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.

365 Collages in 2013

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 in my Creative Process. 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.

365 Collages in 2013


Glue Stick
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.