I enjoy making collages and I am very bad at them. Every few years, I ask for a magazine subscription for Christmas. As I finish reading each magazine, I rip out the pages with images and text that inspire me. Sometimes, it’s whole articles. Most of the time, it’s just advertisements and features with colors I like.

I pile them up and sort them by color. I modge-podge them into sketchbooks, filling up as much of the page as I can. It’s a mess. I often have to cut out pages to make room for the extra thickness that my glued inserts create. I’m doing it all wrong — I’m pretty sure.

Then, I write little notes around the collages. They’re just for me and add chaos. I take pictures of my favorite spread, pull them into Photoshop, and color-pick them. Eventually, those tones make it into a palette. Sometimes it’s a project for a client. Often, it’s one of the graphics that I add here on my site.

The process is enjoyable — even if one out of every hundred spreads is actually pleasant to look at.

The enjoyment comes from the paper itself — cutting, ripping, sorting, and gluing. Manipulating paper is dreaming.

This week, I tried to capture a few colors that fill me with that dreamy paper feeling. They’re soft, musty tones — one step away from true neutral. I’d use them alongside white for a calm, pretty design — poetic energy.