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Fear Collages

Mixed Media Collage Project


Create a mixed media collage based on a guilty pleasure, fear, or confession you have.



1.  List your guilty pleasures, fears, and confessions.  
Under each category, list as many subjects as possible.  Don’t think about whether these subjects you list will be good for your project, just vomit on the paper!

2. Write many variations of your written sentence.  
Consider how the text and visuals will work together. You don’t want the text to simply repeat what the visuals already communicate, and vice versa!

3. Draw 8 thumbnail sketches in pencil. 
Make your thumbnail sketches as different from each other as possible, explore many different options for composition.  Watch this video for how to create thumbnail sketches.

4. Create 3 materials sketches.
A huge part of this project is choosing what collage materials you want to use!  Your materials sketches are mini trial runs for how the materials will work together.  What glue will you use?  How will you overlap your materials?  These materials sketches let you troubleshoot potential issues.

5. Complete the final collage.
Be sure to transfer the composition of your thumbnail sketches faithfully to the final collage. Take under consideration how your collage and your relationship to your materials will change at a larger scale.


Olivia Lu

I fear the 30,000 feet.

“I gathered a lot of scrap material like metals, plastics, and magazine images, and together, they depicted the feeling of an irrational fear of a plane crash with the heavy explosions in the faces, scattering around the board, and the phrase in the center covered in smoke.

From this project, I learned that the combination of image and text has to be just enough so that one doesn’t take away from the other and that collages are tricky, but if done correctly, can also be a powerful medium used to spread a message.”

Mixed Media Collage Project
Mixed Media Collage Project

Martha Clark

What if they fall off?

“Working on this project forced me to consider the art making process as more than a technical exercise.

Making art with an explicit purpose, even one as simple as the inclusion of text, taught me to approach my art from a more active perspective, with the same critical attention that I would afford to an essay or a science experiment.”

Even van Rens

I’m afraid I’ll lose them.

“The collage assignment was demanding in a different way; I had to experiment with materials and techniques that I had never used before, but overall was a very rewarding experience.”

Mixed Media Collage Project
Mixed Media Collage Project

Chih-Lin Hsu

What a wonderful view!

“This was a project where I was finally confident enough to throw caution to the wind and create an art piece that was personal, in a way that would be strikingly out of the ordinary.

The material sketches were useful because they were unrestricted opportunities to explore any and all ideas that I had, and having the sketches critiqued not only allowed me to see my own work from different perspectives, but also inspired me to go a step further.

For the final collage, I went all out, buying pillowcases, plastic bottles, gauze, and many other materials to compile my collage; it was my first experience working with such a wide range of materials, and it was definitely a very liberating experience that opened up a different style of art I am eager to experiment more with.”

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