wonderful eclectic collection.

    Kudos to you for trying the “simple” route. I know I have a hard time holding back when creating.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Great blog post! I love grids too and minimalistic art. I have a tendency to overdo everything too and often don’t find out until harm is already done. I often read your blog and find it very inspiring, but am a bit lazy to write as it takes me a lot of time to formulate correct English phrases. Thanks for letting me accompany you on your art journey! I want to go in the same direction!

  5. Elisabet says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts about sketchbooks with us! It is always so inspiring to see what you are doing. I am almost always keeping things too simple and I am struggling with the challenge to add thing. I’m looking forward to a class IRL!

  6. Paula says:

    Hanna, I really really like these pages! I struggle a great deal with keeping it simple in my art, but I think I need to give this one more go!

  7. rebecca says:

    Hi Hanna! Thanks for stopping by at my blog and also over on my Flickr! It looks as if we share a few interests and collecting ephemera is definately one of them :)
    The journal page with the strips of paper is a really good idea!
    I have also taken part in an Art House Sketchbook Project, it’s fantastic to be a part of a project like that! x

  8. Bobbi says:

    Your sketchbook is beautiful. I love the look of bits of random papers together on a page.

  9. TJ says:

    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this post Hanna! You made so many good observations and it made me realize I’m really “over-thinking” and “over-planning” mine. It’s a SKETCH book for cripes sake!! Emphasis on “SKETCH” and not necessarily intended for “finished” work. Best post I’ve read anywhere in a long time. Keep up the great work! Happy creations from germany, tj

  10. elizabeth says:

    Good point. I am parto of this project and I was procrastinating for the same reasons. I did not procrastinated my sketches, then if I keep it simple I can put everything I have sketched and then I’ll be happy and less stressed out. Tha is the point…we should enjoy the ride and sketch for the pleasure it gives! Thank you so much for sharing your insights! Nice to meet you through this amazing journey!

  11. Chris says:

    Oh, your sketchbook will be fantastic! I love this project because we all can do very different things, and they will all be in the same traveling exhibit together! I am scared about ‘messing up’ my sketchbook, but I have to allow it to flow and be organic. That is what I’m reminding myself when I feel the ‘planner’ working ovetime!

    rock on, Hanna!

  12. Theresa says:

    I love the minimilist look! I normally am very happy to overdue it with color and find the white shockingly bright behind the colored paper. I am going to try it. I do believe that you are right. Even if it is a few strips of paper it does take skill in picking them out and placing them on the paper to be pleasing to the eye.

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