Supply Stash: Magazine Clippings

The erratic blogger is back with another blog/vlog combo. Have you ever watched someone else’s art video and wished you had one of the supplies they were using? I’m willing to bet you have. It’s how many of us get introduced to some of our favorite supplies (hello Daniel Smith watercolors). Recently I became envious of a much-used supply that didn’t end up costing me a dime.  What was it?

Magazine clippings.

I’ve watched in awe and envy as some of my favorite art peeps have added quirky, cute, gorgeous or unique magazine clippings to their art journal pages. My problem? I don’t have magazine.  As a tech geek, any magazines I read are in electronic format and my dying printer can barely print off a black and white form, so printing images from an electronic magazine was out of the question. I also didn’t want to go spend a small fortune on magazines just to cut them to ribbons. Have you seen the prices on magazines these days?

What’s a girl to do?  Use some creative thinking.

I happened to think about our local library and wondered what they did with their outdated magazines.  And you know what they do with them?  Throw them out. They were more than happy to save them for me and let me harvest images from them before I throw them out.  Win.

How do I choose which images I’m going to clip and which end up getting tossed out with the magazine?  I only have one rule. It has to grab my attention in some way.  It doesn’t have to be particularly artistic or pretty, it just has to catch my eye.  It may be because it’s quirky or fun. It could be the colors or the composition. It might just be that I like animals. It doesn’t matter. If it causes me to pause as I flip through the magazine, it gets clipped. No plan. No muse whispering in my ear.

I put all of my clips in a paper bag that lives on my art desk, close at hand so that I can grab it and shuffle through the clips as I’m creating. Sometimes an art work in process seems to call for a certain image. Other time, like with the tag in the timelapse video below, an image will pop out at me as I’m shuffling through and inspire an entire piece.

I don’t use magazine clippings in every piece I do, but having a stash of them readily available can kick start my creativity or clear an artistic block in a new and unexpected way. Do you use magazine clippings in your artwork?  How do you use them? How do you store them?

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