How To Recycle Your Art

As I continue to work towards my goal of generating all of my own focal imagery in my journals, I find that it is extremely important to lean on old work to create new work.  In this post, I'll outline some of my techniques for recycling art.

1) Get Really Friendly with Your Neighborhood Copy Center:  
Color copies of old journal pages can be cut into strips to make borders on new pages.  Color copy bits and pieces make excellent backgrounds for small art such as ATCs, inchies, and postcards.  You get the look of complex layering without doing all the work twice.  Have a painted canvas that didn't quite work?  Cut that canvas off the frame and get thee to the nearest copier to recycle that painting into cool background material. 


2) Get a New Perspective Through Your Camera's Viewfinder:
I take pictures all the time of my work, not only to build my portfolio, but to see that work in new ways.  Take close-ups of small doodles, important focal images, or interesting background bits and use those detail photos to make new art.

3) Dance Between Mediums:
Look at symbols that repeatedly occur in your work.  Let those lexicon images become inspiration for hand-carved stamps and use those stamps in your backgrounds or as focal images in new projects.  For example, I recently painted a fox image on a journal page that I loved so I drew that image again on a smaller scale and created a stamp.  I plan on making a series of greeting cards with my new fox stamp.

Recycling your art is a great way to get more mileage out of all your hard work and as long as your work doesn't contain copyrighted material in the first place, it is a fantastic technique for building a library of collage fodder that is uniquely your own.


Dawn said…
Great post Michelle, thank-you so much for the tips. I love your fox stamp and am sure he will be well used and loved, brilliant!
Hugs x
JShelby said…
love this idea!
Marrianna said…
Thank you, Michelle, for reminding me to make copies of my journal pages. Next step for me? Create those darn art journal pages. I also wanted to thank you for tip to use only my own photos in my journaling. I have all these dang CDs of vintage images - babies, women, couples, etc. - that don't appeal to me any longer. I tried to trade them at my local used bookstore but they didn't take them. I guess I'll be giving them away to somebody. In the meantime, I really do enjoy your drawings and your posts. You have a lot of courage and skill and I'm grateful to have found your blog.
denthe said…
Very interesting post! thanks for the tips!