Portable Studio: Organizing Collage Papers
July 20, 2008
I hit on this idea for organizing collage materials and I have to say that I haven’t found a better way yet. It’s been about 3 yrs. since I started doing this. I had been saving those great cellophane or plastic bags with the gummed flaps on them from things I’ve bought. I kept thinking that there must be a good second use from these great bags. You know the ones – nice and clear, kind of flimsy but everything is being sold in these things now. It finally occurred to me to use them to organize my collage papers.
So I sorted my collage papers into color ways or by category (travel, ethnic, plain, patterned, etc.) and put them into these bags (no larger than 8.5″ x 11″). Then I slide all the papers to one side and three hole punch the bag. Off it goes into a notebook! The smaller bags I use for scraps from previous sessions because I always end up with some that I hate to throw away. Those bags slide into a page protector in the notebook and I can “organize” the scraps by bag, too. I try to sort them by color but I do have bags of “potpourri” scraps, too – not organized at all, just bagged.
Now when I am mobile, say meeting up with people to make stuff or going to the beach and I want to do some work there, I just grab the categories or color ways that I want to work with, pop them into a notebook, grab a glue stick, some base paper/ poster board and clip board for a work surface and I’m off! The papers won’t blow away, I can see what I have easily and often because the “pages” are clear, combinations of papers end up in juxtaposition and I find surprising things that way. Like fire engine red and lime – colors I would not have put together as the dominants in a piece but I might now!
In the studio it’s a lot nicer to find what I want by browsing through the notebooks and pulling the pocket pages of what I feel like working with instead of being visually overwhelmed by scads and scads of mish-mash in front of me. This has made collaging more approachable and definitely more productive for me. Maybe this will help you, too!