Inspired by | British Vogue – Sept. 2016

Inspired by: a monthly creative blog series by Riikka Kovasin and Marsha Valk

Ah! It’s the 10th of the month! That can only mean one thing: I’ve got a new instalment of Inspired by to share!

Inspired by is a blog series by my friend Riikka and I. We decide on a theme (and that theme can be anything from a film, a book, a painting, to an item, colour scheme or material) and then we create something with that theme or thing in mind.

We keep what we’re making a secret until reveal day on the 10th, when we show you and each other our creations.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

Fall fashion

Even-though we’re experiencing something of an Indian Summer here in the Netherlands, for this month’s Inspired by, Riikka and I decided to go with something autumnal.

The September issues of all the renowned fashion magazines are always filled to the brim with the new international Fall/Winter collections and I’ve been wanting to do something fashion (magazine) related for a while now. I guess the time was right, this time!

We decided not to go with just the term ‘Fall fashion’, but to pin it down to one magazine. That way we would have the exact same base to work from. We picked British Vogue because Riikka instantly liked the cover and more importantly: we both could purchase it locally.

I think I’ve written about this before, but I have developed this new found interest in fashion magazines. For years I had little to no interest in them. If I could not afford, buy nor wear anything displayed in them: what was the point?

I only set eyes on them at the hairdressers and only if there wasn’t anything else to read. Until… something clicked. I was flicking through a L’Officiel and I had the sudden urge to take (photographic) notes. I was inspired! Afterwards I decided to buy the issue and I’ve been looking at fashion magazines with different eyes ever since.

It’s not that I regularly buy them now, but I will, if I’m in the mood. Fashion magazines are great for collage, if you are looking for faces to sketch, for colour inspiration, texture inspiration, material inspiration or when you just want to be wowed. Vogue is especially good for that. It’s fascinating. To me, anyway!

As said, I had no interest in fashion magazines for years. But that wasn’t always the case. In fact: when I was looking for my old school planners the other week, I was surprised by the amount of perfume, make-up and fashion clippings I found pasted into them!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

I was also reminded of my love for collage back then. I know dada was discussed in art class and I wonder if I was influenced by seeing photos of Hannah Höch’s work. I can’t remember! Sometimes I wish we could have had Pinterest 25 years ago, because I bet I would have started a Pinterest board about her.

So… what to do for this Inspired by?

Here’s what I wrote down:


Transfer (like Birgit Koopsen taught in Art Journal Summer School 2016)

Colour inspo




And then I just grabbed my copy of British Vogue and started ripping out pages. I focused on reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues and purples and I pasted snippets to cardstock bases of 14,5 x 15,5 cm.

This is not a random format: I measured the pages of the art journal I wanted to paste these in. That way I would not have to trim the collages in order to fit them in later.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

My goal was to ‘do’ and not ‘think’. One of the unfortunate decisions I made because of that, was that I choose to paste with Mod Podge Matte. I was almost out of Liquitex Matte Medium and I thought it would be OK.

I was wrong… The decoupage glue made the paper wrinkle and buckle and it was way too thick.

Later on, when I started painting and writing on the four pieces I ended up finishing, I also discovered that on top of that, the dry Mod Podge layer reacted differently than expected to my paint markers and I could not write directly onto it with my white charcoal.

Lesson learned.

Anyway, here are the results of my collaging:

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

This one is inspired by the embroidered patches that are on trend right now.

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

For this one I used a transfer technique Birgit taught in Art Journal Summer School this year. (Here’s a video she made with the same idea)

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

This one was inspired by an ad. All text on these pieces are just random sentences taken from the interviews in the magazine. I was surprised by how easy it felt to do this. It was awesome to not have to think about what to write for a change!

Marsha Valk | Inspired by: British Vogue

When I look at this one now, I doubt it’s finished yet. It was inspired by all the bling that’s making a fashion come back. The bottom half is very, very wrinkled and you can’t see it, but I added a thin layer of gold paint on top of the yellow collage.


Oh how I love to cut and paste! But I definitely need to restock on the Matte Medium. I love the size I chose. I love how easy it was to just take random text to write. And I’m not done with this British Vogue yet. To be continued!

Now, I can’t wait to see what Riikka has made. Go and visit her at Paperiliitin!

2 thoughts on “Inspired by | British Vogue – Sept. 2016

  1. These are fantastic! Love the strong colors (you are so good with those) and the fact that they all are different yet all you! Fun thing is that we both went with more the “do” part in this time rather than “think”. Naturally there’s thoughts behind every project, but it seems that the magazine sprang us both into action. What a great topic! Thank you for doing these with me!

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