Monday, August 5, 2013

This Weekend's Mini-Staycation: Fun With PicCollage and Instagram

Wish I could say this weekend's mini-staycation was due to taking counsel from loved ones, but that wouldn't be entirely true. The greater truth is that whinging online + a dramatic shift in temperature to blessedly cool + mental and physical exhaustion + wanting to play with creativity (vs. productivity) apps on my new tablet = this weekend's mini-staycation.

So, what did I do? 

Napped. Binge-watched "Weeds." Repotted plants. Cooked. Talked on the phone with Ruth. Reorganized app icons on my tablet. Took pictures and played with Instagram. Read a novel. Played with PicCollage

Playing with PicCollage is very entertaining in a terrific time-suck kind of way. For me, playing with it also feels like a form of coming home to a dormant part of self.  

My mother signed me up for art lessons when I was eight years old -- oil painting, believe it or not. I was so heavily tracked into being an artist while growing up (chronologically) that I didn't even bother applying to a liberal arts school for my first attempt at college. I'm planning to write more about my years an artist,* but in this post I want to go on about collage!

Collage tends to get relegated to the domain of arts-n-crafts therapy. During the late 1980s and well into the 1990s, collage creation was a popular component of personal growth workshops. I have no idea whether it's still SOP (standard operating procedure) to give workshop attendees a pile of magazines, scissors, and glue sticks to create collages of their "inner truth," "deepest longing," or "vision of Self."  I know this because of my extensive Personal Growth Industry experience during closing decades of the 20th century -- consumer and provider.

All snarkasm aside, I've always loved collage and view it (as well as decoupage) as a technique that ought not be relegated to the much-maligned category of "crafts." I especially love mixed-media collage because of the opportunities it provides for texture and depth. 

This being the case, I wouldn't have anticipated my utter delight with PicCollage which is unavoidably two dimensional and has certain limitations (e.g., trimming images to create visual flow) because of the technology. Wrong again! Utter delight.

I've already created six collages with PicCollage. My first was an homage to our kitty Mozart that I posted to Facebook. I got more inventive as I became more comfy with the app. I'll share these collages over time. For now, I'll embed, "My Desk Rocks" into this post. 

I took the calendar image with my phone, manipulated it with Instagram and posted to Facebook a few weeks ago. For this collage, I imported that Instagram image and added stickers provided by PicCollage. I used their "text" function to add the title and my signature. Not a huge selection of fonts, but a well-chosen ones.

I know this collage looks like something a tween would slap together. Either a tween or an adult with an endless capacity for self-amusement. Let's just say I was having a personal growth workshop moment, except I wasn't sobbing.

* Headline: Observation by the psychoanalyst I worked with three times a week for two years during graduate school, "The artwork kept you alive."