Word Suggestion Collage | Emily Keating Snyder | Skillshare
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9 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Intro

      3:19
    • 2. Supplies

      1:32
    • 3. One Word To Get Started

      5:02
    • 4. Cut It Out

      10:13
    • 5. Composition Basics

      3:06
    • 6. Layout Option 1: Graphic

      4:30
    • 7. Layout Option 2: Layered

      6:59
    • 8. Make It Stick

      9:50
    • 9. We Did It!

      0:55

About This Class

If you know how to use scissors, you can make a collage… actually even if all you can do is tear paper, you can make a collage. But mastering the little details and thinking through each element can make turn your project into a polished work of art.

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Our class project will be based on a one-word (or phrase) suggestion to get the creativity flowing and I'll guide you at each step to make a beautiful, cohesive collage!

Collage is an amazing medium in its own right, but it can also be a great practice for sharpening (pun somewhat intended) your skills in other areas, like graphic design, as you brainstorm the most effective way to convey your message visually.


The best part is you don't need much to get started. I'll show you some of my favorite tools, tricks, and ways of seeing that elevate a collage from pre-school project to high art.

Let’s dive deep and make something really special!

Transcripts

1. Intro: They're Emily here. I'm an L, a based colorful artist and designer, and I do a lot of different things. I do painting on canvas and watercolor and drawing on paper. But one of my favorite activities to do in the world is make collages. I can spend hours just cutting out teeny tiny details and gluing little pieces together, and they love it. I think this is a medium that seems really simple, and it is really simple. But it's a kind of thing that you can make really detailed and intricate, and I think a lot of people don't see that side of it. Or maybe are a little unsure of how to make a collage that's really detailed and maybe think there's not that much you can do with collage, but I really think you can get super creative with it. Of course, like one of the first times were introduced to collages in kindergarten or preschool. Then we're ripping out magazine images and excluding them with some Elmer's glue, and that's an awesome introduction, and you can even take it to such a complex level. That's really cool, and it can be used for so many different things. I love that. It's a way to express an idea or just kind of thought. That doesn't really have words, and it's something you can do. So even if you're not a super strong drawer painter, you can just find images and bring them together. So you become almost more like a designer or director, where rather than technically carrying out each little element, you're bringing everything together to express your ideas. So it's it's almost like filmmaking or something. In that way, Um, what school is It can also be a really personal thing can use it for journaling. Teoh kind of keep a visual record of your emotions, and your thoughts can also, of course, be uses like a vision board where you put different things that you wanna see in your life . So again, like I said, collages can be so simple, and I think that's one of the cool things about them. So in this class, we're going to do a really simple project where we're going to take a little cue from improv comedy, and we're just gonna find a word and build a collage around it. So it'll be kind of a theme. And as I always like to teach in my workshops, um, sometimes having a little bit of a restriction or a little rule can help boost your creativity. So much for that gives you something to push against. So just having that one word, rather than thinking, what on earth can I make a collage about? Because there's just so much out there this way. It kind of rains you in, and it will give your creativity a little bit of room to spread. And, of course, we all kind of know what techniques go into collage making. It's basically just cutting and pasting, but I've learned a lot over the years that I think will really help take your cutting and pasting to the next level, and I'll show you some little tricks along the way that will make the collage polished and well thought out. I hope you'll join me for the rest of this class and post your projects as you go 2. Supplies: to get started. Let's gather supplies first. You'll need some kind of support for your collage. I like to use heavy £140.300 GSM paper. Any paper that's lighter will usually buckle a little bit under the glues. It's better to use a heavier paper. You can also use foam core or cardboard or wood panel or even a stretched canvas. If you're using something besides paper, just make sure it's a material that the glue will stick to next. Gather any and all of the magazines, catalogues, photos, old books or any other paper materials you'd like to use. I also like to hold on to cute postcards from stores and restaurants, and I love finding old books and thrift stores those always fun to get images from. We'll go more in depth into sourcing our images in the next video, you'll also need sharp scissors. I like having both a medium pear and a small pair. You'll also need glue, any kind of blue that's fit for paper, so it should be acid free. I like to use acid free rubber cement and a good old glue stick like the acoustic and last but not least, don't forget to have a good cup of coffee or tea by your side. 01 more thing. That's really good to have, but it's totally optional Is removable Scotch tape. It's nice, cause it's not super sticky, so it will come off of paper really easily, and it's good to have when you're getting your composition together. Now let's hop to the next video and start looking for are collaged images. 3. One Word To Get Started: Let's begin our image hunt. So gather all your magazines. I love just having keeping a collection off. Whatever. I need it. Any time. I have tons of catalogs and magazines that I've been collecting for years, or for some reason, I just seem to attract a lot of people giving me their old magazines or to school. Even people who don't really know that me that well seemed to just sense that I collect magazines and catalogues. So maybe if you start doing collage work, you'll get some of these collage magazine fairies all around that will come out and give you their old recyclables. And I know this is super nerdy, but I thought it would be fun. I'm a huge comedy fan, and I thought it would be a cool idea to take a cue from Improv theater and use Ah, one word suggestion to build a collage off up so you could use a word like this. Love would be really cool. Um, it's nice to use a word that's pretty big and graphic visually, so that it so that it can be a nice part of the collage. It's fun to just kind of flip through, and you can even close your eyes and kind of point to a word and see what you come up with . Earlier, I was looking through this and I found this J crew ad that I thought had a good word. Tom girl, Um and at first I think the obvious association with that is kind of tomboy. So I thought of Scout in to Kill a Mockingbird so kind of outdoorsy and rugged, but then also maybe a little bit of a girly girl with kind of like a J crew style or more feminine look. And once you have your word, just feel out those associations that you see what you come up with and just kind of let things jump out at you. Um, kind of relax and let your subconscious think, like, what are the images that might be associated with this word? Don't overthink it too much. Let the connections kind of come to you on that way. There won't be too obvious, cause I don't want it to be, um, to reductive or literal. Um and so I just kind of feel out what kind of catches my eye and whatever my mind is making an association with the word. So for Tom Girl have very kind of like outdoorsy nature pictures that I found on then these masculine associated images like car, this big knife, a city urban scene and then more feminine things like this book collection, some flowers on sort of fashion and beauty scenes. So take all of your magazines and catalogs and look through and see what you think might work. You can just really rip things out or cut things up very roughly. It doesn't have to be perfect. We'll go back in, kind of clean up the pictures and cut everything out a little bit more neatly. So for now, we're just kind of ripping things out as we go. You want to move really quickly so that you could just kind of feel it out and not be thinking too much. And as you can see, I'm a kind of a big, messy pile of them going. I'm not worried about big need or to tidy. I just kind of flipped through, and this is really the fun part where you could just make a big mess again. I thought, really outdoorsy. Nature was a good representation of Tom Girl and sort of mixing animals and nature and farmland and really feminine. Look, I'm on this big fish head I thought was perfect. That's really just like rugged nature. So keep on going until you have about 10 to 20 images. You may not use all of them, or you may end up needing more of them. But once you get to 10 to 20 that's a good time to stop and pause and kind of move on to the next video, where we'll start to cut things out more neatly and get a little bit more cleaned up with the clippings. 4. Cut It Out: now that you've found all of your images and you have some rough ideas of what you'd like to include in your collage, we can get started cutting everything out and refining all of our clippings. And I'm sure we've all been using scissors for a very long time. But I've learned some really good tricks and tips over the years that will take your clippings to the next level so they can be really refined and seamless and make for a really pretty and cohesive Kalash. And you'll notice I only included two pairs of scissors in the supply list. I don't usually use Exacto knives because I'm not that comfortable with them. I think I have a lot more control using scissors. But if you're really super comfy with an Exacto knife and you'd rather use that, go ahead and do that. That's perfect. I will show you one little trick with an Exacto knife. But for the most part, I think scissors really do a good job, and I just always feel in control with them to get started. I'm gonna show you a few ways that I use the scissors to cut out different types of images . So if I just need to cut kind of a bigger piece or something, that's a really simple shape. All use either pair of scissors, and these were totally fine. And then, if I want to cut out something smaller or more oddly shaped, I use the really small detail scissors. So that's pretty straightforward. And next, I'll show you how I get around really tight, little detailed kind of images. So for something like this shoe, I would start out. You can use either prep scissors. I'll just use the small ones. And I just cut a really tight outline around the entire piece anywhere where I can easily do that. So meaning around this kind of straight edge. And right here, and I can still get a good tight outline in this little space. But here it gets a little tricky to kind of go in there and come back around. So for now, I just keep outlining around the parts that are really easy to get into. So then now I would go back in and get into all those little nooks. I don't notice I'm right handed, so it's usually easier for me to cut with the positive space, the part I want to keep on the left and the part that I'm getting rid of on the right. So this is a little bit trickier for me. And then you could keep going in and getting into these nooks and refining the peace more and more. And I noticed, if you're cutting out of a magazine, will be sometimes little bits like this, a little text or something like that. I actually really like that because I always like referencing back to the source. So the fact that my collages come out of magazines, I kind of want people to be reminded of that source material of things that are in their everyday life and things that we come across like text and that this isn't a shoe itself. This is an image of a shoe from a magazine. I kind of like keeping that in there and next. I just want to point out that when you're cutting for a collage, you want everything to be really clean and seamless. So it's better to cut in a little too deep into the positive space and see, I kind of did that. So there's It's kind of hard to see, but there's a little bit of the knife still on this side that I'm cutting off, but it looks super clean right there versus on this side. I left a little too much negative space, a little too much white, and it just won't look as neat in the finished product. So it's always good to air on the side of losing a little bit of your positive image rather than having too much of the white space. I really like this big fish head I found. I think it's nice to have a mix of really, like kind of medium pieces, smaller pieces and then big graphic shapes that you can include in the collage. But we'll talk more about composition in the next video. See you again, how I'm going around the outline. I'm not really worrying about getting into this angle right now. I'm just continuing to do the easiest parts so that I don't lose any momentum. So next I'm gonna show you my super fancy trick for getting into really tighten Looks like this table pulling out all of this negative space in here, or you can also use this to get into Windows, um, or to get around something like a handbag strap where there's negative space that's kind of locked in there. So if everyone's ready, I'm gonna show you my super fancy trick. First, let's refined this table little bit cutting out that outer parts, and I'm not gonna worry about this little bit of rug that's covering up the table again. I kind of like referencing where things came from. So this is from, Ah, furniture catalog. And so this is kind of part of the way that you would see it in everyday life. So first, we're going to score a little slit, uh, into this little square that we want to cut out. And I'd like to score the slit rather than poking my scissors through and cutting it, because that can kind of crease the paper. So to start out, just use your scissors like a knife, and these a really sharp so it doesn't take a lot of pressure. You just cut a little slip there and then it's kind of opened up. So then, since this is ah, super easy, just straight right angles or geometric angles, I cut a line starting from the center point and going into each corner. And then again, since I'm right handed, I like to keep the table leg on the left side. So I come back in, stick your scissors through the hole from the bottom and just cut right along the lake. And these little triangles were just kind of pop out. As you go this way, you can get into a really tight little areas without increasing the paper or having any excess negative space in the clipping. Now it gets a little tricky and little sections like this, so it might not always come out perfect. But sometimes you just gotta kind of get in at whatever angle you can and then go back and fix it. So there you have the super fancy way to cut out little really tight little nooks and crannies that you need to get up. And actually, um, I know I said, I prefer using scissors, but another really easy way to do this, if you'd like, is to use a ruler under craft knife to do the same thing. You just hold the ruler right along the angle that you want to cut and then use your blade to score a line and do that on every side, and then just popped the peace out. Okay, so now that was my super fancy secret trick. But this is my extra top secret trick. So for something like this, that's just a really tight angle. There's it would be so tedious to go in and clip out each a little bit. So for this first I want to cut out the whole thing and really refined the edge. And now, to get into this a little tiny bit, I actually will just cut straight through whatever is in my way. But I do it very neatly and with just one little snip, and then I can go in with all this room I have and cut up thespians that I want to get rid of. And then what will happen is it's kind of hanging loose here. But once I glue it down, I'll make sure I glue this down really well and glue this piece right in place. So once it's glued, you won't even be able to see that this part was ever cut. So that's a good little sneaky trick to get a really clean little nook. So with all my little tricks that you've learned, let's go through and really cut out and refine all of our clippings to get really nice, neat little bits that we can work with to build our composition. And again, you may not have every single image you want. Right now, you might find mawr that you want to use. Once you start putting your composition together, you might find that some of them to start working, and that's OK. So for now, it's just good. Teoh get most of them pretty refined so that you have a good place to start. But it doesn't. They don't all need to be perfect, and you can have some that are backups and some that you may not use. 5. Composition Basics: Now we have most of our pieces ready to go, so let's play around and see how we might like for them to fit together in my collages. I do a lot of interior scenes, so I have to pay attention to scale and perspective for a lot of them, meaning If I have something big and something small, they kind of have to work together. So since the boots are bigger than the couch, it would make sense that they're in front because the boots are closer, so they appear bigger. If I put them behind the couch, it would look kind of weird because it would make it seem like the boots are much bigger than the couch. But with this kind of collage, we wanted to be more graphic. So rather than taking into account what makes sense spatially or where things go in relation to each other in real life, we wanna just take into account what looks good visually and how the composition works to kind of move our I around the page. And as most of you know, composition is something you really have to play around with for yourself and kind of feel out. There's no really perfect way to tell someone exactly how to make a perfect composition. But the main thing is to try to focus on are having balance and the way you use negative space. So with negative space, what I mean is making sure that there's a good balance of white background. If you're including that, you can also, um, cover your whole page if you want. But taking into consideration negative space, you want to make sure that it looks balanced. So if there is a lot of white space over here, you can kind of balance that out with maybe a little bit less over here, grouping things together. And then with balance, you don't end up with too much on one side and not enough on the other side because it kind of weighs it down visually and will kind of seem too heavy on this side. So you want to make sure that image is a really well balanced and that there seems to be an equal weight distribution on either side, although if you do have a word that you wanna kind of reflect a little bit in the composition, you can do that. So say it's a word like heavy. You could put all of these kind of bigger shapes on the bottom and make this feel really heavy by having a lot down here and then having a little bit less is you go up And of course I'm just moving the papers around a little bit. It's This isn't what I would actually make a collage toe look like, although, of course you could. We're just kind of I'm just kind of showing you how the images will look on the paper and what that will do to the movement of your eye around the page and just how heavy your like , certain things look. 6. Layout Option 1: Graphic: So to give you some options, I'm gonna show you three different ways that you could approach this collage. And the first way is to do a really simple kind of graphic designing collage, which I really like. I think it looks really neat and simple and is kind of a nif active way to get the message of your word across. So to start, I just kind of, uh, collected these things that I want to use, and I just kind of put them randomly on the sheet, kind of grouping things together that I like together and you can see everything's been cut out super cleanly so that it's just one simple object on its own. And there's not a lot of distraction. Um, and I wanted to point out a little side note here with this bicycle. It's obviously very intricate and would be difficult to cut out each and every kind of nook and cranny. So I just cut out sort of closely around some areas. And then I left a little white border around some other areas, and I think it's kind of more interesting stylistic choice, anyway. Tohave the white space, saving it still looks really cool like that, Uh, and then with these I already know going in that I like the way the sneakers look with the perfume bottle. So I used, um, again my removable tape to stick this on here just so that I know these pieces will go together. I'm really happy with that. So we'll keep them like that. And then the easy way that I found to a purchase is to start out with the words so kind of spacing the words out in a balanced way. So I really liked my main word, Tom Girl, the inspiration word right here. And, um, if you study photography, you'll know the rule of thirds that if you imagine there's kind of three columns and then three rows, then you can kind of play around with that imaginary grid and see OK, this would look good in kind of the top left little corner, and then this would be good here, so nothing is too centred and nothing is too lopsided. It's just kind of balanced, So none of them are on the same Ah latitude, and none of them are on the exact same longitude. And then I just sort of piece things together, like where I think they'll fit. Another trick I use is if there is writing like this, like from a magazine, I'll try to use, like, kind of a clever way to cover it up. So I thought, This is perfect. This really fits right here to cover that chunk up and then moving through. I want to have some areas that are a little more dense with imagery, so there's a lot going on here, and then I'll have some areas where there's less going on where there's more negative space , and I like, even though we're keeping the images kind of separate with some of them, I do like the way it looks to have them a little bit layered, and with this piece again, there's a part that I want to cover up. I don't really want this rhythm thumb in my collage. So I was thinking of How can I cover that up while still keeping this really nice handle and getting the full effect of the knife? So then I thought about kind of layering the word here like this. Among these pieces, I'm sort of trying to figure out. Where would they work? Best Because again, I don't want too much negative space in one spot, but I don't want it to look too cluttered either. And since we have this kind of big section of space and we have very dense imagery over here and then sort of spaced out here, I think another big trunk of image here would work really well. So I thought, the fish is perfect for that and then also kind of want to play around. There's maybe a little too much white space here for me. Um, so kind of moving things around and just feeling that out, so they're sort of the graphic way to do it. You can keep playing around and see if you like the look of that. Just the simple words and images together. I think it's a really clean kind of effective use of images 7. Layout Option 2: Layered: so on to the second option for our composition. I have so many images that I want to use that I can't really resist cluttering it up. So I want to, like, really fill in the space. So to fill it in a little bit more, I'm gonna start by taking off these little, uh, loan pieces and then start adding in some of the other big chunks that I have saved. So these stairs, I thought were really cool there, obviously very like cold and modern and, um, kind of more than masculine side. And then I thought, Ah, cool way to bring them together with kind of that outdoorsy, um, masculine and feminine kind of look would be to put this nature seen kind of in the middle of them. So what I did is I just carefully cut a line right along where the stair meets the wall, so it kind of separates them. And then I just put the outdoor image right in the middle of them. So it's kind of like it's growing right out of them so that right away just takes up a huge amount of space on the page, and then I also have this big kind of fancy watering can that I like down here. I think I'll keep the fish here for now and again have my word sort of in the middle. And then I want to keep on filling in some more kind of nature. Scenes on this is where when you're really filling in the space, you can layer a lot again. I want toe kind of separate the words out to move the eye around. So having this word, I like the idea of kind of tucking it in right here earlier was playing around, and I really liked the way this mirror kind of tucked into this floral pattern. And I knew I wanted to keep those together, So I just went ahead and taped them together. And then I also had found this really cool kind of like log cabin wall that I thought was perfect. So it's just kind of a way to frame out the rest of the collage and then just kind of filling in with even more kind of bigger chunks of imagery. And I love this bicycle. So I thought it would be cute to kind of I emphasize the word by sort of bringing them together. Who? And I found this awesome letter t which, as you can see, is a little getting a little worse for wear because of these little teeny pieces that are holding it together. But I thought it would be cool to kind of put it with the word Tom girl. So kind of like the beginning of a book or an article. You see that big letter? And then obviously there's ah lot of white space here, so I want to keep filling that in, but not everything works. I'm not sure that this really works with this composition the way it is anymore. So leave that out. But maybe this gold piece, which I love, does kind of play into the gold here and the gold here and then picks up kind of that light brown here, so that would be kind of cool to have in the middle. So I like the way this looks. But I feel like I am really one to fill in the space a lot more. So I think I'm gonna try to do that and just start. I'm going to kind of take away some of the things that I'm not 100% sure about. So I know I really love the way this looks here. So actually might tape that down for now. And I know I really love this fish. It's one of my favorite things in the collage. So I want to bring him back. But for now, I'm just gonna slide him off. I really like the idea of bringing in more of the nature. For some reason as I go, that's like, really appealing to me and still, like having this year to kind of frame out this top right corner. I feel like I have a good background of, uh, the outdoorsy nature kind of masculine and feminine mixture. So I want to start bringing in some other elements. Bring this couch back. I just love this cause I'm just obsessed with interior design and I feel like a velvet couch. It just seems like very Tom girl to me on then, this dog. I kind of like I want to bring a little more life to this area. It's a little bit still, so I feel like having kind of a living thing that will make it pop a little bit, mourn at a little more interest of that little section. It's almost like a window looking out, and here you can see it's nice, because there's a little bit of contrast. There's kind of like this lighter color, the start color, light and dark. Here here it's getting a little bit too low contrast where everything is sort of the same, which I like for a background. But I want to start mixing him some kind of boulder pieces. So I think I'll bring Mr Fishy back here and then, Oh, I don't want to forget my car. I love this car. Maybe somewhere like here, kind of covering in any, um, white space that's still there. And then I'm thinking now that I do have this very natural look and I have sort of pops of pink over here. And then a lot of green actually might break back this makeup sample and put it right here because I feel like it's cool to have this very girly thing of, like just pink makeup next few of this fish, and I just think that looks really cool. So maybe that goes there and then I definitely want to add my main word back in. I definitely want my bicycle back. So I love the way it kind of played off the word right there. So we have to adjust that a little bit and see where it fits. But I think that looks good. So this is looking pretty good, but I did like this handbag. See if I can find a spot for it. I might not be able to on this piece. I really love again. So if I could have it near the bike, that might be cool to have a pop of gold in the middle, and I'm going to keep playing around with it for a little bit, so there's definitely no rush. Sometimes I let these things sit for weeks and I keep on coming back and rearranging them. And at a certain point, I just kind of let go and just say this is it, um, again, once you start gluing, you don't have to commit to the whole thing. You can kind of say, like, I really love this sections. I'm gonna start gluing that and still keep on thinking about the rest of it. So keep on playing with yours. I'm gonna keep figuring out what works for me. And then in the next video, I'll show you how to glue it all down. 8. Make It Stick: I've been playing around some more with the composition and you can see a change it around a little bit. I've taken some things out, even some things that I really like, Um, that I thought I was going to keep in in the long run. It just didn't seem like it fit with what I was doing with the layout. So I sadly took those out. But I think it looks really good as far as the composition. I just want to point out a couple of things that I think worked well here. Um, first, in terms of balancing out the colors, I have some pink over here and then balanced by the pink over here and then some little pops of white in these areas. Um, and also again, kind of like bigger, bold thing here. Bigger, bold things here and, um, little pops of gold. So I feel like that really all balanced well, and the pink really plays well off of all the green involved. So that's the final composition. And now we'll get into gluing and going can be kind of fun because it means that you're almost done and you get to see it all finished. It can also be a little bit tedious and a little bit scary at first because you've worked so hard to get this perfect layout and you don't want to mess it up. But if you just dive in, you get really comfortable with it. And once you get started, I think, um, it's pretty straightforward. So I'm sure all very good at gluing, but the main tips I have are remember to use acid free rubber cement and then an acid free glue stick. And you may also wanna hang onto your removable tape if you have that. Um, That way, as you're working, you can kind of pin down certain areas that you like before you're ready to glue them. And that way they're kind of stuck there, and you don't have to worry about any pieces getting misplaced. So for the rubber cement, I use that for the bigger pieces, um, thes kind of big pieces. And then I use the glue stick for smaller pieces, and to do it in order, I like to glue down, obviously the bigger pieces that are actually touching the paper first. So all of these kind of background images. I'll go ahead and glue on with the rubber cement first and then start adding smaller and smaller pieces on top and kind of filling them in using the glue stick again. So I'll just kind of take you through that and you can watch how I do it. I will be teaching another collage class in the future. That's for a little bit more intricate collage, and we'll show you much more in depth, um, kind of tricks and tips on gluing. So stay tuned for that. But I think for this it's pretty simple, and you can definitely just dive in and get to gluing also down the video at some parts so I can break down what I'm doing for you. The biggest piece of advice I have is to take a photo of your final layout that you want and keep it on your phone so you can refer back to it or I actually like to send it to my computer. So I have a big copy of it right in front of me that I can look back to. As I'm going with rubber cement. You can just put it on the back of your clipping and then go it right to the paper. But a way to make it extra secure is to put some rubber cement on the surface first and then also put it on the back of your clipping. And that way it will really stick. - You'll notice for some pieces. I'll put my finger down on one part and glue the other part of it and then trade off so that my hand is kind of always pinning the peace in one place so it doesn't move. - So right here, if I'm trying to kind of tuck something behind another piece, I'll really, really gently pry up the edge of the piece that's been glued down with my scissors or just use, um, like my fingernail. And that way I can tuck the other piece kind of behind it through. Sorry, my head kind of got in the way here, but basically I placed the bike where I wanted it. And then I used a ruler and an Exacto knife to score a line so that I could cut it right where the top of the couch would be, and none of you scissors took cut through that line, and that's it. Don't forget to sign your piece when you're all done. 9. We Did It!: you guys, We did it. You're so awesome. I'm sure your collages came out beautifully and I hope you'll post them below in the project so we can all see what cold, different ideas came out of the simple project. I love making collages so much, and I hope I've gotten you obsessed with it, too. So you'll keep it up and make sure you come back and check out some more classes. In the future. I'll be taking us through some different, maybe more complex collages and some different kind of project ideas we can try out.