Why the Structure of Artwork Matters
Art Journal Every Day: May 2020 into June 2020

Make Ugly Collage Paper

I feel like I see a lot of people making truly gorgeous collage fodder.  It's just so lovely to look at.  Not me.  I make ugly fugly collage paper.  Why?  There are a lot of reasons to make ugly collage paper:

ONE: It lowers the stakes around cutting into your collage fodder.  Here is a piece of copy paper that I had no problem cutting up.

You can see that the ugly piece of paper makes for beautiful little bits.  I used two of them on this mixed media collage:

TWO: You need contrast to make your work sing.  If you always use the things you love: i.e. the same colors, patterns, scale, etc. then your work will be boring.  Grab that paper that you think is "ugly" -- wrong color, wrong pattern, wrong scale...just wrong.  Add it to your work and see what happens.  For example:

Fat brown and yellow stripes?!  Ick!  And yet, they help ground the composition and make the "pretty" parts stand out even more.

THREE: If every step of the artistic process involves thinking and planning and judging -- it's too exhausting for me.  I want the "making collage paper" stage to be without any concerns or expectations.  Here are some examples of the treasured ugly collage paper in my stash:

I do have some pretty collage paper because sometimes it happens by accident.  But 90% of my stash looks like this:

or this:

And they meld into my finished artwork, as you can see here:

How about you?  Do you make ugly collage paper or pretty collage paper?

Thanks for stopping by!