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Naturalistic Collages Celebrate the Little Things in Our World

Adrienne Slane

I’m fas­ci­nated by the amount of lit­tle things that there are in the world. Going to over­stuffed antique malls and exam­in­ing all the small objects crammed onto the shelves is enthralling: peo­ple have amassed col­lec­tions of but­tons, fig­urines, flags, post­cards, and much, much more, and I love to see how these objects are grouped together. I feel the same way when I look at col­lages by Adri­enne Slane, an Ohio-based artist whose intri­cate pieces are care­ful gath­er­ing of images. Her diverse imagery includes shells, wildlife, fruit, and fungi, with sources rang­ing from the 1500s to mid-1900s. The dis­parate ele­ments come together in a pleas­ing compositions.

My work cel­e­brates the beauty and inter­con­nec­tiv­ity of the uni­verse in a time when our envi­ron­ment is in cri­sis,” she writes in her artist state­ment. “It draws its imagery from a wealth of illus­tra­tions that encour­aged explo­ration, won­der, and appre­ci­a­tion of nature in decades past.”

Adrienne Slane Adrienne Slane
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BPB Projects, Collage, My Studio

My Studio: A New Collage Self-Portrait for Skillshare!


A cou­ple of weeks ago, I launched a class on the online learn­ing site, Skill­share. It’s called Paper Art: Cre­ate a Cut Paper Self-Portrait, and it demon­strates how to make a fun col­laged pic­ture of YOU! I take you from start to fin­ish: the sketch phase to paper selec­tion to the final por­trait. Through­out the videos (which, col­lec­tively, are about 20 min­utes long), I use this example:


It’s a cou­ple of years old at this point and outdated—now, I have super short hair, am sans Mon­roe pierc­ing, and I don’t wear glasses (all the time) any­more. So, for the class, I decided to make a brand new self por­trait to share with the stu­dents. (PS: you can enroll any­time! Please do.)


Here’s my col­lage self por­trait that’s cur­rently in progress. I have a ref­er­ence photo, sketch, and a bunch of painted papers that I’m using for my skin, eyes, hair, and cloth­ing. I plan to have the entire thing fin­ished this week. I’ll post it on class’ project page once I’m done.

Part of my paper stash.

Part of my paper stash.





Want in on the fun? Join me!

Collage, Illustrator

Collages That Capture the Imagination of Young Folks

Manon Gauthier

I love all dif­fer­ent types of illus­tra­tion, but my pre­ferred way of work­ing will always be in col­lage. I look at these illus­tra­tions by Manon Gau­thier, and I’m reminded why I love mixed media so much. She’s got a lot of inter­est­ing things hap­pen­ing — espe­cially with lay­er­ing. Small, indi­vid­ual pieces of paper are drawn, painted, and cut, then put together like a glo­ri­ous puzzle.

Manon is a Mon­treal native and a self-taught illus­tra­tor. She worked in the graphic design field for more than 15 years, and decided to devote her­self to mak­ing books for young peo­ple in 2006. Since then, she’s won numer­ous awards for her illustrations.

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Collage, Illustrator, Textiles

Exquisite Illustrations Created by Drawing with Thread

Annalisa Bollini

This past week­end, while watch­ing the lat­est episode of Mad Men, I started a new embroi­dery. It’s my first one in many months! It feels good, ya’ll. Just like the work of Annal­isa Bollini. The Ital­ian illus­tra­tor cre­ates these mixed media scenes that are a com­bi­na­tion of embroi­dery, appliqué , and paper bits. She has exquis­ite line work that’s made with tiny stitches, and I love how it’s a sub­sti­tute for a pen or pencil.

Annal­isa has prints of her work for sale in her Etsy shop. You’ll find brooches there, too.

And… one last that’s apt, espe­cially since it’s Fri­day. Annal­isa gives this sage advice on her web­site: If you don’t know what to do, eat some chocolate!

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Collage, Illustrator, Sculpture

Insanely-Detailed Paper Animal Masks by Mlle Hipolyte

Look at all of these tiny pieces of paper! French illus­tra­tor and paper designer Mlle Hipolyte cre­ated these gor­geous ani­mals masks that are awe-inspiring in their intri­cate details. Seri­ously. Just take a look at the individually-folded pieces of paper lay­ered on top of one another. They build a col­or­ful, tac­tile form that mim­ics fur.

Mlle pro­duces 2D illus­tra­tions, too. Check out their Behance and Face­book for more.


BPB Projects, Collage

It’s over (for Now): More Collage Scrap Exchange Submissions

I can’t believe it! The Col­lage Scrap Exchange is over. Sub­mis­sions were due on March 15, and I’m happy to say that we’ve received so many awe­some col­lages. Seri­ously. I am blown away by the qual­ity and cre­ative­ness that every­one put forth.

Here are more sub­mis­sions I’ve received, and you can see just how var­ied the styles and sub­jects are. Papir­mass and I are going to have a hard time pick­ing a winner!

In addi­tion to this blog, I’m post­ing every sub­mis­sion we’ve received on the Col­lage Scrap Exchange web­site. I aver­age about 20 — 25 entries a day and should fin­ish adding every­thing within the next cou­ple of weeks (we received well over 500).

Par­tic­i­pants, I hope you had fun, and I can’t thank you enough for all the time, energy and enthu­si­asm for this project. If you didn’t get the chance to swap, well, have no fear. I’m def­i­nitely going to do this again (later this year)!

See past sub­mis­sions posts here, here, and here.

Carlotta Speroni

Car­lotta Speroni

Please note: These are merely selec­tion of sub­mis­sions, and their inclu­sion in this post has no impact on the over­all out­come of the #col­lage­con­test with Papirmass.

Collage, Illustrator

Adorable Assemblages Beautifullly Tie Together Disparate Matrials

blanca helgaSpan­ish illus­tra­tor Blanca Helga takes seem­ingly dis­parate mate­ri­als — card­board, painted papers, string, and pack­ag­ing — and assem­bles it all into adorable col­lages. Hansel and Gre­tel, smil­ing horses, col­or­ful drag­ons, and googly-eyed fly­ing crea­tures all make an appear­ance in her work.

I’m a big fan of shapes and how they’re designed, and this aspect is some of my favorite parts of Blanca’s work. I love how she takes oddly-formed card­board and papers piece and trans­forms them into heads and bod­ies. The small bits of string and paper also give me the dis­tinct feel­ing that she’s “paint­ing” with scis­sors (or torn edges).

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The fol­low­ing images are from Blanca’s Self Por­trait Project. Her por­trait fits into a small, neat book that uses trans­paren­cies to layer flow­ers and dif­fer­ent shapes. Very cool!



10 (More) Submissions From the Collage Scrap Exchange

Happy Fri­day, ya’ll! I fig­ured it’s a fine time to post some more Col­lage Scrap Exchange sub­mis­sions. At this point, I’ve received so many (hun­dreds upon hun­dreds!), and not shar­ing at least some felt like a crime. Here are 10 sub­mis­sions! Remem­ber, the extended dead­line is March 15.

Thank you, to every­one, who has sub­mit­ted a col­lage so far. I’m delighted to see all of the cre­ative ways you used your scraps and inter­preted the New Land­scapes theme. While I can’t share all of the images on Brown Paper Bag, all entries will be on dis­play on the Col­lage Scrap Exchange web­site once the dead­line passes.

See past sub­mis­sion posts here and here.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes

Please note: These are merely selec­tion of sub­mis­sions, and their inclu­sion in this post has no impact on the over­all out­come of the #col­lage­con­test with Papir­mass.

Collage, Illustrator

Collages Split Someone’s Head Open with Beautiful Results

laurindo feliciano

Vin­tage books, mag­a­zines, and post­cards inspire Brazil­ian artist and illus­tra­tor Lau­rindo Feli­ciano. Using these ele­ments, he cre­ates images that are both sur­real and nos­tal­gic. The com­bi­na­tion (and often col­li­sion) of peo­ple, flora, and fauna result in pic­tures that we’ve never seen before.

Laurindo’s arrange­ments are mys­te­ri­ous, beau­ti­ful, and weird, like when he splits open someone’s head to reveal a bou­quet of flow­ers. Stuff like that is what makes pho­to­graphic col­lages great. Pho­tog­ra­phy grounds things in (our) real­ity, but these types of works turn it on its head using simple-but-clever manipulations.

PS! I found Laurindo’s work via the Brown Paper Bag sub­mis­sions page.

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Collage, Illustrator

Turning Flat Pieces of Paper into a Raging Fire

Polly Lindsay

See that rag­ing fire? It’s all con­structed out of paper (although you could prob­a­bly tell that). Polly Lind­say is a London-based illus­tra­tor that uses bright hues in her 3D con­struc­tions. “Most recently I have become fas­ci­nated with paper craft,” she writes on her web­site. “There’s some­thing mag­i­cal in trans­form­ing a flat piece of paper into some­thing tan­gi­ble. I like to use design as a way to inject a bit of fun into peo­ples lives!”

Many of Polly’s works revolve around abstract, geo­met­ric shapes, but most recently she com­pleted a series of GIFs for Mastercard’s Price­less Gallery. Check out Polly’s Tum­blr and Behance pages for more!

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