Requiring minimal equipment--just scissors, glue, paper, and pens--collage is an accessible craft that offers limitless creative possibilities. Like meditation or journaling, making collage can be an avenue for self-reflection and artistic exploration. In Collage Your Life, artist and teacher Melanie Mowinski teaches a variety of core techniques including lettering, stamping, stenciling, transfers, and adhesive methods, and provides dozens of prompts to jumpstart the creative process and encourage crafters to explore the versatility of collage, such as: make a self-portrait; disrupt your routine instincts; incorporate text; assemble mementos from a trip; process anger or anxiety; collage with others; or try creating block-out poetry with pages from a magazine. Inspiring examples of the author's work along with that of other collage artists are featured throughout. Crafters, journaling fans, scrapbookers, and artists alike will find guidance and support for developing their own distinctive collage style, whether the goal is to create a visual record of daily experiences and special occasions or to expand a creative journaling practice.
About the Author
Melanie Mowinski is a professor of art at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and founder of PRESS: Letterpress as a Public Art Project. She has maintained a daily practice of collage and creating with paper for more than 10 years. Her artist books are part of special collections at the American Library at the Smithsonian, Haas Arts Library at Yale University, and the Tate Modern Museum of Art in London. She lives in Williamstown, MA.
“With sharp scissors—and an even sharper imagination—Melanie Mowinski shows us that the joy of collage comes from nurtured serendipity and playful hands-on experimentation.” — Janine Vangool, editor of UPPERCASE magazine
“In Collage Your Life, Melanie Mowinski demonstrates how expansive the artform can be, and how the portal to discovering its magnitude includes sincere presence and observation. The book's thorough presentation of methods and prompts will lead readers to varied and compelling paths of expression through the wondrous world of collage.” — Jenny Doh, artist and former Editor-in-Chief, Somerset Studio
" This is an excellent introduction to collage for crafty dabblers and experienced artists alike. Those who do not consider themselves artistic at all may also be inspired to try this forgiving medium, which has low barriers in regard to time, money, and skill. Mowinski’s instructions and encouragement easily convince the reader that they, too, can create collages. There is an overview of tools and techniques, a brief discussion of artistic principles and design elements, and simple instructions. A large portion of the book is the “55 Prompts to Jump-Start Your Practice” section, which provides ideas when inspiration is lacking. Each prompt has a brief introduction and a short list of instructions. Peppered throughout the prompts are statements and examples from several collage artists. In addition, collages created by other artists (all credited) are located throughout the book. There are also instructions for several bookbinding techniques. Wide-ranging reading and resources lists finish out the book.
VERDICT Highly recommended for public libraries. This will appeal to anyone interested in scrapbooking, bullet or art journaling, bookmaking, printmaking, as well as anyone looking for a creative outlet who thinks they aren’t artistically talented." — Library Journal, starred review