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Harvesting Images To Use In Magazine Collage

Tips and ideas for the kinds of images you can tear out of magazines to use in collage art! Magazine collage is a super fun and easy way to get into an artistic groove!

Harvesting Images To Use In Magazine Collage

I'm obsessed with magazine collage art!

There's something weirdly magical about taking images meant for one purpose and transforming them into something entirely new and unexpected! These collage techniques are explained further in this free magazine collage course!

The other day I spent hours happily ripping through magazines doing some creative recycling, searching for the perfect elements to add to my collage collection. I wanted to share some of the things I look for when on the hunt…

Colors & Patterns: My Background Staples

A vibrant burst of color or an eye-catching pattern is like a blank canvas for my collages. I tear out anything interesting – swaths of solid color, geometric designs, even those cheesy ads with crazy backgrounds. They're all perfect for laying a foundation.

For this piece I used a bunch of different purple images as the backgrounds to offset the beige leisure suit!

Smooth Operator Magazine Collage

Heads, Bodies, & Other Oddities

Magazine models are my go-to for creating strange and wonderful characters in my collage world. I snatch up disembodied heads, arms akimbo, legs in stylish poses…the weirder, the better!

My work is full of mismatched figures, and those bits and pieces from magazines are the key. For this gal I used a skirt head, cocktail body and random arms and legs!

Harvesting Images To Use In Magazine Collage

Repurposing the Unexpected

This is where the real fun begins! A lampshade in a home décor ad? That's a fancy hat for my collage lady.

A photo of a modern sculpture? That oddly shaped blob becomes a body, just begging for a head and some mismatched legs! I love the challenge of seeing everyday objects in magazines through my collage lens.

For this gal I used a diamond ring for her tummy and the oversized hand to hold her up!

Diamond Tummy Magazine Collage

The Joy of the Hunt

Honestly, half the joy of magazine collage is the thrill of discovery. I never know what gems I'm going to uncover—a bizarre fashion spread, a vintage ad with the perfect lettering, a close-up of an animal with a hilarious expression.

That surprise, that potential for transformation… that is what makes doing magazine collage so darn fun!

Most of my magazine collage is actually mixed media art since I use found imagery, paint and often add other mixed media materials to make them super fun!

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Harvesting Images To Use In Magazine Collage