Zen and the Art of Collage with Amon Focus

Zen and the Art of Collage with Amon Focus

Making collages is fun for anyone interested in creating art. I believe that anyone can create something worth looking at if they’re given the right tools and a creative nudge. —Amon Focus

amon focus collage

Amon Focus is the featured artist for our November #HowlAtHome activity. Amon leads us in an engaging activity using stream-of-consciousness techniques and free association to build a bold and brilliant collage. Select a theme, image, word, interest, or color as a starting point, or let your inspiration come from magazines. As you look at images, identify where a new idea or theme can complement one another. Example: Birds, feathers, flight, beaks, migration, water, land, nest, eggs… Choose a focal-point image as your anchor piece for the collage and build out from there. A piece of wood, cardboard, or other sturdy material can be used as a base for the collage.

The important thing is to go for it and complete the collage—there are no mistakes!!

View the video below for a collaging demonstration by Amon:

Activity Overview:

  1. Think about a theme for your collage
  2. Select some magazines
  3. Rip, tear, or cut images that speak to you
  4. Locate an anchor or focal point for your collage
  5. Place the images on your chosen surface and play around before gluing them down
  6. Use a glue stick or matte adhesive to secure images to the chosen surface
  7. Keep layering and playing around with the images until you feel the collage is complete

Tag photos of your artworks on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with #HowlAtHome and #howlhappening to share your creations with us and connect to everyone who Howls at Home! Please email an image of your final project to Katherine Cheairs, Howl’s education director, at katherine@howlarts.org.

Key Themes: Art Therapy, Importance of Completion, Free Association


Glue stick or Golden matte medium
10 x 10” square wood plaque, or a similarly sized piece of cardboard
Clean, firm paintbrush

Amon Focus Workshop Portrait

Amon Focus is the founder and creative force behind New York Said, a multidisciplinary project with a mission to document and preserve the “ writing on the wall” hidden in plain sight throughout the five boroughs. Amon’s photography and art projects have been featured in multiple venues throughout New York City. Project highlights include an archival screening of his film, Arturo Vega, the Last Interview, at Howl! Happening Gallery, and the Visual Voices photography exhibit in the Lower East Side.

Social Media and Website:

Instagram: @amonfocus
Website: www.amonfocus.com

Q&A with Amon Focus:

What inspired you to share this particular activity?

Making collages is fun for anyone interested in creating art. I believe that anyone can create something worth looking at if they’re given the right tools and a slight creative nudge.

How has participation in the arts contributed to your life?

My participation in the arts has impacted my life by giving me a purpose to exist on this planet.

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Image: Rafael Sánchez, 1993-94, “Bedtime Story”; Courtesy of the artist and Martos Gallery, New York. Performance still by Rainer Behrens.

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