It is Design Week/Month in Toronto and there is buzz everywhere from Toronto Design Offsite, Interior Design Show to DO Design. My busy schedule doesn’t allow me to see all the awesome exhibitions that are out there, I am seeing a few but there is no way I can catch up with the buzz. However, this energy always makes me look at January as Design Consciousness month and it is a perfect timing as I am reflecting on life and setting the threading theme for the year.
I am looking around me to get a better idea of what my design diet consist of. I don’t have much expertise in the field except for great appreciation of good solid design and having developed an eye or taste for it (in certain areas). I have become more and more focused and selective about what I surround myself with. I am a sucker for clean, simple, minimal and functional objects. I don’t have space in my home nor my brain (more so than my home) to spend it on managing stuff. And still I find most of my non-work time is spent in the department of Stuff Management. To get myself out of the constant state of de-cluttering, I am constantly changing my consumption habits and I am gravitating more and more to implementing good design in every aspect of life. Even my wardrobe is moving more towards becoming a capsule closet filled with essentials. I have been sticking to a very minimal colour palette of black , white and grey with a pop of colour as a rule of thumb for everything for quite some time now. My focus over the years has shifted to quality vs. quantity. It has been liberating and efficient and I am becoming even stricter with it. This is a wave everywhere (or maybe in some areas trendy but one of those good trends) and it is a good way of living. To do more with less! It is hard but it is so good if I can stick to it.
As you have seen over the past year, this thinking has trickled into my collage work and has changed it drastically. In the research phase I took on myself, I aimed to reduce and minimize my previously dense collage explorations to essential, minimal forms, lines and characters and try to take the attention to simplicity of small fragments. It has been a good practice.
Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the twinkling lights at this beautiful time of the year and getting ready to launch into 2017 with great energy, new inspirations and fresh ideas. I have come to the end of my year-long journey of the #collagediet! You might know already that I committed myself to create three collages a week throughout the year and ended it with a daily countdown in December. As I had written about this a year ago, these are collage works on watercolour paper – 6″ x 6″ and 8″ x 8″. The cut-outs come from Vogue magazine, my one and only muse for years now. They are pieces of clothing, objects, body parts that I distort into an abstract form, maintaining a kinetic, life-like energy without referencing the body itself. The drawings are my responses to the exciting textures and lines in the cut-outs or whatever inspires me to build on them. I have to admit that towards the end, it was very hard for me to keep up with the challenge. I felt stuck in the format and I didn’t have enough space in my brain or much time this year to break away from it and change it up. There were a lot of ideas that I had planned to explore but never got a chance. I did take a very fascinating printing course at Open Studio, called Collograph in the hope to incorporate some new techniques and medium into my work but I realized I needed much more learning and practice to do that. Despite the fact that I was dragging my feet in the past two months, a lot of interesting forms, shapes and compositions emerged from this whole exercise. I ended up with 191 entirely different collages this year and 100 from December 2015 when this whole madness started. Not all of them are great, and sometimes there is repetition but I have a lot of interesting and intriguing pieces as a result. This process has changed my visual language significantly. I enjoy the simplicity even more everyday! I was immensely satisfied with the subtle fragment exhibition that I had in September with Helen Liene Dreifeld and I am hoping to build on that concept. Overall, it was a very productive and exciting year with having this challenge on my plate and my role at Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition which started simultaneously in January 2016. I am happy that I made it to the finish line no matter what! At the moment, I don’t know what is next in my practice. I think I would like to take a break and actually take the time to go through the works, ponder over all of last year and digest what happened. I never got the time to step back and evaluate. I need time to think about how to expand on some the ideas that emerged and continue learning about printing. I also want to consider exhibiting these works in different set-ups and groupings other than the Instagram/digital format. They are very different and have much more character in person 😉. Lots to think about but for now I am just resting my scissors and getting our fancy champagne glasses out to celebrate the end and new beginnings in style!
The pink pieces here turned out to be my favourite ones. I really like the simplicity and folds of the third piece here. More pieces to come as I am closing this challenge! Follow the end of this #collagediet on instagram.
I only have 6 more weeks to go till the end of this challenge. I am not going to lie! I am bit a tired of it and I am dragging my feet. At the same time, I have a strong desire to end this endeavor on a high note with something different which itself is more challenging than the challenge itself. I am pressed for time these days and I feel that I need a break in order to come up with new ideas. However instead of listening to myself about taking a break, I decided to push a bit more and started taking print making courses at Open Studio. Some ideas are bubbling in my head that I am trying to explore with a different medium but taking the course was like opening a Pandora Box…. will tell you more about it.
Interesting shapes and forms. I have to admit I had to rush these as I was running out of steam trying to catch up with the past couple of weeks collages. Finally I am caught up with my challenge and myself. Phew….
I really like this set (the pictures didn’t turn out that great unfortunately). The cut-outs were so perfect that I really didn’t want to do anything with them except highlighting the texture and the forms. I can also never get enough of black & white.