Do you have a giant collection of magazines or catalogues that you are likely never going to open again? Thinking about tossing them all into the trash? Well, what if I told you that within these magazines lies the potential to create something new, meaningful, and artistic?
I went to my friends' house the other day for some beer and board games. While waiting for my turn to play, I took a gander around the living room and noticed that my friends were hoarding a stacks of magazines by the front door. I asked them, “What are you guys doing with all those magazines?”
“Oh nothing, we’ve had them for years. We are just going to throw them out!”
Intrigued, I got up, and picked up a couple zines (most of which were published during the late 80s and early 90s) at random, and flipping through a few pages here and there, I soon realized that there are truly beautiful pieces of long-forgotten art throughout each magazine. I wanted so badly to find a way to not only re-use these magazines, but to also display these works of art without shouldering the burden of a million magazines taking up space at my apartment.
That’s when it hit me.
I went home that night and decided to start clipping out dozens of the most beautiful pages, portraits, landscapes, and miscellaneous wildlife. My mission: to re-use these magazine clippings to create something new!
Above: Some of the clippings I collected to make collages.
Once the pages were clipped, I decided to scan each clipping, then imported those into my photo editor of choice. From there, I experimented with cloning, masking, and color-grading, until I felt that I had truly transformed each clipping to create something new.
Try it out yourself! See what new meaning you can create using already existing images. Most importantly: Have fun! You’ll be surprised at the outcome of such experimentation.
Much like DJs who remix the music of other musicians to create an entirely new composition, using pre-existing photos and images to develop new meaning (in this case, collaging) is a transformative outlet for artistic expression. Just be sure to transform the content enough so that your final product reflects your inner dialogue, and your style, as opposed to the original artist’s.
Check out these collages I created using those magazines!