Gabe Lewis

Gabe Lewis (Zach Woods) collage illustration by Megan Coyle
“Gabe Lewis,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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This weekend I finished the 18th, and last (for now), portrait in my collage series inspired by The Office, “Gabe Lewis” (played by Zach Woods). I may revisit this series again in the future, but for now, I’m putting it aside and turning to something new. It’s been fun tackling so many characters, and I’m happy with how many I was able to complete. This series was definitely a challenge, and I’m happier with some portraits more so than others, but overall, I like how I challenged myself for this one. With my next portraiture series, I definitely want to work harder at being completely happy with every work of art.

Up next? I think I’ll explore making some portraits of musicians before I dive into more portraits inspired by another TV series. And I may alternate between working on a portrait and a collage that can be part of a still life or landscape/cityscape series. To be determined…

Q & A: How Did You Pick Your Creative Medium?

The Colorful Parrot
The Colorful Parrot collage by Megan Coyle

When I was a kid, my parents often signed me up for classes at a local art gallery, and just about every year, I took an art class in school. Over the years, I experimented with a variety of mediums ā€“ from ceramics to bookbinding, and from painting to charcoal drawing. I was always making something and enjoyed taking classes that introduced me to different techniques and mediums.

In high school, I started exploring the collage medium more. Previously, I had only ever made collages that were more stereotypical ā€“ filled with cutout words, phrases, and entire images that created more of a “vision board” look. But in high school, I started exploring mixed media along with magazine cutouts:

Running Water by collage artist Megan Coyle

I was drawn to how spontaneous the medium felt ā€“ how I never knew what fragments of images Iā€™d find when paging through a magazine. However, I still felt a need to draw or make some sort of physical mark on the page since I was so accustomed to making art that way. Later on, I focused on making collages with magazine cutouts that I drew on top of with oil pastel:

Orange Girl by collage artist Megan Coyle

Once I reached college, I started to focus primarily on how I could make works of art entirely from magazine cutouts. I was drawn to the challenge of finding all the right colors and textures for a given composition:

Bren by collage artist Megan Coyle

Ultimately, I picked collage as my creative medium because, of all the mediums I explored, collage was my favorite. It made sense to focus entirely on collage and really explore that medium since it was something I enjoyed so thoroughly.

And now, I have only made collages for the past several years. Perhaps I will revisit some other mediums at some point, but for now, I enjoy challenging myself by tackling different compositions with collages made entirely from magazine cutouts.

Erin Hannon

“Erin Hannon,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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I can’t believe I’ve made it all the way to portrait number seventeen in my collage series inspired by The Office. “Erin Hannon” (played by Ellie Kemper) wasn’t the easier portrait to tackle, although I may have my recent travels and half marathon training to blame for that. I’ve noticed that some portraits may be more of a struggle than others, especially when I haven’t been able to dedicate a consistent routine to working on them.

And now, I just have one more portrait left in this series before I pivot and work on a new series. Perhaps I’ll revisit this one to add more portraits of supporting characters, but for now, this series is nearly complete.

Food Collages from Wales, UK

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

The other day I heard from Mrs. Crooks who shared her student art from Class 1 at the Ysgol Gellifor School in Wales, UK. Her students range from ages 3 – 7. They studied my collages as part of their food topic in school where they made their own “painting with paper” collages.

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

The students used a variety of solid and textured magazine cutouts to make their collages.

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

Once the students completed their pieces, they covered their pictures with PVA glue.

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

I really enjoyed taking a look at the variety of colors and subjects the students collaged. They did an excellent job of making these works of art inspired by food, and it’s very impressive that they are such young artists. Collage can be a very challenging medium for beginners since it requires the patience to page through magazines to find the right colors and textures, as well as cutting and layering all the bits of paper.

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

Coyle inspired food collage from Wales, UK

Andy Bernard

Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) collage portrait by Megan Coyle
“Andy Bernard,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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“Andy Bernard” is the sixteenth collage portrait in my series inspired by The Office. This one took a little longer than expected to complete since I was doing a bit of traveling earlier in the month. Thus I wasn’t able to devote a lot of time to collage-making. Hopefully I’ll be able to changes things up in the upcoming months and carve out more time to work on art.

This piece wasn’t as much of a struggle as some of the other portraits have been. I also enjoyed collaging a colorful shirt and sweater vest for him. I’m excited to see what the completed series look like. I believe I’ll have things wrapped up within a couple of months and then I’ll most likely move on to a musician series.

Bosty goes to Denver, CO

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

Bosty really wanted to do some hiking in the Rockies so he went to Denver, CO the other day. He loved the view of all the mountains and trees.

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

After hiking, he headed over to the Denver Art Museum to take a look at the work of some local and international artists. There’s nothing quite like getting an art fix for the day!

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

Later he stopped by an alpaca farm to make some new friends.

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

He did some exploring outside of the farm and really enjoyed seeing all the red rocks accenting the hilly countryside.

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

Next, he wanted to make some more animal friends by visiting the Denver Zoo.

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

He wandered around quite a few of the exhibits, but one of his favorites was saying “hi” to the giraffes.

Bosty goes to Denver by Megan Coyle

And he finished his trip by saying “hello” to all the birds. He especially liked the colorful flamingoes. Once he finished strolling around the zoo, he headed home. He definitely wants to visit again sometime, perhaps when there’s snow on the ground?

Toby Flenderson

Toby Flenderson portrait collage by Megan Coyle
“Toby Flenderson,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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“Toby Flenderson” is the fifteenth portrait in my series inspired by The Office, and I was surprised how easy it was to piece this one together, especially after my last one was a bit of a struggle. Sometimes you have good days and bad days with art. And sometimes you have a piece that’s a struggle while other times you have one that flows together well.

I’m beginning to think about what my next series will be. I’m thinking I may do a portrait series that involves fewer portraits than this one so that I can finish it a little quicker than it took me to work on this one. We shall see…

Karen Filippelli

Karen Filippelli portrait by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Karen Filippelli,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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I cant’ believe I’m up to portrait number fourteen in my series inspired by The Office. “Karen Filippelli” was a rather difficult piece to tackle since my initial sketch was a little too rough. It’s definitely helpful when the initial sketch is more accurate. Otherwise, I end up spending even more time trying to reshape various features of the figure’s face.

Regardless of how much of a struggle this one was, I’m looking forward to continuing the next few pieces in this series. I have about four left that I’d like to work on before shifting gears and starting a new portrait series.

Creed Bratton

Creed Bratton collage by Megan Coyle
“Creed Bratton,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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I managed to finish one more portrait this month for my series inspired by The Office – this one is number thirteen, “Creed Bratton.” It’s yet another portrait made entirely from magazine cutouts and I mainly focused on using solid colors, with the exception of a bit of texture for his hair. This one took a little longer than usual to get all the details in place. Again, I don’t feel as though portraiture comes naturally to me, and it’s something I’ll continue to work at so I can continue to grow and improve.

I’m planning to make at least five more portraits in this series, so it will be a little while before I start my musician series.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard (BJ Novak) collage by Megan Coyle
“Ryan Howard,” Collage on paper, 7″x5″
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My first collage of 2024 is now complete – it’s also the twelfth portrait in my series inspired by The Office. “Ryan Howard” (BJ Novak) was another fun piece to tackle. I’m hoping that as I continue to build out these portraits, the more comfortable I’ll get with making portraits in general. I am also planning to make at least five more portraits in this series. This series is also taking me a little bit longer to complete because of how many portraits it’s consisting of.

Once this series is complete, I think I’ll explore making portraits of musicians before I start tackling more portraits inspired by TV shows.