When I first moved to Chicago, I lived with two wonderful girls. One of them shared with me a book of blank pages she bought at an indie book store not far from our apartment. She had cut and pasted images from magazines into the pages of this book, making some interesting collages. I’ve dabbled with collage here and there in the past but after seeing the stories she created, and feeling inspired, I went out and got a book of my own.
I gathered images I was attracted to with little thought and intuitively arranged them on the page, feeling the crazy in my head leak out of me, spilling out into the stories I was creating. Emotions I had a hard time communicating were there for me to see plain as day. I had a place to channel the grief and sadness I felt over leaving the place I grew up for a gigantic unknown world that was mine to explore. I stepped into a black hole that I needed to make into a new life, a new normal. Collage was my way out when writing, my go-to means of expression, felt too hard.
Since then, I’ve filled several books, journals and many 18X24 canvases with my findings. I love putting on some music, pulling out a stack of magazines, and seeing what happens. It’s the only time I don’t wish to have any control over the creative process, I just want to see what happens.
Above is a recent piece I created about sexuality, my own, and women’s in general. There is a societal push-pull to be sexy, sexual, but at the same time, buttoned up and virginal. Women are judged for making either choice.
While I love writing erotica, the critical parts of my past pop up and work hard to erase whatever idea I may have come up with. Showing up to the page becomes a terrifying act of “what will you think of me?” if I write it all down. I’m quick to pull out a collage project when that happens, ready to get it out any way I can until the storm in my brain calms down enough to organize the words again.