Finding Clarity in Collage (+ free kit download)

If there’s one thing that I’m deeply finding interest in this quarantine (TBH from where I am I think this will last more than three months from now, so), it’s making collages. I first stumbled upon collage kits from Practical Magic’s tarot deck, which were made out of Rookie’s collage kits. I downloaded them one by one and filled my Dropbox with all sorts of images that inspired my creativity to flourish in ways I don’t think it would been able to if I stuck with lettering or journaling.

Frankly, collage reminds me so much of grade school, when our teachers would ask us to bring old newspapers and magazines to school for craft projects. I was one of the kids with the not so attractive magazines. Growing up, I’ve also always felt like I wasn’t “creative” enough—but again, that self-deprecation thing is for another story I’m never going to talk about.

Anyway, the whole point is, I’ve found a new and refreshing avenue for creative expression. And it’s something I deeply love and want to explore more of. Here are some I made over the course of this quarantine.

One of the early ones I made, this is a little dissection into my adjustment into lockdown—painting my nails to feel sane, reading tarot cards, working on multiple projects and feeling a sense of “productivity” just to get by.

A collage dedicated to Earth Day. Like the true earth sign that I am, I picked out elements that reminded me of the vast landscapes we have in this place we call home. Also was inspired by my trip to the wild in South Africa last summer.

A contemplative collage, thinking about suffering indoors but also the perceived suffering of art being part of my work when it used to just be for fun and without pressure. I really just miss the outdoors and even if the heat means suffering under the sun, well at least I get some Vitamin D amirite? (I also miss the beach and I hate swimming.)

An homage to Berlin last summer. I used a lot of my personal ephemera for this—featuring a photo of Eberwalder Strasse (my usual commute route) and my monthly ticket for tram, U-bahn and S-bahn commute. Summer was different last year. It was freeing.

I had applied for a visa abroad earlier this summer, so the concept of home always haunted me. Does it mean comfort? Or does it just mean having a roof above your head? In the greater scheme of things, when you travel constantly to find yourself, does the concept of home even matter? These are questions I would often ask myself. Also made a process video of this (you can watch it below).

Today was very off for me—actually, most days are when I’m not swamped with work. Usually I’d whip out my Dropbox folder of collages and play around with Photoshop. But today was different, because I dug up some old photos and graphics from my past projects to come up with these collage kits.

This is a collage kit from my Japan trips—random film photos, trips to the museum, a snap of Shimokitazawa (fave neighborhood), and basically missing my artventures abroad. (Side note: my Tokyo, Documented zine is now available here!)

An homage to summer somewhere in time. Photos from my La Union self-care trip three summers ago, plus some extra graphics from my books and artworks.

Download the high resolution files here. Don’t forget to tag me @abbeysy when you share your creations on Instagram!

I’m still thinking if I can sell these as printed collage stickers or make it available as a digital download instead. Either way, this is the start of something new and I’m excited to share more in the future.

Always Be Creating,

Abbey

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