Creating Worlds with Photomontage

Thursday, April 28, 2011…blogging live from the Creativity, Imagination + Innovation Symposium.

I’ve just left the “Creating Worlds with Photomontage” experiential workshop, led by Assistant Professor of Art Education Olga Hubard.  Amazing session—100% hands on.

Attendees walked into the classroom and were greeted by a table covered with glossy, evocative clippings from magazines.  Some clippings were images of items (tube of lipstick, trees), others were images of texture and color (animal fur, pile carpeting, purple swaths of fabric).  Professor Hubard invited us to choose images and combine them in ways to create a photomontage.  She showed us some ‘already done’ to get us inspired (one by Professor Torres-Guzman featured a teacup emerging from a woman’s torso—Dada cool!) and put us to work.

She challenged us to think about creating a single image with cogency, to think about the different roles that images play, to focus on trimming (we had a pile of scissors) and negative and positive space.  “Be open to the images!”, she intoned.

I created an eyeball out of Good ‘N Plenties, featuring a bright blue eyebrow.   It felt great to simply create, with no boundaries.  And it also felt great being a student.

My favorite thing about the experience?  The amazing ladies I shared a workspace with.  Sheila is an artist and Empire grad student.  Christina is a primary school art teacher and TC alum.  We talked about creativity and Christina had some interesting ideas about how the exercise—taking disparate pieces and reassembling them in a cohesive way—can be applied to other disciplines, like math and writing.  I felt that way about our little table too:  three very different people coming together for two great hours.

The exercise made me think:  When was the last time I took scissors to a magazine, hacked away at the pages, and made something wonderful?  Just for myself?  I loved these kinds of projects as a teen, and there’s no reason why I can’t still be doing it now.

UPDATE:  Traveling through the city this morning, I had good time looking at the ads that line populate our streets and subways.  How fun would it be to take that photo of the beer in a glass and trim it into a tidy sun?  And that grumpy model?  I’d love to snip out the image of that Lexus and pop it into her hip pocket.  Thank you Professor Hubard…my creative body is feeling good and limber this am!