Sorting for Inspiration

Do you too do some kind of sorting for inspiration? I enjoy sorting through materials and finding tiny paper scraps that I forgot about. Sorting for inspiration is a lot more fun than sorting to organize – or to try to clean up the desk or remove another pile! Sorting for inspiration is the opposite of cleaning up, it is about looking, spreading and touching slowly.

Sorted tiny ones

Recently, when cleaning out the Scrap Inbox, I sorted the smallest scraps into rows of prettiness.

This is what it looked like when I emptied the Scrap Inbox:

Unsorted tiny paper bits

Like mentioned in my review of Randel Plowman’s book The Collage Workbook organizing is problematic when it comes to collage papers. Because I have been Art Journaling and making collages for so many years now I have way too many folders, flat chocolate boxes and piles of scraps and papers. Sometimes the constant shuffling irritates me to no end, and sometimes these piles makes me endlessly happy…

Scraps of prettiness that I have collected I am unable to shred.

Strangely, I love each bit. Please don’t tell anyone!

Great paper bits

Collage material are often reminiscent of children’s treasures.

Little paper bits

Sorting for Inspiration

To find the gems you’ve got to cultivate a child’s curious mind. And be ready to dig.

Bits that smile

All collage artist are avid collector of the things that nobody else wants. Other’s paper garbage is what makes a collage artist smile and reach out to snap it up… The pretty patterned candy wrappers, ticket stubs and the cut off edge of painted paper are saved together in little boxes.

New Scrap Inbox

Once you open up such box the sorting begins.

If you let go of your fear magic will happen.

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13 Responses to Sorting for Inspiration

  1. Maria says:

    Ja, man blir inspirerad!

  2. Tammy says:

    Oooh, this makes me crave to empty my scrap boxes (although they may be BIG scraps in there)…. and then I’ll think of a collage to make with them!

  3. Anne Murphy says:

    “All collage artist are avid collector of the things that nobody else wants. Others paper garbage is what makes a collage artist smile and reach out to snap it up ”

    ^I love that statement :) I don’t do collage too often, but I like to make notebooks out of recycled things… People look at me funny when I ask them for their old cereal boxes or junk mail envelopes- but I love making pretty things out of what most people would consider rubbish :)

  4. Samantha says:

    I think it looks fabulous! I would glue it down like that but no spaces. Hmm wondering if I have enough scraps to try. I tend to be ruthless and toss.

  5. Irma says:

    I love your scraps!
    I am going to make a post for the Dani Peuss Design Team Mixed Media Monday (OMG, what a word!) on collage and would like to know if you allow me to link up to your blog…thanks for sending me a short OK by mail.
    Have a great and creative start in the weekend! – Irma

  6. I collect tiny bits of fabric like you do with your bits of paper, eh eh! :)
    I like what I see in the first photo, expecially the penguin, your portrait and the little pink heart.

  7. Kitty says:

    Agree! How could you shred all those precious treasures? I know I can’t! But I still struggle with collages :(

  8. Laurie M. says:

    This is a great post for me to read because sometimes I wonder why I collect all this stuff, why I love it so much, and why it’s not better organized!

  9. urshula says:

    looks that I’m a collage artist too ; ) actually I started sort of collage book last year, so I collected large pile of newspapers, illustrated books, leaflets etc. during the holidays I “organized” all my paper stuff in 3 smaller piles and put them in big cardboard envelopes. they are waiting for “better” times now.

  10. Marit says:

    Somehow your blogpost made it ‘click’ in my head… I know what I will do this weekend: Sorting for inspiration!!! Thank you Hanna… the piles and boxes filled with ‘stuff’ suddenly are not annoying anymore but full of potential! I’m looking forward to my weekend now, and hope you have a great weekend too.

  11. Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing this.
    It makes me really happy to see that there are other human beings ticking like me. Because sometimes I think I am a bit mad collecting all these tiny little scraps of paper which others just trow in the bin. And then I look at them and think: they are mine and they are all so nice. (mad – as I suggest!)
    Love to read about your “madness”.
    Have a creativ day!

  12. Nadia says:

    Hi, Hanna. I enjoy reading your posts with the lovely photography. And you manage to make all those bits of paper into something magical, yet ephemeral. However, I’ll let you play with the paper, and instead, I’ll consider my sack of fabric scraps. Lots of possibilities there!
    best, nadia

  13. Chris says:

    Hanna. HANNA!!!!!

    sorry to holler, but Hanna, this is exactly what I went through this weekend. I am making a journal in Mary Ann Moss’s workshop, and also doing my 365 in 2013 project. And I had no idea 1) how many scraps and papers I have, and, 2) how to sort them out!! I now have three boxes filled with scraps and they aren’t in the original order I had intended to give them!!

    But, you are right… I love them all. SO fabulous! I love this collaging year. It is teaching me how much I really love scraps.

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