Connecting Through Creativity

Putting the Pieces Together with Beci Orpin

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Beci Orpin is one of FOUR Creative Mentors sharing the tricks of their trades to support you on your journey in Connecting Through Creativity. Follow along as they give tips on their creative processes, specific art forms, and other tricks to help inspire your creative submission. Learn more about how to submit your visual art masterpiece that explores that topic of CONNECTIVITY for a chance to win $500, by clicking here!

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In my video I showed my work, some of which is created by using collage. Collage is pretty much just putting pieces of paper together to form an image or composition. Collage is a technique used by artist like Matisse, but also in lots of different children’s books, including some of my favourite illustrators - Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and Leo Lionni (Frederick the Mouse).

Collage is one of my favourite mediums because it’s so easy, and doesn’t require too many special materials or special skills. All you need is a piece of paper for your base, some paper to cut out and stick to your base, something to cut with(scissors is easiest) and something to stick with (glue and double sided tape is what I use). You can also cut existing images out of magazines and books to make collages. I like to use coloured paper and cut my own shapes. 

When I am making my collages, I like to use other art materials to create colours and patterns on the paper before I cut it, such as coloured pencils and markers, paint (watercolour, acrylic, gouache), inks, pastels or crayons. Different materials create different textures and effects - its fun to experiment with these. 

You can also include different types of paper like tissue paper or crepe paper. You could even see what you can find in your recycling bin - I like to use the patterned paper which you find on the inside of envelopes. Sometimes I also include non-paper materials like foil, paper tape, stickers and fabric. 

When it comes to making shapes, you can draw these on to your paper first using a pencil, or you can just free-cut and see what happens. I do bit of both. Sometimes its the off cut of the paper I have cut which I like the most, so make sure you checkout your paper scraps too. 

When I have all my pieces cut out, I don’t stick them down straight away, as I like to spend some time arranging and rearranging until I have a composition which I’m happy with. This can involve overlapping shapes, or spreading them further apart, looking at what colours look good next to each other. This is the most time-consuming part of making a collage for me - often I make a composition and leave it on my desk for a day, and see if I still like it when I look at it the next day. 

Once you are happy with your composition, you can stick it down. This can also be fiddly work, so take your time! 

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How will you connect the pieces to create your visual masterpiece that explores the topic of CONNECTIVITY? Enter the Connecting Through Creativity challenge and you could win $500 in prizes! Click here for more information on age categories, prizes, and how to enter.