Collage #1: I Have No Idea What I’m Doing

In 2002, I started making collages. Over the next three years I made 12 of them. Some were made by myself and some with the help of family or friends. So, join me as I relive some misguided creative expression that has been taped or glued to poster boards over the past 15 years.

Collage 01 0Front
Assembled by Justin (Sometime in 2002)

I had no idea what I was doing. I’ve found this to be true of most things in life. I started with a sheet of poster board, an X-Acto knife, a small white plastic cutting board, some stickers, and some old magazines from the hospital where I worked. I think I assembled this one in one sitting. I’m sure I was listening to some industrial or electronic music while meticulously cutting around heads, hands, and feet. One of my first lessons was the value of background images. I had a hard time cover all of the white space between some of the larger images. Alright, let’s take a look at some detail.

Collage 01 Detail 03

I really like the disembodied heads (with Ronald Reagan in the middle) on the right side of this photo. The images from Pink Floyd’s The Wall came with my DVD of the film.

Collage 01 Detail 04

I really was in Boy Scouts as a kid. The odd drawing below the word “was” is a doodle I made on a scrap piece of paper. I think someone drew the two circles and left the paper on the break room table at work. I turned it into what you see before you. Over time, I drew many variations of it. I think this original is the only remaining doodle.

Collage 01 Detail 05

Not much to say about this part. Just take a moment to let it all wash over you.

Collage 01 Detail 07

I’ve always liked the bodies with the replaced heads in middle of the collage—the swimmer does give the guy four arms, but I still think it works in a Mortal Kombat sort of way. The colorful flower was given to me by a friend—now her good work has be immortalized alongside my crappy work.

Collage 01 Detail 06

Once again, not much to say other than, I like that dog.

Collage 01 Detail 01

I included this image because it reminds me of my Grandma and Grandpa Smith. They were great together.

I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about what I should create instead of just creating. This was one of the rare times I just started creating without having any idea what I was doing. It was glorious and it led to one of the more creative times in my life. I encourage you to take a moment and draw something. I can be anything. It can be terrible, just draw it. If you don’t have a pen and paper handy, you probably have a Notes app on your phone that allows you to draw with your finger. Give it a shot. It’s fun, and who knows, maybe in 15 years you’ll post it online.


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