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Create Your Own Collage: Cut, Color, and Paste Your Way to Fabulous Artworks and More Paperback – May 3, 2016
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About the Author
LIZZIE LEES is an award-winning designer specializing in illustration, textile design, and surface pattern. She has designed for a number of prominent companies, including Paperchase, Designer's Guild, Monsoon, and John Lewis, where she busies herself creating beautiful patterns for all types of different products. She lives in London.
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For any fellow confused American readers, this is the very same book called "Collage Carnival", just re-titled for U.S. publication. Because I initially discovered this under the European name, I nearly made the mistake of ordering both! (Not that I'd complain about owning two copies).
IS THIS YOUR VIBE?
As a paper addict and fledging mail artist, a title designed to help churn my creative juices sounded right up my alley. If you're familiar with Flow Magazine's annual "Book for Paper Lovers", this shares a similar vibe, just with a more singular focus: creating paper collage. The Flow book is a collaborative effort, whereas all the projects here are from the mind of artist and surface pattern designer Lees. So though nothing here is repetitive or boring, there's a definite signature feel to the designs. How you opt to play with them is what makes it yours.
A HOW-TO GUIDE?
Not really. While there's a couple dozen pages with specific prompts and projects, this is NOT 160 pages of step-by-step instructions. Collage, after all, doesn't really have rules; the book is more of a paper resource than a tutorial meant to be consulted over and over. As there's no one "correct" way to use the book, you can opt to create some of your work right inside the bound pages, utilizing the templates and blank fields, or, as the author suggests, go off book by merely borrowing from/adding to Lee's visual prompts and illustrations. Deconstruction strongly encouraged. Lees asks readers to declare: "At the end of the book, there will be no book".
AM I THE TARGET AUDIENCE?
It must have been quite challenging to select content--such as triangle-only challenges, DIY greeting cards, augmenting city skylines--that will appeal to a more experienced collager while not at all alienating the beginner; I think Lees succeeds here. It's well curated. If you've never collaged a day in your life, this title should motivate, not overwhelm. The collection should prove a huge source of inspiration for collage fanatics, creative journal keepers, and general fans of paper crafting. It's an all-you-can-collage buffet.
If you're really curious about the look of the pages and some of the included projects, I'd recommend searching for some vlogger reviews/walk-thrus. I suspect that only paper crafters attracted to more edgy, cerebral designs would find this title too 'cute' for raiding; this is chock full of whimsy and lots and LOTS of color. Glitter recommended. Think: blanketed llamas, preening parrots, juicy pineapples, romance under the Eiffel Tower. But though indeed whimsical, it doesn't skew too juvenile. While not inappropriate for kids, it's certainly not targeted to children.
The approx 9"x7" book is luscious! High quality material, with 80% of the sheets beautifully printed on paper that feels like high end gift wrap--a lovely sheen but not too glossy or easy to rip/crinkle. The more matte pages are a great text weight card stock. Bonus sections include 4 sheets of stickers! Who can resist stickers? There's a couple of fold-outs and even a few coloring pages (the adult coloring trend doesn't appear to be fading so am glad it's an included feature, but am personally relieved there aren't too many color-in pages). Lots of goodies here for the list price. You're meant to add your own collected bits and bobs, but if you're low on supply, this book contains enough spare paper to utilize it exclusively.
With much reticence I withheld a star because I would have loved the option of perforation on more, if not all of the pages-- not just for the gatefolds and "bonus" stuff like the color-in pages. For some folks this might be an unccessary request because they want to keep the book 'together' as much as possible or they don't mind uneven rips, but as this title is as much a celebration of paper itself rather than a bookshelf filler, perforated sheets could aid the goal of going rogue. As it is, you're intended to cut out liberal portions of all these delightful designs, but I find the binding a tad too tight...making it a little tricky to cut into certain deeper sections of the pages. (I'm kinda paranoid I'll slice into something I don't mean to cut).
Gorgeous, lighthearted content that's FUN for all skill levels. Collage is virtually goof-proof! Get your scissors, glue of choice, even grab today's junk mail, and get to creating
I took off one star for the thinnish slick paper used which is great for the sticker pages but not for all of the pages. This limits the drawing and coloring implements one can use. Crayon, color pencil and non-permanent ink will not stick. Also when glueing this type of paper, one needs special adhesive or sandpaper to rough-up the areas where adhesive will be placed.
This type of book would be far more asthetically pleasing (and easier to work with) if a heavier weight and lightly textured stock had been used.