Monday, May 16, 2016

Harvesting magazines

I have never been good at finding things in magazines to be used as illustration or decoration in art journals or planners - or collages. My sister and husband are great at that, and so are a lot of people on line, creating lovely, colorful things. I want to learn, too, and have magazines as material in stead of just throwing them in the garbage.

So here's a couple of videos to give you inspiration, if you are where I am:

Is the magazine glue bound or stapled together? If it is stapled, consider using it as base for an art journal.
You can put gesso or acrylic paint on the pages to cover the text and images, or collage over the pages, or paper them, to make them sturdier and better background for mixed media work.

Harvest the ideas you find in the magazine first

things to look for:
- lettering, fonts, typography
- color combinations
- composition
- visual texture, patterns
- shapes
- stock images, models, drawing practice

Go through the magazine and rip off all the pages that have something interesting. Remember to check both sides of the pages, there might be something you want more on the other side. If you find nothing interesting, that's OK too :-D

Go through the magazine again, and this time look for letters and words.

Go through it again, and look for colors and patterns

Make yourself a "view finder" - for example, if you make inchies, make yourself a card with an inch by inch hole in middle. You will be surprised by how much interesting things you'll find. A little bigger hole will work for planners and ATCs.

When you have harvested the magazines of everything you can find, there's still things to do:

Is the magazine glossy? Then you could try different solvents (like Citrasolv) to dissolve the ink and create interesting backgrounds and patterned paper for other works.

It's not just Citrasolv and NatGeos that work. The Swedish NatGeos are different from the USonian ones, so I get very dark and shaded results - there's so much black ink, and it has been added last, so it interferes with everything. I get better from cheap ads and flyers. Experiment with different solvents. Ordinary terpentine works too. The thing is to dissolve the printing ink and get it floating on top of the paper, and for that you need glossy papers - the gloss comes from the surface treatment of the paper, not from the ink. Matt paper sucks the liquid in right up, glossy papers won't, which makes the ink react on top of it and dry in those shapes and patterns.
And you don't need whole magazines or even pages to do this. It works with any pieces of magazine with ink on. Just put your papers and pieces in a tray and sprinkle with your solvent and see what happens. (Do it in well ventilated area, preferably outside, and save this activity to summer and warm days, so you don't need to wait for hours for the solvent to react :-D)

If you have matte pages or glossy with no color on, consider painting them.

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