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Countering Isolation with Creativity was a Canadian government incentive to engage Canadian seniors post COVID. Accenti Magazine received a grant to host 12 free workshops via Zoom for those over 55.  I had the pleasure of presenting the first workshop May and here it is on Youtube!  I had to figure out how to use 2 cameras so I could talk and also demonstrate.  There was an email sent out to participants in advance with the preparation work.  I am including the information after the video, if anyone is interested.  


Countering Isolation with Creativity: Accenti Magazine Workshops to engage Canadian seniors. Mixed Media Collage Self-Portrait Workshop

Who says ‘selfies’ can only be by phone? Try this mixed-media collage project to make your own selfie at home. In this 90 minute workshop, participants will create a mixed media collage self-portrait.  There is some image gathering and/or preparation work to do in advance. 

Instructions for Workshop preparation and supplies:

For the workshop, you will need 3 self-portrait images.  They can all be the same image, which you will each colour differently, or 3 completely different images.  If you prefer to use a photograph, it is best to use a larger size (5×7 or 8×10). These images can also be prepared during the workshop if you like, but there will probably not be enough time to complete the project. 

To make a self-portrait, use a hand mirror or wall mirror and draw yourself.  Angle the mirror based on the profile you want to draw.  It can be a frontal view, side view, even a view from above if you have ceiling mirrors.  Try to keep the drawing surface as vertical as possible and draw what you see.  Sketch in the main shapes first, then add details and shading.  Put lots of ‘self’ into it.  Use props to express your personality.  If drawing yourself from a mirror is awkward, try drawing from a photo with a plain background. 

Use any media; pencil, pen, sharpie, felt, crayon, eyeliner, lipstick…. The images can be as simple or as complex as you like.  Representational images (meaning it actually looks human) or abstract images will work. 

Make 3 different portraits, or just one, then make 2 photocopies or tracings.  Colour 2 of them, so that you have 3 similar, but different portraits.  If you prefer to work with photographs, it is best if they are larger.  If you only have 1 photo to use, make 2 copies. 

Feel free to start several collages to work on simultaneously and continue after the workshop ends.

Supply List for the workshop:

  • Images; 3 self-portraits on paper, all a similar size
  • A hard surface to glue onto. This can be a wood panel or board, a heavy piece of cardboard or a piece of 250-300 lb paper.  A surface with something already on it works well, since there is already an underpainting!
  • Acrylic matte medium. Matte medium is acrylic paint without the colour. It can be used as a glue and also as a protective coating over top of your work.  White glue can also be used if you do not have matte medium, but it is not archival
  • Paint brush and/or foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Hand mirror (if you need to work on your images)
  • Whatever art supplies you have-anything goes! Ex: acrylic or watercolour paints, pencil crayons, markers, oil or chalk pastels, inks, stencils
  • Bits and pieces of old artwork or fancy paper to collage, magazine clippings, letters, postage stamps, blank or printed rice paper or tissue paper, photos, paper doilies, candy wrappers…..more stuff is better!  

Happy Creating!  If anyone makes a selfie collage, let me know!  Ciao, Cristina