Monday, November 11, 2013

Making collaged postcards with a little help from my subconscious (aka right brain)

Collaged crow
I finally finished the 10th postcard for my first postcard swap. When I started, I thought I'd make 10 images of Seattle icons (like the Space Needle). Then I narrowed my focus to just one icon -- coffee. I made a postcard out of an old coffee bag and some burlap.

But then something unexpected happened!


Call it creative inspiration or a mischievous muse. Instead of coffee cups, I started manipulating images I found in an old science textbook. I shared some of the images here.

They became eerie backgrounds. In the foreground, I added cutouts from other old books. 
Collaged postcard
Why a bowler? Maybe the round ball in the background is to blame. 
Collaged postcard
This gymnast looks like he's tearing right through the turbines behind him.
Collaged postcard
The quote comes from a math textbook, but I think it applies to more than subtraction.

Where did these ideas come from? They're a far cry from coffee cups. Instead of sticking to my first idea, I let my curiosity take me to a new place. My right brain was in control, finally! Until, of course, my "there's only one right way" left brain took over and thought:

Eureka! The formula for perfect collaged postcards!

(strange mechanical thing x 4) + 1 cartoon person + enigmatic quote = art!

Alas, it was not to be. My next postcards deviated from the formula.  And I liked them even better.
Collaged postcard
The pink cutouts are open hands. Once I placed them in the middle,
I had to find something for them to hold. Mary obliged.
Collaged postcard
This one began as a black-and-white fish fossil. Then some
killer whales dove in.
 
Collaged postcard
My favorite! Should the blue image be the background instead of the red? Too late.
I created 2 versions of the manipulated image in contrasting colors. Then I overlaid pieces of one color over the other. Of course, once I let my right brain loose, I couldn't stick to this new and improved formula. My last cards borrow ideas from all of the others.
Collaged postcard
The center image is a transfer using packing tape. I'm not sure the bathers really
 go with the mushroom clouds behind them.
Collaged postcard
Silly, sure, but doesn't it look he's moving, just a bit?
You can see more postcards created for the swap in this Flicker pool. Over 100 artists created more than 1000 cards.  It's going to be hard to send off my creations. Especially the ones I like best. But I'll be getting 10 cool cards in return. It's a fair trade.

Besides the cards, I came away from this swap with a better understanding of how creativity works. Instead of holding onto an idea like a life preserver in the midst of a stormy sea, I need to loosen my grip and float on to the next idea. Thank you, iHanna!

6 comments:

  1. Thank YOU Claudia, your revelations are interesting to follow, and of course I adore your postcards! Fun, interesting & inspiring! Thanks for joining!

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    1. I'm so glad I took part in the swap. I wouldn't have been able to make the cards without it! I can't wait to see what arrives in the mail. Thanks for organizing it, Hanna.

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  2. Hi Claudia! These are just too much fun! I love them all - but my absolute favorite is the gymnast. He's so adorable (and strong, apparently!)

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  3. my favorite is cool and carefree, but all are amazing!

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    1. Grazie! I saw the cards on your blog. Mi piacionno molto.

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