Collage as a word derives from the French word "Coller" meaning "to stick". Collage as a meaning is very literal in that anything involving a random assortment of images or objects stuck together can be a collage, but the artworks themselves are almost never literal. The layout of the images, the colours, textures, nature of the images together provide an inside into the artists thoughts and feelings. Often made with magazine clippings, Collage is a multifaceted art form with many avenues for discussion. 

Interpreting Collage

The Collage art form is a visual language; much like Surrealism, Cubism, Expressionism, or Fashion Photography (of which many artists cross over), Collage is very fluid and abstract so that the ideas behind the work are left open to interpretation. Adorno's view on Poetry can be applied to Collage; he believed that Poetry was a way of looking at something that could not be discussed directly, only alluded to. Collage expresses the feelings and ideas of socio-political events and ideas in the subconscious, and it's very difficult to capture these feelings in text, painting or photography because ideas on subjects such as these are multifaceted and complicated. This is why Collage is perfect for expression, the colours, the technique of cutting and sticking, the form, the images all provide an idea of the artist's thoughts and feelings. Collage is non-linear, and our brains work in the same way which is why Collage is ideal for expressing a mindset or a viewpoint. 

Collage artists leave their work open to interpretation, because the ideas presented are always open to discussion and evolution. Collage is about responding to feeling; both as the viewer and the creator. 

Early Collage Artists

During the 20th century, contemporary artists began looking at Collage as a way to explore ideas and evolve their craft. Since then, Collage has been used by many artists from a variety of mediums and movements. Picasso, Braque, Picabia, Breton, and Hannah Hoch amongst other artists were pioneering these cut and paste techniques and these styles are still heavily referenced by Collage artists today. These artists were inspired by early Dadaism and the diverse medium allowed the artists to create politically charged artworks that evoked the feelings of the time, particularly during world war 1 when Collage evolved rapidly. 

Digital Collage

Digital Collage is a huge development in the world of art making because it allows people to create the cut and paste style in an entirely new way. Digital collages made with apps or Photoshop open a new set of possibilities because artists have more images to work from rather than sourcing images through magazines and newspapers. 

Collage Instagrammers

Collage has exploded on social media. Is it not the perfect art form for social media anyway? After all, it is all about discussing ideas and thats exactly what Collage artists do on Instagram and Facebook. If you want to get involved with the Collage community, find the artist collectives such as Paris Collage Collective, or Edinburgh Collage Collective, and post lots of work. Don't forget to use hashtags too! 

Collage Books

Collage is about expressing ideas, technique can come later. We have created a Collage Book which will provide you with a large quantity of assets to get you started with Collage. It is perfect for beginners who are looking for inspiration, or more experienced people who are interested in getting a whole new set of references that aren't out there currently. 

Our 49 page book is available globally on Amazon and has everything you need to get started with Collage. Click the image to find out more. 

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