August 6, 2010

The Book that Started it all

Mid-2006.  Fond du Lac Public Library.  Lunch break.  Perusing.

I happen across this book that is VERY intriguing, and a little scary.  And fun.  A "Can you seriously do this?!" feeling washes over me; the kind of feeling where you don't realize it at the time, but there is a little kernel of fate/enlightenment that enters your brain, telling you that you'd better file this moment away because it's going to be a HUGE indicator of things to come.

I realize that the book that I thought was so intriguing four years prior has influenced my work so much that I should probably pay the author for the education.

I'm sure you realize by now that the book is "Realistic Collage: Step by Step" by Michael David Brown.  There have been a few books in my life that have been written, it seems, specifically for me (check my other blog, Ephemeraology, for info on one of the other books).  When I first saw this book, it infiltrated my thoughts throughout my day, so much so that it was hard to concentrate sometimes.  I was completely enchanted!

Mid-2010. My studio. 4 p.m. Relief.

I just finished my 10th collage for Pam Kueber's delightful Retro Renovation, a veritable encyclopedia of mid-century architecture, history, resources, ecology and fun.  Back in January, Pam had contacted me to do some collages for her blog; she had seen my work on Flickr and liked it, and knew that I was all about the "vintage" look.  It was a complete and utter shock to think that someone would like my work enough to actually PAY me to make collages!  I mean, seriously?  I'm going to get paid to do what I adore doing?

If you follow the blog you know that this exchange was the impetus for me leaving my steady 9-5 job and jumping head-first into the then-unknown world of being a collagist.  I don't regret a single moment of this decision, and Pam has certainly done her part to make the journey far easier.

Do you ever wonder sometimes if things would be different in your life if one tiny thing hadn't happened?  What if, on that fateful day in 2006, I hadn't taken a lunch?  What if the book had been checked out and I never saw it?  Was it fate that brought me to that book, or pure chance?  Would I be mining silver now if I had stumbled into the Precious Metals section of the library?  I guess I'll never know.  But I sure am happy with how things are working out!

Here are some of the collages that I've done for Retro Renovation (you can see the entire selection here) - I wonder if David Michael Brown would like them too?  :D


  1. Mel, your work just keeps getting better & better & better. I am so glad that our paths connected. xoxo

  2. Once we get the front landscaping done, I'll have to commission an "After'' from you! Best wishes in your newish and developing venture:)

  3. Oh, thank you so much, Pam and Cindy, for your truly lovely comments!! Thank you for helping me become better at what I do! :D