Exercise 2.4

Collage Studies

In this portion of the work, I was tasked with exploring collage more deeply and to create two works on A2 sized pages. I was definitely feeling a little daunted in the beginning. A2 paper is HUGE. It was going to be a lot of space to fill with collage but I had spent most of the day getting excited and inspired to create these two works. 

Having a deep love for the ocean and all its beachy treasures, I decided early on to continue to focus on urchins. They made their first appearance in the previous exercise and I immediately knew I wanted to explore this theme more deeply. I did a bit of research on Pinterest by exploring illustration, textile expressions, and other 2D and 3D representations of urchins to steer my creative process for these pieces. I am keeping a few Pinterest boards to inform my work going forward. See them HERE 

Including both silhouette and line was fairly straightforward, however, once I gained momentum with one or the other, I found it a bit disruptive to my creative pace to switch from silhouette to line and vice versa. 

At the outset of the exercise, I sketched out a few concepts and used those to guide my process. With the previous exercises, I used visual references but didn’t draw anything out, rather I worked freehand. That brought its own challenges, which I enjoyed but with this assignment, I wanted to map out a plan and take the time to bring it to fruition. 

Sorry for the poor image quality but I’m usually working on assignments in the evening after work so natural light is pretty much nonexistent. 

These images show some of my initial concepts for the final pieces. 

As you can see, this piece was inspired by the third (lower right) sketch shown above. As I prepared to cut out the shapes, I used light pencil markings to ensure the final shapes I wanted in the collage. While the large urchin shape is certainly imperfect, I feel as though the intended theme is apparent. One of the most rewarding challenges in creating this piece was ensuring that the cut out lines implied the curves found in urchins. I was trying to avoid cutting to far into the paper. Maintaining control over my blade was an ongoing point of focus. 

Making the whole, blob-like urchins without lines were definitely simpler shapes to make but there was still challenges with placement of the “eye” cutout which on its own was meant to give each urchin character and distinct form. The final reverse silhouette shape was made by utilizing the negative pieces of a fourth whole small urchin. It’s not my favourite but it definitely lends some valuable elements to the overall work.

Once the collage had been assembled, I really wanted to draw attention to some of the finer details of the big urchin. I recognize that I could have done this with cutting out a million tiny paper circles but that was extremely unappealing. Plus, I quite like it when collage works have pen drawing and paint elements added. Given the dark tone of the blue paper on the large urchin, the dots are subtle which I definitely like. 

Using a different approach to creating urchin-like shapes, I decided to explore more of a starburst/fireworks configuration. There were a few reasons for this decision. 

1. I loved the idea of using straight lines to create round shapes as I did in the previous exercise.

2. I knew I needed to fill another A2 page and my printed papers were becoming somewhat limited but I was determined to take up lots of space with shapes that still managed to communicate the theme. 

3. Because the assignment was to include both line and silhouette, I felt confident that this interpretation would allow me to explore these techniques while still communicating the theme of urchins in a less literal, more experimental way. 


Something significant has shifted for me. Tough to put my finger on it but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with my divorce FINALLY being over. Three years is a long-ass time. Now that it’s behind me, I’m mentally and spiritually available for this and other work. 

I am positive that these last two assignments have kick-started a really exciting journey and I’m hopeful that I will be able to not just complete the remaining exercises and assignments but that I’ll also settle into my groove with learning, critical thinking, self assessment, and creative expression.