I consider my journals a collection of me! – in a visual and voiced format. A formation of me; a framework generating a material composition of my days.
Working my way through fashion magazines reminds me of my teens when I reverted into them for place and inspiration. Each glossy page announced the promise of a beautiful future. I spotted people I needed to adopt as role models. The pages whispered of excitement and destinations like Paris and New York.
If you see something in a magazine that makes you think of a friend, clip it out for them, and send it off with a hand-written card or note. My friend Sonny always reaches into her handbag as soon as we sit down together for coffee out, and produces a small sheaf of magazine clips for me, to inspire me. I rework hand-me-down jewelry into new designs by re-assembling elements from multiple pieces. Sonny’s thoughtfulness has led me to new ways of seeing and inventing.
My friend Elaine provides me with three huge shopping bags of fashion mags and one of Vanity Fair annually. She passes them along to me because she knows I need them for collage, and subsequently, I pass them along down the line to friends who are also artists. I keep beautiful floral file folders available for the parts of mags I’m saving. One for articles, one for writing prompts, and one for design tips and ideas. Oops… there’s more: one for creative ideas for paintings and the fifth one is for photographs I admire for their lighting, composition, or novelty subjects. Magazines make excellent reference tools when you slip a piece of silk ribbon or a lovely bookmark into the pages you’re interested in re-visiting.
Begin this art exercise by cutting out things you are attracted to for just twenty minutes. Don’t think about it. Pretend you’ve won a shopping spree and you’re just grabbing everything you can and throwing it into your basket. Have a pretty basket beside you and drop your clippings into it.
These will be, what I call your ipages, or your VIP’s: Very Important Pages. Spend ten or fifteen minutes arranging these on a few large pieces of paper. Choose any background to attach them to. I like pure white or lined, but you decide on the color that best resonates for you and then take a gluestick and secure them neatly to the papers.
Now lay them out and contemplate what you’re seeing. How do you like this glimpse of your inner workings?? What shapes repeat themselves? What colors dominate your collages? Are there ways for you to make changes in your wardrobe or environment using these ideas and objects. A new tabletop display perhaps or outrageous accessories to liven a conservative outfit. Take time; sit down and record your thoughts and feelings about the work you just accomplished.
Flower and garden magazines offer beauty in landscape that can be cut out and pasted over a nondescript book or journal to enhance the cover. Used bookstores have so many bargains jumbled on shelves or tables you might want to pick up a good solid one. When you get home with it you can paste or staple a fresh sheet of paper over a page and make it presentable for attaching particles of fabric, color swatches, ribbon, stamps, photographs; the choices are unlimited. As an alternative, gesso can be brushed over the page and left to dry, and now you have a plain white sheet to work on. Yes, it may be a little imperfect, but in art that’s all the better to show life in matter.
Go inside your ‘new’ journal, your source and improv book, your altered book, and live between the pages for awhile. Photograph some of your results and post the pictures inside. Send me images to post here and we can all be inspired. Failing that show them to your friends and help them try something new; bring them to my blog to view these examples. I remember when I bought my first journal; I could hardly think of what to do, or write down in it, or even what to collect in it. Now the family is horrified wondering how many truckloads it will take to clean out my studio when I… well, you know when. How many trucks it’ll take is open for debate.
Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets