Before you Start, create a Warm Up Collage

Warm Up Collage Notebook spread, by @ihanna #artbook

If you’re feeling stale and uninspired, in body or soul, you need to start with some warm up exercises, to get you going. I think this is one of the stumbling blocks when making art (or trying to restart it as a practice), that we expect to be creating something awesome directly when we sit down. Even if it’s been a couple of weeks, or sometimes months, since we last painted, did collage, doodled or knitted, we expect our makings to be grand at once. We forget that we need to be gentle with ourselves. To have grace. And to warm up our fingers and body before we start, but mostly to warm up our mind.

How can you expect to be fit without training the muscles of art making?

The mind is not always focused on form and color, so you need to sit down and warm up by doing something without presure of it becoming a master piece in your next art exhibition.

Just warm up by doing something small, something cute, something random.

Warm Up Collage Notebook

Since I started working in the Mini Scrap Notebook I’ve had a long break from it and then renamed it my Warm Up Collage Notebook. The warm up consists of me picking 3-4 scrap pieces of paper from my desk or scrap inbox, and combining them into a quick collage. It’s easy, fun and it gets my brain warming up to the idea of making collages again.

I’ve posted a few of these to instagram, and the book is now almost full so I think I should photograph them with a better camera and share them here some day. But for today one of the pages, some thoughts on warming up for art and as a warm up to blogging, I guess.

And as an encouragement to us all, to take small steps that we can manage and not to wait for energy or time slot that will move us forward in unworldly big leaps.

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10 Responses to Before you Start, create a Warm Up Collage

  1. Bev Baird says:

    Love this idea! Love your pieces and the links.

  2. Faigie says:

    Do you just leave those collages as is or do you come back to them a different time to finish them?

  3. Catherine says:

    I love this! I haven’t been doing art lately but I’m also a bit scared of picking it up, mostly because of “we expect our makings to be grand at once” :D They never been anything special but for some reason I always put pressure on me whenever I pick up something art related. When it’s cross stitch it’s easier because I always follow a pattern.

  4. Sandra Ward says:

    Your warm-up collage is definitely a “spark”! It fires up the energy and imagination and it’s just what we need during these last days of winter. (Well, in this hemisphere!)

    Thank you for your endless encouragement and beautiful art,
    Sandy Ward
    North Carolina / USA

  5. Miss Iowa says:

    Great post.

  6. Barb Charlotte, NC says:

    I really enjoy your site. So much creativity and color. Thanks for sharing with all of us.

  7. This is a great idea, Hanna, and I love seeing your color play. Just like stretching before exercising, doing a mini project with small expectations is a good way to get your brain warmed up for bigger activities. If you want a few more ideas on how to jumpstart your art projects I’ve posted a few starting ritual ideas on my blog.

  8. Aimee says:

    I love this; thank you for showing it off! This month I’ve been playing with the idea of what I call a “scrappy (ie scrapbook) journal”, in which I affix various ephemera pertaining to the events of a day on a page, and then write a bit about those events. My journal isn’t very big, so it doesn’t take long to fill up a page. This project was fun to do on a recent out-of-town trip, where I glued in ticket stubs and pictures from brochures. It was a bit more of a challenge when we returned home and it seemed like I had had an ordinary day – what could I journal/affix to that page that day? But that “challenge” is part of the fun! It forces me to look at such days’ events in a more open and creative way.

  9. Debi says:

    I too love this and such wonderful advice as well!

  10. Dana says:

    I’ve been thinking about making a journal filled with things I find beautiful—images, pictures, words… I’m not sure yet how to start. Your pages here are gorgeous and colorful and provide me with so much inspiration! Thank you!

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