The wooden box that I bought earlier this year is now full of my square collages. Full to the brim, and the last weeks will not even fit in there.
Looking at this box I am filled with amazement and wonder. A year of creativity is a big thing, maybe that is why I called my first book just that. I like that the beginning and ending of each year invites us to reflect, look back – and plan ahead. I like that a year is a circle that can encompass a big project of this sort.
This box is full of finished art that I have made this year, striving to reach the goal of my personal challenge 365 Collages in 2013. Oh, I love the look of this box!
This project has helped me so much, in many ways. I am grateful that I took this huge task upon my shoulders, and I feel certain that I shall finish all 365 collages before the year ends.
My Creative Process
How I create my collages depends on my mood, how much time I have and what I feel like doing. I’m not very organized with my paper scraps, so I move my materials around a lot on my desk, and most of the time I just sit down and grab what is nearest. I will talk more about staying organized with a 365 in a later post.
That first scrap that I grab will inform me of what I need next. Sometimes the next bit is close by, other times I dig through some box or folder to find the right thing. Sometimes I arrange all the scraps before I glue everything down together. Other times I glue down the first bit before looking for the next one.
Often I have an idea about what I wish my collage should look like. Often it looks nothing like my idea. But always, when it’s finished, it says something about how I feel, what I’m thinking about or about the season we’re in. Always. In this way, to me, these collages are very personal and much like self portraits or a diary. A very secret diary that only I can read or (fully) understand. I think it’s interesting to note that the meaning is so clear to me when the collage is finished, though most of the time I don’t understand it until then (or even a few days later).
When I have seven collages, often on Sunday evening, I sit down and scan them into the computer. While one is scanning I give the next one a title, and sign it. This is a big part of my process too. When they’re uploaded I blog about them, and the process of posting them here has been a great help in keeping up with the project. I don’t want to be late with that weekly post.
Beforehand I have cut up substrates in the right size to work on. All collages this year are squares of 12,5×12,5 centimeters (4.92×4.92 inches). In the beginning of the year all I used was a thick watercolour paper as canvas. Then I got a pile of awesome A3-sized white cardstock that cut to size. I’ve used up a pile of purple papers that I don’t want to look at (I don’t like purple), so those are covered in collage and the color is only visible on the backside now. I’ve also recycled thick poster-like cards that I didn’t want to hang or keep. Anything that is sturdy enough to support the collage papers goes.
And to glue ephemera, paper scraps and magazine clippings I use a regular glue stick. And I love my glue stick! I use different brands all the time, buying what is available and cheap – and they’ve all held together good through the years for me. I can not live without a glue stick.
My Weekly Goal
I think that I am most pleased with my goal of seven collages per week. A weekly goal, with the weekly posts on my blog, was the perfect goal for me, and my personality. Most 365-projects that I have read about has a Daily Goal of finishing something. Taking a daily photo, creating a daily art journal page, or posting daily to your blog. I have tried this already, especially in my Daily Art Cards but also when doing the Index Card Summer. I enjoy the push a daily goal gives me, but I think I’ve enjoyed not having a daily goal even more this year. Not sure if that makes sense, but the weekly push feels quite enough for me. I can do a daily task, small or huge like when documenting everything in Week in the Life, but not for a entire year. A week of that is enough.
Some days I create several square collages at once, getting into the flow of creating. Some days I go to bed early, eat out with a friend or don’t find the energy to be creative when I come home from work. Then I sit in my sofa and have TV-series marathons. And it is all okay in this project.
Right now I don’t know how I will “end” this project or where these collages will go, but I’m sure it will sort itself out eventually.
That’s a bit about my creative process. Let me know if you have any further questions.