Tag Archives: collage

Deluxe Unlimited

Deluxe Unlimited is one of those artists that I love and yet have difficulty describing. It’s handmade collage from vintage sources with clever and/or thought-provoking results. During a recent trip to Vermont, I happened upon some postcards from recent shows, so I made a little sorta-collage page of my own. Definitely worth checking out. For more recent works, visit Deluxe Unlimited on Facebook

Intervention Collage

Last weekend, my dear husband and I attended the second annual Intervention, an internet pop culture convention. This was also our second year: we had such a great time in the artists’ alley last year that we had to come back. And we were not disappointed.

While I do make a few of the items we sell (the 8-bit ornaments, mostly, though I designed a few of the buttons as well), most of my job description falls under the heading of Booth Babe. I sit and look pretty and try to get people to buy stuff. And I watch the table when The Artist has a panel or for whatever reason is away from his station. The hours are long and quiet times are inevitable, so I bring things to do, like stuff for gluebook pages I’ve been meaning to catch up on. As I’ve mentioned previously, I often create sort of collage scrapbook things out of tickets, pamphlets, and other detritus picked up while traveling. This time around I was doing a couple pages from a recent excursion to Cumberland, MD, as well as our recent trip to Dragon*Con.

By early evening on Saturday, however, I’d run out of things to do, so I did a walkabout the artists’ alley and picked up all the business cards, flyers, and other free paper matter I could get my hands on, and began glueing all that stuff into my book. Because I was doing this more to pass the time than anything else, I decided I wasn’t going to worry about keeping images with information, so I cut things into smaller and smaller pieces, sticking them wherever they fit, but making a concerted effort to include URLs and contact information for everyone, rather than just hijacking their drawings. I ended up filling fourteen pages. A few of the people I showed it to thought it was nifty, so I’ve scanned in the whole thing for your viewing pleasure.

[Click to embiggen.]

Folks represented (and if I missed anybody please let me know!): Abby’s Adventures | Adrastus | All New Issues | Anachronauts | Annie: a space western | Ansem Retort | AWSOM.org | Ayla | Babies Love Comics | Bardsworth | Binary Souls / Other Dimensions | Black as White | Bored in the Basement | Brony | Capes & Babes | Clare Moseley | Con Goer Video Podcast | Copic Color | The Cow | Curls | Darkstar Studios | The Devil’s Panties | Dominic Deegan | The Draconia Chronicles | Escapement Studios | Fairy Magik | Finder’s Keepers | First Law of Mad Science | Fragile Gravity | Geeks Next Door | Grendel’s Den Design Studio | Grim Crew | Guilded Age | Hainted Holler | Honey & the Whirlwind | Ink & Toggery | Interrobang Studios | Intervention 2011 | Intravenous Caffeine | Kelsey Wailes | Lady Astrid’s Laboratory | La Macchina Bellica | LaSalle’s Legacy | Little Dee | MAGfest | monica h. | Monica Marier | My Pest Friend | The Octopus Treehouse | On the Bright Side | Paint Me a Perfect World | pendragonvamp | Peter is the Wolf | Plastic Farm | Quirky Crochet | Reality Amuck | Rho Pi Gamma | Rosscott, Inc. | Sex, Drugs, and June Cleaver | Shaenon K. Garrity | Short Story Geeks Podcast | Skyscraper Soup | Sledgebunny | Snow by Night | Spacetrawler | Squid Salad | Sticky Comics | Stuffed Sushi | Stupid & Insane Defenders Against Chaos | The Suburban Jungle | Super Art Fight | Tamuran | Tangent Artists | Technoangel Studios | “That’s So Cute” Buttons | Tummel Vision | Uncle Yo | The Webcomic Factory | Within a Mile of Home | Zorphbert and Fred

One person suggested I start a blog just about this sort of gluebook souvenir that I make pretty much every time I visit anywhere with a brochure. Granted, I’d be using other people’s art and design to make my art, but on the other hand, I’m actually in physical possession of everything (as opposed to just downloading from the internet), I’m not claiming any of it as mine, and I’m linking back whenever possible. It could be an unconventional (and thus interesting) approach to travel blogging. Then again, it might not interest anybody at all but me. Either way, I’ll continue gluebooking for my own pleasure regardless. The question is whether I should put forth the effort of sharing what I make.

Anyway, I’m waffling. As usual. What do you think?

Recovery Time

As you may know, I try to schedule my blog posts in advance. Today it’s particularly important, since at the moment you are reading this I am probably still unconscious. You see, this morning I had surgery to repair the torn tendons and ligaments in my ankle. It’s been a long time coming, but I believe it’s the right decision. I still couldn’t walk very well – much less jog or hike – after three months. I simply wasn’t getting any better. So here’s to making actual progress.

I did a little art journaling (gluebooking?) over the weekend in anticipation of my upcoming convalescence. I know it’ll be a journey.

I’ve been preparing loads of ways to pass the time stuck in the recliner.

But I know there will be plenty of boredom and impatience.

And drugs. Mustn’t forget drugs.

In short, I don’t know how much I’ll be blogging over the next few weeks. But I’ll be thinking fondly of you all. (As much as I’ll be thinking of much of anything, that is.)

Introducing the Pink Camo Book

I’ve mentioned the “pink camo book” on a number of occasions, and most of the time I think people assume it’s just some random name based on a brand or something. Actually, it’s far less interesting than that: the design – on both the cover and interior pages – is pink camouflage:

I wrote the bad poem in middle school. Shut up.

Pink camo on the inside too

I originally purchased the thing at a Target in Yuma, Arizona, in early 2008. It was the only unlined notebook in the place, as far as I could find, and I’d decided that I wanted to do some art journaling during my 24-day sojourn in the Grand Canyon State. I didn’t end up doing very much drawing, just some doodles during the long overnight tests (I was there for work). I glued in assorted clippings from the places I visited, but otherwise didn’t do much with it – in fact, that trip only filled 9 pages, front and back.

Forgot my book one night, so I pasted in the doodles

Yuma paraphernalia

Since the pink camo book was both cheap and ugly, I felt no compunction about turning it into an “anything” book: I drew it in while bored in the Artists Alley at AUSA or MAGFest; I used it during my brief time with dailydrawing; I used it for character designs for my unfinished graphic novel; I pasted in clippings from brochures whenever I visited somewhere, even just downtown DC. Many of my more recent pages have been of places visited while on snarfari. I now pack it for most trips and enjoy looking through it from time to time.

Philadelphia paraphernalia

Me drawing at AUSA 2009

The concept of trash pages is essential to any art. If you don’t want to put down anything that’s not pristine, you’ll never get started. Everybody needs somewhere to practice. This is why I carry around beat-up old notebooks for writing, and why I have sketchbooks like the pink camo book. I am wary of gorgeous leather-bound journals – I don’t want to mess it up with my crappy doodling and stream-of-consciousness babbling, so it just stays blank forever. That’s not useful. Now if I can just convince myself that all my sketchbooks are actually just sketchbooks and not pre-bound portfolios, I’ll be in business.

Trash pages.

What sort of “trash pages” do you use? Are they barely-started tunes in a folder on your computer? Stitches tried out with remainders? Or are you confident enough to use Moleskine notebooks or expensive yarn? Do trash pages apply to all creative pursuits?

Cutting and Pasting

For whatever reason, I really enjoy cutting up pieces of paper and gluing them to other pieces of paper. This is the essence of gluebooking. It’s a little bit collage and a little bit art journaling and a lot instant gratification.

Before we go on, I will openly admit that I don’t really understand the difference between art journaling, gluebooking, and scrapbooking. While my husband likes to tease me about my scrapbooking habit, I maintain that as long as I’m not using photographs and word balloons, I’m not technically a scrapbooker. But that’s just semantics. In all of them, you are more or less creatively preserving memories.

I’ve never gotten the hang of keeping a sketch journal. I’m notoriously bad about keeping up with any kind of “daily life” photography, which is probably a related failing. Despite spending so much time drawing, I don’t really think in pictures: I think in words. I’ve kept a regular paper diary since November 1991, yet it is extremely rare that I draw or paste anything in those diaries. I don’t know why, exactly, since those are the things I am most likely to want to look at when I go back through them.

As with many things from my childhood, I first started clipping pictures out of magazines because my older sister did it and I wanted to be just like her. She would re-cover folders, notebooks, and binders with her finds. I pasted stuff into old school notebooks, usually with a big X of Scotch tape across it. I’m not sure when it occured to me just how much tape I was wasting by doing that.

These days I use gluesticks because they are relatively non-messy and don’t yellow with age the way many tapes do. They are perhaps not the most durable of adhesives, but they serve my purposes. (And you can buy them in bulk.) I also don’t go out of my way to find things to cut up anymore, the exception being if I need something for a specific project (like the sketchbook project I’m doing now). Plenty of paper matter ends up in my house, not just from unwanted magazine subscriptions and generous swappers who send ephemera, but also from my weird compulsion to pick up brochures, leaflets, and flyers whenever I come across them. I think it’s related to my overwhelming attraction to free stuff.

The Jem Book

Jem book interior

At the moment I have four books in progress. The first is called the pink camo book, which I will describe at length in a later post. The “Jem book”, a notebook with that iconic cartoon popstar on the cover, is my general, catch-all, “I really should do something with these clippings I’ve collected” gluebook. I received it as a gift because I love both journals and Jem, but with only ten lines per page it didn’t seem very useful as a diary. One of my 101/1001 things is to fill the Jem book. As of this writing I have 33 pages (front and back) left. We’ll see.

Jem book interior

Spiral = good

Two of my other in-progress books are travel journals from my recent trips to Japan and Amsterdam. I designated specific journals just for those trips and they follow the same format: handwritten entries done while I was there, the LiveJournal recap printed out and glued in, and the rest of the pages filled with clippings from brochures from the various places I went. I have absolutely no idea when I will finish these. At the moment I have pasted in the LJ entries for both, and in the Japan journal I’ve completed only two places: the Parasite Museum and Sanrio Puroland. But I think they’ll be fun to look through after they’re done.

Amsterdam journal interior

Japan journal - Sanrio Puroland pages

Do you gluebook? Does it sound crazy? Pointless? Or just like scrapbooking?

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