It’s all about the images. Well yes and no. Images can make your life easier when making digital collage. If you choose the proper ones for what you want to do, then you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and turn your fun collage into a compositing challenge.
I make a categorization in images and that’s how I look at every collage. Depending on the style I want to achieve, I use different categories which allow me to get the look that I am looking for. This is an example of three collages I made in three different styles using the same idea.
For the one on the left I used a mix of old book illustrations together with a very old photo of a basketball. In the one in the middle, I used only old photos and in the one on the right regular contemporary photos with some small illustrations.
To have this in mind before I start the search of images is key for my process. If I got that right, then I will lose less time scrolling around looking for the perfect fit.
If you need images for a retro looking collage, your place is Flickr.
In Flickr you can find thousands of old-looking images and retro or scientific illustrations. You can also filter by rights and size. I seriously recommend to make yourself an account so you can start following people and galleries for Museums, Universities, schools, etc. If you do, the first results of your search are going to be from these sources that you already follow.
Here I leave you some links that might help you find images for the digital collage project that you are going to tackle.
Some cool sources in Flickr.
Once you find an image that you like, make sure to check in which albums and groups was added. You can find similar ones, and that’s when you get lost in a sea of retro images.
If you need some contemporary-looking images Unsplash is my favorite place, their selection is very well curated and most of the photos have some kind of artistic feel. You won’t find the typical mockup photo which can be good, but also bad because sometimes you just need something very sharp and with a “product” look. But still, for artistic digital collage, this is the place.
Then you have some others like Pixabay and Pexels that are also very good, they have some very high-resolution images that can help you with your projects. You will need to create an account, but it’s free so it’s not that bad. Just make a Bookmark folder and drop all your free images links in there.
I hope this helps you in your quest for images, have fun and meditate using the pen tool.
Smile to a cloud,