Identity Collage

Create a self portrait in the form of a physical or digital collage.

Review the tutorial video for guidance and ideas. The video demonstrates a paper cutout collage, but the approach and principles in the video also apply to digital formats.

For making digital collages we like the Kapwing Collage Maker (see tips on making a multimedia  collage with Kapwing below), but you can also use Canva, Powerpoint, Google Slides, or another program  you’re familiar with.

Set Up

  1. Go to
  2. Select ‘tools’ from the top menu bar
  3. Scroll down to the Collage-Maker tool and select it
  4. Click ‘Get Started!’
  5. Click ‘Start with Blank Canvas’

TIP: You can adjust the shape of your canvas using the “Output Size” options on the right by using a preset, or you can create your own custom size. As you compose, you can always adjust the canvas in the “Padding” section in the menu on the right.

Adding Content

Kapwing makes it easy to add different types of media – including images, gifs, video, audio, and text.

You can do this by:

  • Searching directly in Kapwing
  • Pasting URLs from elsewhere
  • Uploading your own content

TIP: Once you bring an image onto your canvas you can modify it in many ways by selecting it, then clicking on the options to the right. You can adjust things like brightness, transparency and blurriness, and you can use the crop tool to cut out a section of the image.

Build Your Composition

Experiment with form and composition. You have a lot of control in Kapwing, so play around with different ways to integrate images and media in your project. Remember that the goal of collage is to create something new and more interesting than the sum of its parts, so try to avoid simply creating a set of images – play with layering, scale, contrast, and other design elements.

TIP: The eraser tool is a great way to cut out specific elements of images in an organic way to create a more collage-like aesthetic. Here’s one way to combine elements in Kapwing by erasing and layering different images:

1. Import image

2. Erase specific sections to make them transparent.

3. Add more images

4. Change the order of the layers by clicking “send backward” or “send forward” to get a layered/cutout effect

As you experiment with your digital collage, consider things like:

  • What does a digital format allow you to do that you can’t do with a physical collage?
  • How does putting two or more images together change the meaning or feeling of each image?
  • How could personal images (like an old family photograph) relate to other imagery (like ads or pop culture images)? How do these kinds of combinations reflect your identity?
  • How can text add to the composition? Is it necessary or can your intention be conveyed without words?
  • You can layer sound as well as images in Kapwin,, so what effects can you accomplish by experimenting with these? Can an unexpected combination of a sound and an image create a new perspective?

Share your work!

When you are happy with your composition, download it by clicking the red Export button at the top right (it can take a few minutes to process).

Reflect on the process:

What thoughts and feelings came up as you worked on this project? Was finding material that represented you easy or a challenge? How did it feel to reinterpret existing imagery in a way that reflected your self-image?

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