Tag Archives: collage


When we got the assignment to create a collage, it took me a long time to decide what theme I wanted to work with. But after several hours of watching a playthrough of the game Cuphead, in which a queen bee is a primary boss, I became fixated on the complex and rich imagery of bees. The hexagon shape sounded like a worthwhile challenge to construct through code. The hexagonal background was the first, and most technically challenging, thing I worked on for this collage. My original plan for the hexagon was to have it flat-side up, but when I went to hang it up in class, I found that I much preferred it the other way. Which caused me to spend a few more hours reworking the hexagon. The eventual solution I found was to over a transparent outline of a hexagon and to trace the points. Then I constructed triangles to cut out that part of the canvas. This technique of using the image of a hexagon to construct one came in handy for the hexagons in the corners, too. myles_collage_background The specific imagery that I was working on was juxtaposing the modern and the ancient views of bees. In the modern day, bees are often considered a pest and something to be afraid of. Older, more specifically Greek, views associated bees with divinity and the Oracle of Delphi. I personally find bees and their hives beautiful, so I found it fun to show these two perceptions side by side. myles_collage_sketch_bigger Then I started layering images and text. I tried to use modern words in more decorative fonts and ancient words in more modern fonts. Part of how bees communicate is through movement, so I included a moving bee. The moving background both acknowledges this and creates an almost hypnotic background that also connects to the divination aspect of the Oracle. myles_collage_final


Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.19.04 AM I knew at the beginning that I wanted to have my collage be about this new headspace I feel that I’m in right now. After a serious car accident in January that forced me to take a semester off, and now that I’m back in New York after spending so much time immobile in Texas, I feel that my feeling about being in New York is different, and I think that when I explain my car accident to my friends I tend to have a somewhat lighthearted or even humorous slant to not bring the mood down. I wanted a car to be at the center of this, and so initially I cut out a photo of a silver Prius in Photoshop, because that was the car we were hit in.     IMG_5975 Then, I took photos that I had saved from my Snapchat since the beginning of the year as well as downloading the photo of the wheelchair and the woman using the walker from the internet. I played around with where I wanted to place these,and eventually placed them into what ended up feeling like nodules around the center car, moving some pieces that I felt were important to be in motion, like the car, the woman using the walker, and the statue from the library. After my conference with Angela, I realized how I had separated all of the elements, and wanted to increase the size of individual pieces and change colors to make the collage make the viewer feel the dichotomy between the violence of the car crash with the familiarity of the art pieces from on campus, Mr. Softee, and the snow (none of which I can access while home in Texas). I initially enlarged my face in the corner.   Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 2.31.45 PM After some more photo editing where I changed the colors and edited some of the photos, I think that the piece came together in its cohesion. I also repeated the photo that says “Cliffs of Depression” in the background to add to the business and make it feel more connected to the rest of the piece.   Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 11.10.46 PM I decided to name this collage anti-violence, which is also one of the text blocks in the collage, because that was a term I put in a poem I wrote, and I think that it really represents the third space I’m trying to evoke. While this violent car crash and broken leg did happen to me and are on my mind, I’m also still living in a world of art and sweet things, which makes for a strange mental state. I think that I could still improve this collage by making the pieces from the library more clear in what they are to a person looking at the piece who has not been to Sarah Lawrence or someone who doesn’t remember the pieces of art in the library. I also think that while I tried to clear up the colors and use that to make the piece more cohesive, I think I fell short in that regard. Overall though, I am proud of how this piece turned out.   Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 12.19.04 AM

Virtue and Vice

Finished Realized Collage

Finished Realized Collage


My collage began with a brainstorm of words and associations, held together by the single narrative of vice and virtue. Having just finished the Odyssey in my literature seminar, I was struck by the physical and psychological pleasures and seductions the narrative protagonist Odysseus had to temper himself against to make it back home after ten long years of war, and another ten years spent as a vagabond on the sea. While a handful of the seductions he has to overcome are supernatural, many of the “vices” Odysseus must ward himself against are almost impossible to overcome, simply because he is human. There were many personal lessons I could distill from reading the story of Odysseus and his battle homeward, as well as the the internal struggle that sometimes proved even harder than whatever his divine antagonists could cook up. With this in mind, I set off to make a collage to capture my interests in Greek myth, modern graphic design, vice, virtue, and the journey from adolescence into adulthood.

Initial Brainstorming and Layout sketches

Initial Brainstorming and Layout sketches

After brainstorming, I went in search of iconography and inspiration to guide the tone and mood of the collage. Creating a “third space” was not an easy task, and creating a specific tone and unique texture evolved constantly at every step in the collage process. Beyond just the images I selected for the collage, I had to be very careful about position and relationships. Questions such as: where do I want my audience to focus on? what elements of the collage am I naturally drawn to? what doesn’t look right? continually popped into my head. Many images or changed or discarded, and one of the hardest parts of this assignment was finding the correct typography to convey the tone I was seeking. Perusing through Google Fonts, some of there selection was either too comical or didn’t add to the atmosphere of the piece. Or worse, I would gather together a collection of fonts that practically looked the same. I found that I could spend hours browsing images and fonts online, but until I took the leap forward and threw the paint on the wall, I wouldn’t know if my design decisions would stick or not. Needless to stay, creating a collage was an exhaustive effort that felt even more meticulous than my self portrait. However, I also recognized after brainstorming that as long as I held onto the essence of my collage, the elements and imagery would naturally insert or subtract itself. The creation of the collage itself guiding my artistic selection.

Background: Topographical Lines with Cyan Purple Gradient

Background: Topographical Lines with Cyan Purple Gradient

Central Images And Color Palette

Central Images And Color Palette


There was a host of digital and graphic icons and imagery I drew inspiration from. Since Robert Rauschenberg, collage has only been aided by the advance of digital imaging and processing. While I didn’t have very many fancy applications at my hands besides Photoshop, p5.js is a very robust drawing program that allowed me to edit, translate, rotate, scale, and manipulate in many other fashions the images i inserted into my digital canvas. After creating this collage, I come away with an even greater appreciation for the subtle art of position and placement. For example, I struggled as a beginning collage artist diversifying the placement of squares which gave my collage a very rigid and structured look. I can say I spent as much time thinking about where I was going to place and translate an image on the canvas as I did coding that translation, if not more. Even still using a great deal of squares and rectangles, I think I begun to achieve some diversity and nuance in the drawing the audiences’ attention to specific portions of the collage.

  reduce text

If there is one part of my collage I can latch onto and say that I am happy with, I would argue I am very happy with the color scheme and palette I was able to achieve. I love working with conflicting, opposite, and opposing colors, and in my brainstorm I was latched onto the idea of a gradient. While that original gradient changed in some dimensions, I really fell in love with the background I created using a topographical map and an overlay of color. While I sometimes felt the ideas of vice and virtue I was playing with didn’t always shine through, the highly pigmented color palette and hues cinch the collage together and keep the viewer constantly searching for information and creating inferences from association.

collage image

My creation of this collage comes from my own appreciation for the story of Homer’s Odyssey, my love fro graphic design, strong color palettes, and my own musings about mortal temptation. While not directly hitting the bullseye, I think I landed somewhere close.

The L Words

The L Words I’ve made many collages in my life. I’ve always enjoyed cutting out images from magazines or flyers, taping them to the lid of a shoebox and finding satisfaction in the collection of visuals. Making collages always felt very personal, I was unknowingly trying to represent a part of myself through the images I was cutting and pasting. As a student of media, my life has been a path woven together by the television and films I’ve consumed. I’ve always looked to digital story telling to inform my own narrative. Out of the hundreds of series’ and films I have watched throughout my life, nothing has made as big of an impact on me as Showtime’s The L Word. This is not a unique narrative; many people attribute The L Word to their own coming out stories, as many people, like myself, need references when beginning their road to self-discovery.
Initial plans

Initial sketch

Graphics sketch

Graphics sketch

Considering the fact that The L Word (2004-2009) was and remains to be the only American television series with a cast of lesbian characters, it has played an enormous role in the lesbian community. Though I cherish The L Word, I also find extreme disappointment in the fact that this affection I hold towards the show stems from the reality that it is the only one of its kind.
Initial layout

Initial layout

My collage is simple. I’ve included portraits of the main characters, symbols of the central themes, and recognizable sounds and dialogue from the series.   I’ve approached the aesthetic with an early 2000’s lens to mimic the visuals found in The L Word.  My collage reads as obvious and straight forward because unfortunately, in 2017, this is the extent of lesbian representation on television. I wanted to highlight the absurdity in the fact that this is all there is. These few women, these representations of the “l words”, are the only ones the lesbian community has to identify with on television. These women, these terms, hold so much meaning because of their extreme rarity in media. I juxtaposed the smiling faces of The L Word cast members with an image of traditional lesbian representation on television. So often do we find queer representations of women through the male gaze, something The L Word addresses and successfully avoids. I also emphasized lesbian hashtags, a concept that both unites and devalues.
Traditional representations

Traditional representations

Throughout this process, I’ve found the creative elements, the selecting of sounds and images to be very straightforward and satisfying, while the construction of the collage itself has been more of a challenge. As this is the first project I’ve attempted to code without a direct reference, I’ve struggled with taking the tools I’ve learned through the readings and in class exercises and putting them to use without an outline. While this has been a struggle, it has also been a great learning experience. I’ve had to exercise problem-solving strategies, spending time testing different methods to reach my end goal.
Flag by vertex drawing

Flag by vertex drawing

Though I managed to solve most of the issues that arose with coding this piece, I have yet to be able to get rotations to work. I was unable to get the three animated elements to follow a center rotation. Every time I tested different rotation examples, my entire collage rotated along with the element I was trying to isolate. This is something I hope to address in class.
Issues with rotation

Issues with rotation

The L Words is a collage I’ve made to showcase the few lesbians on television, both in disappointment for their lack of company and deep appreciation for their existence.
The L Words

The L Words

A Hedgehog Goes on a Walk in a Big Forest

Screenshot from 2017-10-09 21-05-00

Once upon a time, there was a Hedgehog who wanted to go on a walk.

Why did the Hedgehog want to go on a walk? He didn’t really have a reason.

It’s just what the Hedgehog wanted to do for as long as he could remember.

And so, he set out to walk, perhaps to learn something, perhaps to find his perfect forest.

Screenshot from 2017-10-09 21-10-59

The Hedgehog first walked through the forest he grew up in.

The familiar trees were as beautiful as ever, but the Hedgehog kept walking anyway.


The old forest gave way to a new one, filled with trees the Hedgehog has never seen before.

This forest seemed so big, and so amazing.

But it was not quite what the Hedgehog hoped it would be.

So the Hedgehog decided to keep walking.

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Soon, the Hedgehog found himself in a yet another forest.

“The trees in this forest are similar to the trees back at home,” the Hedgehog thought.

Would this be a good place for the Hedgehog to be?

Only time will tell.


This is a small planet, filled only with places the Hedgehog is familiar with.

The Forest Planet is divided into three parts, each populated by beautiful trees from every forest the Hedgehog has seen. As the Hedgehog continues to walk in search of something, this small planet is there to keep all the memories of every forest he has seen.

When the Hedgehog revisits one of those places on the Forest Planet, he recalls a familiar thought he had while he lived there, familiar sounds of each forest play, and out in the distance, the fog seems to form a mirage that makes the forest seem even closer to reality than it already is.

While this project does not share a lot thematically with Richard Hamilton’s work, his collages were my main inspiration. I really enjoyed the way “Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing?” blends together textures and cutouts of various objects and people to create a very coherent room.

In my collage, I tried to achieve a similar effect by combining colored polygons that make up the world with various images to create the little planet.

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I really enjoyed creating the polygons that make up the planet and the sky. To make it easier to visualize the parts, I created a small tool that showed me the necessary x and y coordinates to make the shape fit what I have in mind.

My favorite part, however, was creating the sky.


I’m very pleased with how this effect turned out, and I hope I will be able to use it in the future. To create it, I found a picture of a landscape, and used actual colors from it. I made each polygon of the sky slightly transparent, so that color from the one behind it bled through. I also made each polygon “rough” to give the sky a bit of a handmade feeling, as if I cut out a bunch of pieces of colored paper to create the sky.

Danger Zone

What is finished (for now)

My first instinct with this assignment was to write “this is a collage” and turn that in, in true Rauschenberg style. But then I decided to give it a shot and see what I could come up with. The assignment came right after the country’s biggest modern mass shooting in Las Vegas, so I was thinking about gun control and mass shootings and terrorism and things, and it made me consider fear and danger, and that was the theme I went with.

Playing around with some ideas

It’s a weird time to be an American. I suppose it’s kind of a weird time to be anyone or anything because we have so much stuff. We have more information at our fingertips than ever. Technology is insane. Politics are absurd. But we still have time to think about Kim Kardashian’s butt? When I think about fear, this week I’ve thought about coding (haha). And assignments, and the future, and relationships, and money, and and and++. Then I thought about what other people are afraid of and how big of a spectrum that is. People are afraid of spiders sometimes, and sometimes they’re afraid of nuclear warfare. There’s so many different tiers too. I suppose it’s all psychological, but in a sense I think they’re a difference between being afraid of a constant thing like a spider, and being afraid of the dangers of cultural appropriation (hence, Kim K’s butt).   There’s a lot going on in my piece, because there’s a lot to be afraid of. However, there are images on there that people shouldn’t be afraid of or think are dangerous. But that points out a larger discussion about who’s to say who can be afraid of what?