I came across some questions in the book Colored Pencil Collage: Nature Drawing and Painting for Mixed Media about design elements that attract us. The questions are designed to spark new ideas, ones that are sure to bring forth new concepts for collage projects and more. Those questions got me thinking about something a mentor once asked me: “You move in spirals, yes?” I agreed with her. I honor the spirals of movement that appear when I dance and draw.
What if someone had shed this light sooner? For years I could have been exploring how spirals are an integral part of what I do and who I am.
|Collage by Kelly Hoernig|
The author of the book, Kelly Hoernig, offers you this guidance before you begin asking yourself the questions: “This will help you narrow things down as you create your design,” she says. “By answering these seven questions, you can tell a lot about yourself, and that is a great place to start.”
Collage Design: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself by Kelly Hoernig
1. Are you linear or circular?
2. Do you prefer white space or filled space?
3. Do you like colors or neutrals?
4. Do you prefer soft or hard edges?
5. Do you like things to match, or are you unconventional in how you put things together?
6. Patterns or plain?
7. Decorative or functional?
“I’m an architectural renderer who is inspired by nature but who uses a muted palette for the most part,” Kelly says. “That said, I love straight lines, and circles drive me crazy. I like white space; filled spaces make me nervous. Neutral and muted shades work best for me, but I do like an occasional pop of color, just not an intense one. I like a mix of hard and soft edges because that adds interest for the viewer. I put things together in unconventional ways because I love texture and mixing old with new. Most of the time I gravitate toward plain designs, but I love background patterns if they’re soft and undistracting. Whether the art is decorative or functional doesn’t matter to me. I just want to create.
“Design is something you can learn, but a design sense can also be something you just have. Trust your instincts and they will usually lead you down the right path. Our designs have personal consequences because they reflect who we are, what we like, and what we want to share with the world. Can it really get more personal than that? I don’t think so. You have a unique design aesthetic that is personal to you, and you only!”
Understanding who you are and what you like is a gift. With this knowledge, you can make connections with other people who share similar tastes. You’ll also be able to create collage and mixed-media art that says, “This is who I am. This is what I believe.” Colored Pencil Collage (which comes with a set of Prismacolor Premier colored pencils) can help you create that art with techniques and exercises for the beginner and the experienced artist.
You’re invited to share some of your answers to the above questions, and the insights they’ve given you, in the comments section below. I’d love to hear how you’ve been inspired by this introspective exercise.