Step 3: Next I search for a focal point image. I like to choose images that are the opposite of what was used for a background in terms of color. For example if I used mostly muted or pastels on the background I will choose an image that is of bolder colors, black and white or monochromatic. I usually choose images of people or animals. The image depending on size can be left as is or detail cut. I DO NOT glue down the focal point image yet because I generally add some other interesting imagery around it as described in Step 4.
Step 6 – I won’t deny that I am a big perfectionist, so it should be no surprise when I admit that I will layout my collage arrangement and rework it many, many times before I glue anything down. Only until I am truly satisfied will I glue the focal point image and any additional images or embellishing imagery down.
Magazines - I find some great imagery in magazines like Daphne’s Diary, Somerset Digital Studio, Stampington’s Artful Blogging, Stampington’s Artist’s Café and Watercolor Artist. The price tag for most of these magazines is pretty steep as magazines go (about $15.00 each) so I wouldn't choose these unless you like to read them. I will typically by a Somerset Digital Studio magazine once every two years or so then go to town destroying them for the imagery only. Other not so expensive magazines work well too. I like The Knot (bridal magazine), Southern Living and Harper's Bazaar. For the more frugal of journalers AAA members receive a free magazine every month which I love for imagery, but going online and requesting catalogs from Pier One, Anthropologie, and Pottery Barn can also reap great finds too.
A note about food packaging - Because of the risk of foodborne illness, do NOT use any packaging that has touched food directly or is suspected to have come in contact with food directly/. Never use packaging from meats, egg, dairy or fresh vegetables of any kind. Labels from bottles, cans or boxed goods are usually safe but examine everything carefully. If it looks suspicious do not use it. Some foodborne illness don't necessarily have to be consumed to make someone sick. Always side with caution.
On the Road - If you are like me and bring an Art Journal and some art supplies while travelling, then you know that taking a large image library is not generally an option. When I collage or Art Journal on the road I make it a point to not bring imagery with me. Traveling is a great opportunity to collect great source materials and imagery. When I’m traveling I keep on the lookout for travel brochures, local street maps, ticket stubs and menus or other guides or literature about the place you are visiting. Once my husband even brought me home a Japanese newspaper that he found abandoned at an airport while he was traveling. It’s amazing what great imagery you can get for free when you travel. I even collected fantastic imagery of animals from a small publication that was freebie at a convention center where they were having a quilting convention. To my husband's dismay I tend to come home with a lot of useful additions for my stash when I travel.
It's easy to fall into the trap of buying a lot of materials for art journaling and collage but there is so much out there that you can use that is free or very low cost. Sometimes it's just a matter of looking at things in different ways.
I hope this glimpse into my collage work flow helps to guide and inspire you to create your own collaged works as well. I would love to see your work and hear about your "go-to" formula for your creative work flow. Please feel free to e-mail me any pictures or words of wisdom on your collage processor. Of if you just want to leave a comment and let me know if this process works for you please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading!