studio storage - a collage box

 I love using a wide variety of collage paper in all my work. Whether I am working in my art journal or on a large project I always reach for these interesting and detailed pages. I keep a big collection of papers, everything from vintage book and text paper to sheet music to scraps of inspiration from magazines to my own original mono prints. My papers were always filed away and neat and tidy but it didn't make using them easy.

I used to keep everything for collage paper. Every napkin, brochure, cool piece of mail art. And I was of the thinking that I needed to keep my collage papers large enough that I could easily  sift through them as I was creating. One day I realized two things. One, I had way too much paper and was reaching for the same few handfuls over and over, and two,  I was limiting myself to viewing the papers as a whole only.  When I use it, I like the collage paper to form some of the details in my work,  so I needed a new approach for how I looked at and how I stored my papers. 

I began the re-organizing process by slowly sorting through all of my favorite collage papers and choosing those few different varieties that I reach for most often. Once I had a good size stack I began rooting around the studio for a container to hold them all. No more file folders. I found a cool wooden box that wasn't serving a functional purpose and loved that it was open topped so that I could easily look through it when I was creating. When it came to resizing my papers I didn't give myself time to overthink it. I just blindly began tearing each large piece of collage paper into smaller pieces that would fit into my box. I fastened similar papers together with a binder clip and added each stack to the box. 

Now when I am creating I can reach for my collage papers and easily flip through each stack to find just the right scrap. No more oversized pages meant less time fretting over which corner I should use. Now I have much smaller pieces that I can view as the detail pieces that I am looking for when working with the collage papers. I love it. It is functional and pretty. And it is most definitely a time saver. Do you use collage paper and if so how do you store it in your creative space?