Make: Magazine Collage Patterns

I've always been a bit intimidated by collage - great collages are really great, but not-so-great ones are more like visual clutter.

Wanting the final product to be something that I wasn't embarrassed by has always stopped me in my tracks when it came to trying collage... but part of my year long doodle challenge is trying different mediums and learning not to be afraid of art... so I took a deep breath and convinced myself it was time to try.

I love seeing collage pieces that cleverly use vintage images... but I don't love sourcing materials before I know if it's something I like doing. Test then invest, if you will. So, I decided that the best place to start was with what I already had - magazines... a bit of a mine field though if you're trying to avoid the crafty dream board look. But then I had a bit of a revelation...

As I flipped through magazines looking for inspiration or a starting point, it hit me...

Don't look AT the pictures. Look IN them - for interesting patterns, textures and colour combinations. Suddenly I had a starting point I could work with and went through ripping out interesting bits and pieces to play with.

But what to do with all these magazine pages? My conclusion - build patterns!

Susan (a fab artist I follow on Instagram) suggested sticking with a limited palette... so that's just what I did. Picking a narrow range of colours and then cutting them into small pieces.

Whenever I work with a repeating pattern, I like to first create a template out of card stock or cardboard and then use it to cut all the pattern pieces. I cut heaps of shapes - I find it easier to start with too many than to wind up scrambling to find more or using pieces which are just okay at the end.

Next, I arranged the pieces into the desired pattern and, once satisfied with the combinations. started sticking. This was not my favourite part and had me proclaiming that I was sticking with tape - no sticky fingers - but I'm a sucker for a pretty pattern, so went back for more!

Pink, coral, red and orange herringbone pattern.

Blue scallop pattern with a touch of hot pink. My favourite!

And diamond pattern in neutral shades.

All in all, I loved this first toe dip into the deep pool of potential that is collage. Will I be back for more? Maybe! I feel like this is a nice starting point - and I really am smitten with the blue scallop pattern.

Are you a collage lover? Any tips for me? 
Is this something you would try in your own sketchbook / art journal?