Rules of Collage

A couple of years ago, I started posting on social media some rules of collage, a friend suggested I keep posting them. I lost track of how many I actually posted.   These rules started out as a joke  with a friend, but the entire process evolved into me looking deeply at my own process and learning about how I was making what I am making.  They are actually rewritten slogans from a Buddhist practice called  Lojong  ”tradition based on a set of aphorisms formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje. The practice involves refining and purifying one’s motivations and attitudes. “  if you want to read them feel free, I am considering making cards of them, refining the language a bit so I can use them around my studio when i get stuck  maybe an app would be easier.

( These were originally posted on social media using my smartphone, I have opted not to correct the typos from that process)

Rule #9 of collage: never throw scraps of paper away unless you are entirely sure it is rubbish. my grandfather took care of homeless people and he said “god does not make trash, everyone is useful” your materials and your life as an artist should be like this too. Be open minded don’t discard experience.


Rule of collage #67 any rules that you have created can be disregarded


Rule of collage #53 : if someone asks you if you use archival materials , respectfully decline and continue making your work.


Rule 16 of collage : star wars is one of the greatest series of films in history, never use star wars in your collage.


Rule of collage #52 : if art is your true love , don’t ask anything of your true love , just ask what you can do for your true love. same goes with people you love too.


rule of collage #34 to have some deep feeling about collage is not the point; we just do what we should do, i like cats, the rolling stones and tacos , this is art.


Rule #6 of collage : after completing collage post it on the internet, regardless of reaction from others , good or bad keep working, don’t let praise lead you down the wrong path and don’t let negativity distract you from your practice either. Its your job to make art.


rule #35 of collage: when you meet other artists , ask questions about their work, learn from others experience every chance you get.


Rule #2 of collage: its not your job to like or dislike any of your work. Its your job to practice and make art.


rule #29 of collage : if you have a vision of a woman with cotton candy floating over her head brought on by severe migraine , go with it.


Rule #48 of collage : make sure to look down when you are walking around your community, it is there you will find useful objects for your practice


Rule of collage #80 : if you can practice while distracted, you are well trained.


Rule of collage #71 : contemporary art is one of the most meaningless things happening in the world right now, even Justin Beiber has more significance, which is why you have to make as much art as others tweet and shat out info about current events, we are witnessing the end of history.


Rule #4 of collage: always work standing up, unless you are fatigued , sit down and work if you are tired , if you can no longer sit lay on the couch and look through books and magazines with music still playing and television 24 hour news on at a moderate volume.


rule of collage # 91 Avoid design .


rule #26 of collage , know what is garbage , what is to be recycled and what is compost. get rid of what is garbage , reuse what is reusable , know what is the manure of experience and put it in your collage.


Rule 12 of collage : you should cherish plain and somewhat boring things. If however you meet an artist who claims their work is concerned with “banal” have them mow your lawn or fold your socks.


Rule #5 of collage: working with collage is like being a poet and working with words , you should practice using the and abusing them , read often and devour visual language, increase your vocabulary , be a collagist of few words as often as possible , but sometimes you should say too much in a small space with a large vocabulary as well.


Rule #67 of collage: concentrate on your work, not not knowing “the right people” if your work is good it will take you places.


Rule of collage #66 create elaborate sets of rules for your practice.


Rule of collage #54 people often say that a blank canvas, or paper is the most terrifying thing , but its not , when we start our work the most important thing is that we are teachable. remain teachable.


Rule #72 of collage avoid excessive rule making.


Rule #11 of collage : don’t confuse yourself with your artwork. If you start doing that ,make a collage and then destroy it without hesitation afterwards.


Rule #10 of collage : you should have a cat that visits your studio while working, thier indifference to your “creative genius” is one you should share as well. Its your job to make collage, not shower yourself with compliments. Keep your head down and work.


Rule #13 of collage: get rid of the idea idea that what you’re doing doesn’t matter , it does, just don’t delude yourself, get all uppity, no one likes a pretentious prick, even your mother.


Rules of collage #21 : use a glue that sticks for good. but dont be so sticky in your practice, always be ready to try new things.


Rule of collage #42 : good art does not mean popular art, while popular art can be good, unpopular art can be good as well , learn from “unqualified experts” .


Rule #20 of collage , accidents happen you should just roll with it. dig ?


Rule #66 of collage : 8 of the 9 reasons for reincarnation are for sex, the 9th reason doesn’t matter. Create create create.


Rule of collage #22 don’t malign others work, you can always learn from something even if you think you don’t like it.


Rule #24 of collage : sand paper is language too.


Rule #64 of collage : keep things in perspective, simplicity in living, appreciation of life as it is, deepens our practice as artists.


Rule #8 of collage : art does not need a professor, it needs your discipline.


Rule 25 of collage : all representation is FALSE this is a representation of a collage.


Rule #43 of collage : if your excuse for not creating work is “i’m not inspired” that is the best time to work , just loosen up stop thinking and make something, that’s your job.


rule # 27 of collage : practice making collage everyday.


Rule of collage #63 : wait for glue to dry and observe the processes occurring.


Rule of collage #51 : if you take a break from your practice , just like taking a break from the gym , your practice will change. This is the best time to start again , “put emphasis on your mistakes”


rule of collage #37 – if your practice is good, you might become proud of it or your collage , practicevis good , but then you have added more too it , pride is extra, get rid of the extra crap.


Rule of collage #77 if you’re watching yourself making your work in your practice, you’re not practicing, youre watching yourself practice, get rid of yourself watching yourself.


Rule of collage #50: avoid choices of a designer. unless of course a designer choice is called for


Rule # 16 of collage read Virillo , its not the camera


Rule of collage #62 : magicians rarely share secrets.


Rule #3 of collage : always look on the other side of the paper before gluing down , the unexpected is where you are not expecting it.


Rule 19 of collage. Take care of plants and other living things, the slow steady growth of the plants is a reminder of your own practice.

7smallRule of collage #52 : learn from artists work labeled “amateurish” by the “experts”


Rule # 23 of collage : if you have injured your right shoulder and find it difficult to do detailed work, try using your left arm. You have two arms and hands for a reason.


rule #28 of collage : if you have a malady ( migraine) you should work with even more energy and intensity. creativity is a discipline not a gift given to you.


Rule #14 of collage : go to the gym as often as possible and work your muscles to the point of exhaustion every time. the lessons of humility and slow and steady growth are lessons you should take back to your studio , its your job to make art.