Make Ugly Collage Paper
April 13, 2021
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:
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!