Picture: Ruby Kean, Instagram
Ruby Kean’s second collection of collage parcels, 'A Pocket Vacation,' pays homage to the summer holiday - designed to evoke fond sunny memories and inspire future plans. The collection has two holiday inspired themes; A Greek Odyssey and After The Siesta, which launches on 29th July - each contains enough of Ruby's carefully treasures and materials to send four postcards and create a bespoke work of art. Ruby says of the collection, 'through collage and letter writing I wanted to connect us to the idea that stillness and staying at home can be just as inspiring and exciting as travelling.'
To celebrate the launch of her work, Ruby has shared her ten top tips for collaging with any budding creatives out there.
When beginning a piece it is important to group your materials together and build a story before beginning - when you open up your collage parcels or are looking at your own collection of ephemera, I find its always a good start to create little groups and piles of things you think fit together so it doesn’t feel overwhelming.
Creating texture is such a lovely way to bring your collages to life. I like using paper weaves and techniques like tassels to provide that extra dimension (You can watch my video tutorial on Partnership Editions). In my ‘After The Siesta’ collage parcels I have included fabulously tacky vibrant lace for voluminous flamenco skirts.undefined
Choosing your tools
Whilst using a print stick is sometimes all you need, I like to use a strong double sided sticky tape for ever lasting results. Glue sticks are a marvel and so easy to use but if you are creating an artwork double sided tape or a stronger glue will allow your artwork to remain intact for years to come. A scallop knife is always a good edition for more delicate cuts as well as a classic pair of scissors.
Playing with colour
Since collage is such a playful medium, don’t restrict yourself in the colours you use, be brave and bold. With this in mind, to prevent the collage from getting too busy and from clashing, stick to a group of three or four colours to keep some balance in your composition.
Playing with pattern
Collage is all about building different references, ideas and materials. It is a really joyful practice, so maintain that joy in your paring of things by adding in a number of patterns - a way to keep this balanced is to mix in block colours and combine large spacey patterns with slightly smaller detailed patterns so there is a nice contrastundefined
Mix the Mediums
Don’t be afraid to add your own flair to your collage with painting and drawing techniques. I think the most successful collages are when subtle combinations of techniques are grouped together to create a congruent and flowing final piece.
Adding other materials
It’s always wonderful to add in a vast array of different materials to bring your collage to life. Including natural elements such as pressed flowers is a lovely touch but ensure that these types of materials are sufficiently dried and ready to be used as part of your artwork before adding them in.undefined
Save the scraps!
When cutting out images, cutting shapes from paper or tearing out of magazines and old books, be sure to save all scraps and leftover pieces of ephemera or paper. You never know when little bits and pieces can be used again for smaller details - I have a box filled with tiny scraps that never fails to come in handy.
Choosing your theme or subject matter
The ‘Pocket Vacation’ collage parcels I have created centre around themes of a summer holiday and remembering or imagining sun drenched trips abroad, but if you are searching for something totally new to convey when creating a collage go for something personal. When you look at your scrap books, Pinterest boards, Instagram saved images, what is a running theme? Take that theme and develop it into your artwork, it is likely to be the most honest and enjoyable creation.
Archiving your collection
If you are thinking about collaging more often, be organised with your collections of treasures and bits and pieces of ephemera. Whether you categorise things into colour, theme, or type of material you will find it much easier to make creations especially if you are a hoarder like me to have easy reference points to draw from.
This article originally appeared on House & Garden UK.