Working in a series – with the imaginary boyfriend

Collage He doesnt hesitate
Collage He doesn’t Hesitate, by iHanna. Available on Etsy.

I started the collage series My Imaginary Boyfriend after falling in love with a vintage photo series of portraits in black and white. It’s the man (also known as “the imaginary boyfriend”), his bald uncle and the slick best friend:

Collage Serendipity stylish man
Collage Serendipity stylish man, available at Etsy for sale.

I’ve used said photos several times in my work already but obviously I’m not finished with the series just yet. These collages, now listed on Etsy, were made 2011, but I’ve got a folder full of ideas for new works in the same series that I will embark upon next.

I was listening to and older episode of Rce’s podcast, where she was doing an interview with Mary Beth Shaw. There she talked about how she got started as an artist and created her “body of work” in a frenzy because she couldn’t stop. To work up “a body of work” is to explore yourself and your style, and not stop until you’ve found it and made many many pieces that are very much you! I was inspired to hear her talking about it.

I would love to work like that, but I don’t because I stop myself in a fear of having a house full of artwork that I wouldn’t know what to do with. But this year I will try not to care about piles but instead care about going forward with what I love.

Collage My way now
Collage My way now, available at Etsy now.

Lisa Call, writes about how she works in a series with her art quilts:

Each of my series represents a set of plans. […] I find that having these series gives me the same sort of freedom in which to create that my todo lists give me. Im not open to doing EVERYTHING but have instead limited myself to a motif or idea.
From that structure I can then experiment and create and push the edges of what the series means. (on Planning artwork)

Collage Hold on and kiss
Collage Hold on and kiss…, also available in my Etsy Shop.

Limits sets us free, because it is not easy to start with something when there is endless possibilities and oodles of time. Also a reason to why I enjoy yearly planning so much. It gives you a set number of months to work with, and a deadline to work towards.

Besides the boyfriend series, I also want to explore owls in collage a bit more, not only because I like owls myself but because I know many others do too and collect them. Owls are not happy in drawers.

Stay tuned.

9 Responses

  1. Very cool… I like the idea of series… really exploring something in many variations to fully immerse yourself!

  2. Very cool! what do you use to color on top of the black and white photos? I’m trying to work in series too… I tend to flit from one thing to the next.

    • Marcia, thank you! I use all the colours in my artistic arsenal to colour things in; crayons, pens and often acrylic paint. :-)

  3. I worry about piles too…..can’t help it.

    These are fantastic…vibrant and playful. I really like them!

  4. I think this is why I like making postcards so much – I can explore, create, push, learn, repeat myself, and develop my style without creating a massive fire trap in my house! I make it – I mail it away – I make room to create some more. Your boyfriend series is fantastic!

  5. Creating a series is great… I’m having a ball working on my “Secrets of the deep blue Sea” – series; I get to explore all the pretty blues and greens!!!
    I don’t think I’ll ever really have a problem with art piling up in my house. I’m such a slow poke and perfectionist when it comes to creating art and above all when I’m done with something I mail it away :)
    Well, keep up the good work! I’ll sure be back to see/read more!

  6. Hanna, these collages are getting even more luscious, with layers, textures, colors, and things to discover all around the surface! Your boyfriend is quite a catch!

    I really enjoyed that podcast with Mary Beth Shaw. It sounds heavenly to be busy creating a body of work! Seriously, it’s an artist’s xanadu.

    Thanks so much for your support and inspiration, Hanna!

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