All you cut and paste glue stick junkies out there, get ready!
Several years ago at the Surrey International Writer’s conference, I took a master class with Susan Wiggs on creative collage. Talk about fun! She is awesome, hilarious and wicked smart, AND she brought her own collages with her from past projects. We got to get our hands dirty (er, sticky) and cut, stick and collage to our heart’s content for like THREE hours.
Basically the idea is that you take the germ of an idea (or maybe start with a completely blank slate), and just start flipping through magazines, flyers, anything you can cut up, and start clipping images, colors banner ads, blocks of text. Anything that is visually interesting to you, cut it out. Don’t sit and ponder or fuss about it. Just go with your gut instincts (hmmmm, sounds like writing a first draft, doesn’t it!). Maybe your clippings fit with the idea you had in mind, maybe not. But after awhile, what happens is amazing.
For me, I found myself swerving towards different ideas, and taking different directions that I had never even contemplated when I started. Without thinking consciously about it, you begin to make connections between totally unrelated things. And as authors that’s often what makes our work the juiciest. Think of it as visual brainstorming.
A few years later (again and Surrey International) I listed to Jennifer Crusie talk about the same thing. Her collages are epic–I mean really incredible three dimensional works of art. I think she actually has a degree in it or something!!
Robin LeFever has also posted on this technique on her blog which is what got me thinking about showing off some of my own. Robin’s collage is more structured, with groups of tarot cards arranged with characters and story elements in mind.
As for my fairly humble mishmash, not very pretty I admit, but they work for me!
Here’s the one I did in class:
And here’s a couple if inspriation boards I keep taped to my wall for my current WIP.
Anybody else have some to share?