I love analog collage art because you can reuse and recycle old materials like magazines and posters that might end up in landfill. It breaks my heart to think of all of the fantastic material that is possibly gone because no one thought to pass it on to an artist or budding collage fan.
When I thought about all the art supplies that I use, I noticed that most if not all of them have plastic coverings or plastic around it. I decided to do some investigating and I learnt that it takes up to 450 years for plastic to decompose and sometimes depending on the type of plastic it can take up to 1,000 years! And here's another fun fact, a newspaper can take up to 25 weeks to decompose and a magazine can take onwards to a year to break down!
It's really important to learn what type of plastic can be recycled and reused, I think that this article really helps break it down (pardon the pun). Remember to always follow recycling guidelines from your council when you decide to throw anything away. Not only is it crucial that we start to discuss the issue of recycling and our environment but also learn about the factors that can change our environment (for better or worse) and what we can do to lessen the environmental impacts on deforestation, pollution and animal habitat.
I have compiled a list of art supplies that you can use while being creative that won't damage our waterways, end up in landfills and of course contain recyclable materials - meaning you can recycle these too.
The visual diary is the major component for all artists and serves us as the book of all books containing all of our amazing efforts to explore and dig deeper into our creativity. Most visual diaries come with a plastic cover and a metal spine.
Solution:For $8.80 you can get a recycled art pad from BuyEcoGreen. This art pad features no cover and contains 50 sheets which is 100% recycled white paper (135gsm). You can also get it in A3 size.
It's hard for a collage artist to get anything done without scissors and glue. I have used the same scissors for three years (they are super sharp and never leave my pencil case). So finding something that is great quality and that you love, will mean you will continue to reuse them forever...or until they rust!
Glue is hard one because some glues take years to decompose, whereas PVC glue can take up to a month to decompose. I have mentioned before about acid free glue being the priority for longevity of collage artworks. In the case of you making something for an exhibition that you will sell or something commission based I would always say, stick with the archival glue. You are assuming that this piece is going to last for 100+ years and be enjoyed by generations to come!
EcoLogo Multipurpose Glue is $12.85 from BuyEcoGreen. It is glue that contains water soluble polymers, is solvent free and contains 70% natural minerals and water. The glue is transparent when it dries and can be used to glue a wide range of materials including paper, cardboard and photos. However, it is not suitable for plastics. This glue is resistant to light, heat and age impacts. The bottle itself is made from 80% recyclable plastic and they do not test the product on animals.
Recycled Scissors are $3.50 from BuyEcoGreen. The scissors are made from 100% recycled polypropylene which helps give old plastic new life in a long lived product while saving fossil fuels, energy and reduces pressure on community landfills.
Remember last year when the glitter trend boomed? Everyone was wearing glitter on their bodies as art to festivals and on their clothes to express themselves. There was a massive outpour of online outrage when some users realised that their glitter wasn't biodegradable. There are alternatives to this problem, by purchasing biodegradable glitter.
Solution:Universal Soul sells certified biodegradable, ocean safe, cosmetic grade and cruelty-free glitter. They have a bunch of different types of glitter to use on your body or artworks.
Some collage artists like to include paint into their artworks. I do this myself when I am working on canvas. This of course is optional, some artists will not use this medium in their creations.
Green Series Tempera from Dick Blick starts at $2.37 and goes up to $13.34 for larger sizes. The Green Series is environmentally friendly and uses 25% less energy to produce than other brands. It is 100% detergent-free, non toxic and comes in recyclable plastic bottles.
I use a ruler for a lot of different things when it comes to framing or measuring out prints. A ruler is a staple in all pencil cases!
There is a Cornstarch 30cm ruler from BuyEcoGreen that is $2.30. It is made from 100% biodegradable cornstarch.