Creative Squad: I am a Collage – Riikka Kovasin

Hello from my Creative Squad! Today we have a post and video from Riikka Kovasin who is sharing an art journal page that is an abstract and thoughtful take on our theme this month: I am a Collage – We are all complex beings with many different facets. Create a “self portrait” piece using collage to represent parts of yourself, either literally or in an abstract way.

Riikka is using my Love Knots and Queen Anne rubber stamps.

Sum of its Parts

Moikka! It’s Riikka Kovasin here today with a project for the monthly theme “I am a collage”. If you look at the photo of the project, I’m fairly sure you don’t immediately recognize me from it. But I’m in there! It’s a kind of jigsaw “Where’s Wally”.

Usually, when reading the month’s theme, my head starts spinning with all the possible ideas. But this time, funnily enough, I had a clear picture in my head from the start. I wanted to do a photo transfer and then hide it by cutting the surface apart. In a way going cubistic, but not quite.

Besides the photo transfer, I wanted to use other papers, too. As in my mind collage is a sum of various parts, acquired differently. Like some old book paper, a bit of painted paper and then maybe a cut out photo. Various sources, different textures. As this collage was about me, I wanted to add different aspects of me in a way. For example, like I say in the video, I stamped the “Queen Anne” house to the piece several times as home is important to me. Maybe I should have said “family” instead of “home” as it’s not that much about the building itself but more who are in it and what that building represents.

If you want to see how this quilt came into being, please see the video below!

When making the surface for the photo transfer, I added some of my handwriting in it. My mind drew a complete blank at that point, and I didn’t want to scribble a shopping list this time, so instead I used the first quote that popped in my head. Those were the opening words of Kalevala, Finnish national epic. The opening words in a way were appropriate in several ways – the theme of the phrase is about getting started, the speaker declares that he has an urge to begin the story, much like I was eager to get started or continue with the project. The other thing is that the words are in Finnish, my mother tongue, which bring my nationality to the piece. After all, that’s the culture I’ve grown up with and it’s rooted in me in ways I might not even come to realize.

Even though I had the idea of cutting the photo apart from the start, I needed some pondering when it came to the size and amount of the cuts. Cutting it into same sized squares seemed the easiest solution, although I first played with the idea of different sized rectangular bits. When I had the decision about the squares, it then came down to thinking about the size. Not to have the squares too tiny, I pondered between four and three centimeters, which meant three or four squares in a row. As you could see, I chose the bigger squares and three in a row as I thought that might be more pleasing to the eye.

Throughout the project I also used a lot of the “Love Knots” stamp. I love the graphical design of it, but also what it stands for – the combining, integrative force of love.

Thank you for stopping by today! Wishing you a lovely, love filled day!

Xoxo Riikka

Thank you Riikka! Love all the different levels of you in this piece and reading your post too. Sometimes abstract work can be tricky to understand at first glance, but by spending time with it we are gratified with new ideas and ways to create art. This piece is certainly inspiring!!!

Give it a try: you can find all my Rubber Stamps in my Online Shop and in addition to a laser printed image and some ephemera, here are some of the supplies Riikka used:

Looking for more projects? Follow the Creative Squad on Instagram here.

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