You Can Have Your Cake

You Can Have Your Cake by collage artist Megan Coyle
“You Can Have Your Cake” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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The other day, I worked on filming another time lapse video of my collage-making process. Usually when I’ve completed a time lapse video, the collage is also finished. This was one of the few instances where I felt a need to revisit the piece and rework it a little bit. I especially wanted to reshape the plate and the shadows that were cast on and by the plate.

You can take a look at the video here:

As an artist, I often feel like my process can be disconnected from the finished works of art. Viewers don’t necessarily realize that there’s quite a bit of piecing together involved. Thus, I’d like to create more of these videos as a way to bring viewers into my studio, and give them a better glimpse of the work that goes into each collage.

Summertime Popsicle

Summertime Popsicle by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Summertime Popsicle” Collage on paper. 7″x5″
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A collage of what’s popping when it’s summer. It’s another addition to my dessert series, and even though it’s not summertime any more, I figured I’d make something inspired by the last days of summer that weren’t so long ago.

I also decided to make something a little more abstract, which was a bit of a challenge for me. I have a tendency of getting really focused on the details of my compositions, which makes it hard to take a step back and simplify my artwork. I think I’ll try to tackle more abstract pieces in the future. Sometimes I like to experiment with different subjects and materials, just to see what happens.

Photoshoot with Tim Coburn: Part 2

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Tonight I had another fun photoshoot with photographer Tim Coburn. This time I had an idea where I wanted to be surrounded by or covered in lots of magazine pages.

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot of getting a makeup touch up. It was fun having my hair and makeup done professionally.

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Some of my favorite photos involved me throwing magazine pages up in the air. Here’s a shot of the pages pretty much hitting the ground already.

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Here he instructed me to look meditative or serious, but I couldn’t help myself but start cracking up a bit.

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Portrait of Megan Coyle

Portrait of Megan Coyle

A shot of the magazine pages mid-throw.

Portrait of Megan Coyle

And finally, this is probably my favorite somewhat-serious portrait he took.

As an artist, I love making art, but I also enjoy supporting other artists out there, like photographers. Tonight was a fun treat of bringing an idea of mine for a portrait shoot to life.

You’re Sweet as Pie

You're Sweet as Pie is a collage by collage artist Megan Coyle
“You’re Sweet as Pie” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Some desserts are a little more intimidating to collage than others. I decided to tackle a pie, and was afraid that it might end up looking like a nondescript blob. I’m happy that this one turned out better than I expected.

This is part of my dessert still life series, where I’m tacking subjects that I used to avoid as an artist. I used to think that still life art was boring to make, and this exercise of completing a series, has made me really enjoy the art of still life – specifically, the art of food art.

Bosty goes to the Outer Banks, NC

Bosty goes to the Outer Banks

Bosty loves the beach, so he wanted to head off to the Outer Banks for the week. It might be September, but that doesn’t mean that the summer weather is over!

Bosty goes to the Outer Banks

He spent hours basking in the sun, and admiring the beautiful blue ocean. Bosty loves looking at all the colorful beach towels and umbrellas in various arrangements on the sand. He enjoyed spending the majority of his time out and about on the beach.

Bosty goes to the Outer Banks

Some days Bosty would wander across lawns right by the shore. He realized that he preferred the soft grass to the sunbaked sand.

Bosty goes to the Outer Banks

To finish his week-long adventure of lounging around by the water, Bosty decided to be a little more adventurous and go boating. He loved feeling the wind in his face as he stared off at the ocean from his perch on a kayak. Bosty definitely can’t wait to have more challenging adventures in the future!

Q & A: How Long Have You Been Making Collages?

Figure by collage artist Megan Coyle

I’ve been making collages ever since I was a kid. My first collage was made back when I was in middle school. Then for a few years, I continued to experiment with the medium. I had a tendency of working in a number of mediums and collage was simply another area I explored.

Writer's Block by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Writer’s Block” Mixed media on paper. 22″x14″
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By the time I was a senior in high school, I started exploring the process of cutting magazine strips while focusing on color and texture. Before then, my collages looked a lot more like what you think of when you think of traditional collage – where it’s obvious that the work of art was made from fragments of photographs.

Orange Girl by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Orange Girl” Collage and oil pastel on paper. 18″x12.5″
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My last year in high school was when I started painting with paper, where I manipulated paper in such a way that it mimicked the brushstrokes of a painting. I also had a habit of incorporating oil pastel with my collages, until a peer asked me why I was covering up all my hard work by drawing on top of it. When I realized I didn’t have a good answer for her, I decided I should focus on making collages entirely from paper.

Ali by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Ali” Collage on paper. 18″x24″
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My senior thesis exhibition was my first cohesive body of work that was made entirely from paper. And since then, I’ve continued to hone and explore my craft. I have no idea how my art will evolve in the next ten years, and to me, that’s pretty exciting. I’m looking forward to my future artistic adventures.

Have a Bite? Donut Mind if I do!

“Have a Bite? Donut Mind if I do!” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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There’s just something sweet about making artwork that has sprinkles. I had fun coming up with the title for this piece, as well as cutting out all those tiny pieces for the sprinkles. You can see that the pieces of paper for the donut, as well as the plate, involved a lot of tiny pieces that were layered in such a way that the fragments of paper were almost blended together.

The background consists of one texture I found in the background of a magazine ad. I also layered a little bit of solid color on top of the background, to help with shadowing. Overall, I had some fun depicting a donut that had a bite taken out of it.

Why is Art Important?

The Wise Lizard is a collage by Megan Coyle

Art is important for a number of reasons – it makes life more interesting and cultivates an inspiring environment. It helps define our culture and reflects the state of the world when a work of art was created.  Art is a wonderful tool, that allows us to:

1. Express Ourselves

Art allows us to tell stories visually, and share the way we see the world. There are so many different mediums or materials that can be used to make artwork, which is part of the beauty of using it as a form of expression. This makes it easier for artists to craft their own unique style and voice.

2. Inspire Others

Artwork can inspire others in the arts and even serve as motivation for people in different industries to create something of their own. Making your own artwork, and making it to the best of your abilities, can inspire others to make their own art – which can inspire others as well. Art-making can create this fantastic chain reaction of inspiration and creativity.

3. Make the World More Interesting

Without art, our lives would be pretty dull. We wouldn’t have artwork decorating our walls at home or work, and we wouldn’t get that inspiration from visiting art museums and galleries. There wouldn’t be designs and patterns on our clothing, bags, or rugs. There wouldn’t be cartoons or illustrations in publications or on TV. Quite honestly, the world would be a pretty bland place. Art makes the world a more vibrant and interesting place to live.

4. Record our History

Even if we’re not aware of it, the art we make helps record what life is like at a given point in time. This can be done simply with the materials used that can date the work, or the subject matter depicted. Art serves as a record of how life was when the work of art was created.


Overall, art makes the world a more interesting and beautiful place to live. It helps us make sense of life, and add meaning to different moments in time. Art is something that makes life a little more magical, allowing us to express ourselves and communicate our different viewpoints.

Rural Fields

Rural Fields by collage artist Megan Coyle
“Rural Fields” Collage on paper. 5″x7″
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Landscapes are one of the subjects I seldom tackle. I suppose I’m more drawn to animals than I am to different environments. However, tonight I decided to sit down and complete a landscape piece from start to finish.

My landscapes have a tendency of looking more abstract, since I’m focusing more on abstract shapes of color and texture. I also wanted to limit my time on this collage so I wouldn’t overwork different areas of the surface.

I filmed a time lapse of this piece that you can view below:

Why Should You Plan Out Your Art Composition?

What a Pair (the Otter Sisters) is a collage made entirely from magazine strips by Megan Coyle

Art is a process, and figuring out your composition before you get started, will speed up the art-making process. So what does planning out your art composition really mean? It means figuring out what you’re going to create:

  • Define your subject matter
  • Define your color palette
  • Research (let that be via practice sketches or studying the subject in more depth)
  • When you’re ready to get started, sketch out your composition. That way you’ll have a guide to use as you develop the piece.

Why does planning out your composition matter?

1. Saves Time

Sketching out your composition first, saves you the time and effort of reworking your artwork when the composition you had in mind isn’t panning out. Planning this out before you start using your materials, will help you figure out what may or may not work.

2. Saves Money

Time is money after all, and if planning can save you time, it will save you money as well. Also, eliminating compositions that don’t seem to work when you sketch them out, means you don’t have to learn those lessons while working with your materials. For instance, if you’re making an oil painting, you won’t have to waste time and materials painting over an unplanned composition that just doesn’t work. Planning will uncover possible issues.

3. Defines the Vision for the Artwork

Planning can also assist with the direction of the art – with the tone, and overall look and feel.

4. More Control Over the Progress

By determining what your work of art will look like beforehand, you’ll have a better handle on how things progress.

5. Get More Consistent Results

If you have defined the vision of your work and have more control over the progress, you are more likely to get more consistent results. Identifying potential issues by working them out with sketches, will also give you more successful results.


Even after planning out your composition, there is still the possibility that it won’t work out the way you were hoping it would. These things happen, and they’re simply a part of the creative process. However, planning will ensure that more times than not, you’ll have a product you’re satisfied with.