Create a Gorgeous Collage

How to make a Pinterest worthy collage in a snap

For anyone who has ever felt the call of creativity and wasn't quite sure what to do with it, you've come to the right place. I had the opportunity to sit down with Randel Plowman, author of The Collage Workbook and founder of the popular A Collage A Day blog to discuss everyday inspiration and how to get started creating collage masterpieces.

GalTime (GT):  What is a collage?

Randel Plowman (RP): Collage is a French word, coller, meaning to glue. The term was first coined by Picasso at the beginning of the 20th century.

GT: How did you get hooked on this medium?

RP: I’ve been working in the medium of collage since the mid 80’s. I love it because it does not require a lot to get started and the results can be immediate.

GT: Do people need to have any special artistic abilities to create this type of art?

RP: Most anyone can make a collage, but it helps to know a little about some of the principles and elements of design. I include those in my book. It can mean the difference between a good collage and a great collage.

GT: People may think of collage as paper and glue, but in "The Collage Workbook" you include all sorts of elements in your work. Can you share a few?

RP: Collaging can be more than just using glue and paper. You can also use computers, scanners and printers as another tool for creating collage. Imagery can be printed directly onto patterned paper. There are many techniques included in the book, from working digitally to creating inkjet and laser transfers.

GT: Do people need a lot of special supplies to create collages? What would be in your most basic art kit?

RP: Basically to get started all one needs is scissors, glue and something to glue everything onto. Cutting images from a stack of old magazines is a great way to get started.

GT: You include 50 prompts in the art handbook-- what would you suggest a newbie begin?

RP: I would have to say the “five minute” collage exercise is a good way to start out. It is a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Here’s how you do it:

Make five, 5-minute collages on 3x5-inch heavy watercolor paper. You’ll find this exercise really freeing—without time to overthink what you’re doing, the results will be intuitive and interesting.

To begin, simply go through some magazines and cut out the pictures and pieces of imagery that catch your eye. When you think you have enough, set a timer for 5 minutes and get to work!

The trick is to keep your hands moving—picking out images, playing with arranging them, and then gluing them down. When the timer goes off, pull out more images and move on to the next collage. Twenty-five minutes later you’ll be surprised at what you just created.

GT:  Tell us about the image library you included in the book.

RP: In the back of the book I include a series of copyright free images that anyone can scan to use in their own work. I have also included images to download at www.thecollageworkbook.com.

GT: Are there any "rules" when it comes to collage?

RP: The #1 rule is to have fun.

GT:  What's the most unique item you've used in a collage?

RP: A few years ago I created a collage using a one-dollar bill.

Feeling inspired? Grab a copy of The Collage Handbook by clicking here and visit the companion site for the book for resources, images and endless inspiration.  

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