A couple of days ago my ‘299 collages/399 days’ page on Facebook reached 299 likes and I crossed 25% mark of the project. After more than 75 posts (and still more than 200 to go) I still get nervous, anxious and worried as I scan to post.
Although the total number of collages uploaded are more than a hundred already (since there are posts which include more than one piece) I still enjoy it, especially when it’s picked/bought right away.
I’m writing this entry to elaborate a bit more on the process involved, the challenges and the frustrations.
I usually do these collages the same day (unless it’s a series), or I’m too busy to think of something, or away, which is not very often. I use the printed material (not photocopies) from the original books, along with a #10A or #11 scalpel, a pair of scissors and some acrylic gel and sometimes metal leaves (gilding), or glitter. The themes of these collages usually fall in the category of the ‘masculine’ (quotes intended) or come from the books I have in my studio. At other times from books donated by the Fine Arts Library, other fellow artists or friends.
For example, last weekend, I went to $1 book sale along with Jess and Blair. I got 21 books and many of them were Cat books (so expect a huge kitty series). I get many messages asking me if I’m going to do another one like #x, but deep down I would’ve moved on, and then again, sometimes I come back to those. The point is: the process is slightly haphazard– The books find me and I use them, unless I’m doing some tests on my doctorate materials– that’s when you start getting lots of collages dealing with masculinity, exhibitionism and gender. The project has now become my ‘workbook’ of tests and experimentations. These feed into my doctoral work consciously or unconsciously and that’s a good thing.
A friend asked me the other day, what does a Monet painting along with a landscape photo has to do with my research. The direct answer was of course, nothing! But my good friend Elke donating me her old art books, along with finding a second copy of an out of print scenic picture book with faded photos of nature, adds a layer of synchronicity, which makes those collages an adventure and some kind of ‘making-sense’.
The project has still a lot to go– almost a year. I still think I’m in the first stages and having a love-hate relationship with Facebook along with its algorithm in posts appearing on friends’ feeds, but then again not a lot of my Facebook friends are actually on the page. I’ve invited an initial 100 or so who I thought would be interested in seeing what I’m up to. Only 55% percent of the ‘likes’ are from my personal friends, the other 45% are people who I haven’t met or from around the world, ‘liking’ through tumblr. I’m still resisting clicking “invite all friends”. Hopefully I won’t!
A big THANK YOU to the supporters, especially those who bought more than a couple… Mark B, Gareth M, Elke, Jay+Emma, Rene+Kim, Evan+Jeanne, LT, Mark N, Alex T, ShenWei, Trina, Florry, and I hope I haven’t left anyone out…
Thanks to the hardcore ‘like’rs and all their post-clicks to increase rank on Facebook feeds… Virginia, Sandra, Gareth and Rosemarie… You guys ROCK! Also, Kerrie Van Heerden, for donating five of her own collages so I can get a break, and keep things moving.
I guess I’ll do another update at 50%. Cheers guys. You don’t know how much I appreciate your support. Share share share :)