Written by Tia Giles
When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with creating decoupage pieces - some would say that I still am, but just in a different way! Instead of decoupage animal pieces, I now focus more on digital collages and mood boards, experimenting with different styles and effects. I see so many people as figures of creation. For example, we have the power to create something as simple as an outfit to get changed in each morning and we create art without even realising it.
Dating back as far as 980 BC in Egypt, patchwork was used by early Egyptians to fabricate clothes and to preserve pieces of artifacts. Decoupage patchwork has since evolved, developing into a plethora of designs and forms including quilts, collages, and scrapbook artwork. Gilded by cut-outs from magazines or manufactured paper designed specifically for this purpose, decoupage is a visual form of art that can be practiced by anyone and everyone.
Flashback eight years or so from now, I was once one of these passionate decoupage creators. I’d happily take myself off to my local Hobby Craft and spend hours browsing, sifting and searching through all the different patterns and variations of tissue paper that they had to offer. Then I’d carefully select a plain decoupage animal model from a shelf to create my (attempted) masterpiece. No matter how many times I picked the same paper or the same model, the piece would always turn out different, and this is what I loved about decoupage – the fact that you could make it your own and that one piece was never the same as the next. I would shred and rip the different sheets of tissue paper and magazine pull-outs into tiny little corners and squares, sticking them carefully together to eventually create something special.
With creativity being at the core of this month’s issue, decoupage pieces immediately came to mind. To this day, my grandad still has my decoupage pieces up on his mantlepiece. Every time I go over to his house, I spot the little bear; decorated in tiny shreds of pink patterned paper, sitting proudly on the ledge. I always smile when I see it because I know that I created it myself and I spent time creating it. It wasn’t shop-bought. It wasn’t a pre-planned design. It was and continues to be completely authentic and signature to me and my creative spark.
In a similar way, I also love how video collages, photos, prints and fabrics all can come together to form one whole piece – almost like a jigsaw. In all its versatility, creation is everywhere, you just have to look for it.