Collage Style Guide

Welcome! We are so excited to have you on board as a potential writer for Collage. We are expanding beyond the University of Adelaide to be a standalone arts and culture publication, with a focus on Adelaide.

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We aim to:

  • Be a forum for the discovery and discussion of the arts.
  • Engage and connect with established and emerging creatives in Adelaide and beyond.
  • Publish high-quality, entertaining, and thought-provoking essays, articles, interviews, and reviews.
  • Keep readers informed of creative events in Adelaide and South Australia.

The Collage Committee has put together this document to give you some guidelines and tips on how to write for Collage.

General Guidelines

  • Always include citations (any referencing system) and image credits – please note that articles without referencing or with signs of plagiarism will not be accepted for publication
  • Try to add links to help readers (and us!) – for example, to buy tickets to the show you’ve reviewed, or a link to a website that explains an artistic movement in more detail
  • Please keep within the recommended word limit
     

    Reviews

  • Most of what we review takes place in Adelaide, but if you’re visiting or located interstate or overseas and would like to review something, please feel free! We have had reviews sent in from locations such as Melbourne and the Netherlands in the past. However, as most of our readership is in Adelaide, the the best type of show to review is something relatively long-lived (like an art exhibition or a museum) that readers might also get the chance to travel and see. If there is an event, concert, exhibition, or festival coming up that you’d like to review, please drop us a line at collageadelaide@gmail.com, or on our social media pages, we might be able to get you a ticket.
     

    Collage Review Format

    Start your review with a brief rundown of “What, when, where, how much”. Next comes the body of your review. Here you have pretty much free rein! Some questions for if you’re feeling stuck:

    • Give a brief summary of the plot/content/theme for people who may not be familiar with the work.
    • What was good, not so good or interesting about the show?
    • What caught your attention? How did it make you feel?
    • Did it remind you of any other artworks, movements or theories?
    • How does it relate to other works by the same creator (if any)?
    • How did the rest of the audience react?
    • Why is this a significant piece of art (or not)?
    • End your review with a rating out of five stars.

    Artist Spotlight

    Artist spotlights are a specialised type of interview, where we contact emerging artists (usually via email) and ask them to fill out a questionnaire. The questions and answers are then published on Collage along with some images of the artist and their work. It’s been a simple, winning formula.

    As with the reviews, most of our spotlighted artists are located in Adelaide, but they don’t necessarily have to be.

    Thus far we have generally only interviewed visual artists – the format doesn’t translate too well to performing arts etc. as it becomes more difficult to show examples of their work.

    If you’d like to do an artist spotlight, please get in touch with us! We can work with you to contact the artist via their email or social media accounts first.

    Collage Artist Spotlight Format

    Below is the standard artist spotlight questionnaire. Feel free to change it up a little and to add a couple of additional questions relevant to your chosen artist (e.g. about specific works, techniques, or collaborations. We usually end with a final ‘fun’ question (think “If you could only choose three items to take for a desert island, what would you take?”).

    Q: Hey [artist]! Please give us a mini profile about yourself.
    Q: What form does your inspiration take? Is it people, travel, atmosphere, historical figures, memories etc?
    Q: How would you describe your style and its progression throughout the years?
    Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
    Q: Why do you make art? How does it make you feel?
    Q: Please tell us about your recent mural projects and collaborations. Any other projects in the works?
    Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the future?
    Q: Where can we find more of your work (social media, personal website, current exhibitions, etc.)?

    Make sure you ask for a few examples of their work as well, or else double check we can use the images on their social media.

    Interviews

    For interviews that are not part of the artist spotlight, you have much more flexibility as a writer. These interviews are generally conducted in person or over the phone to make the published result a bit more interesting and in-depth, but you could do an email interview if the subject prefers.

    The questions will vary a lot according to the subject. If you’re not sure, feel free to reach out to the Collage Committee with your question ideas and we’ll be happy to advise! Have about 6-10 questions prepared, but don’t feel like you have to stick to a script – you can see where the conversation takes you, adding extra questions or removing them in the moment depending on what becomes more interesting or relevant.

    Essays and Articles

    This is probably the least common format on Collage at the moment, and something that we’d like to do more of. It is a space for you as a writer to stretch yourself, undertake research to answer a question or solve a problem, challenge your own thinking, reflect on an experience, or try to persuade readers to a particular point of view.

    Essays and articles are divided into short reads (500 words or below) and long reads (up to approximately 1000 words).

    We are expanding Collage from its initial focus to encompass content on performing arts, history, culture and more.

    If you have an idea for an essay or article, or if you’ve already written an essay for uni or elsewhere that you’re proud of and think would be relevant to Collage, the best way to start is to pitch it to the Collage Committee and go from there. Send us an email at collageadelaide@gmail.com with your pitch and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

    ***

    Thanks for reading and we hope to see you contributing to Collage soon! To finish up, here are a few ideas for potential articles if you want to write but need a little extra inspiration.

    • The use of animals in art (e.g. AGSA horse, protests at Guggenheim over artworks featuring live animals and videos of animals)
    • Similar to above: opinion piece on animals or vegetarian and vegan ethics in art
    • Photo diaries of a place/event/experience
    • Virtual reality and cultural heritage education: opportunities and potential downsides
    • Arts and affordability: how to balance between paying creators/performers/spaces etc. appropriately while also keeping arts affordable enough for everyone?
    • Arts and STEM: in a society that generally views creatives arts and sciences as separate, how can artists engage with both?
    • The true cultural capital of Australia: Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Perth or Darwin (or any selection of the above)? How does arts and culture differ between Australian cities and is any of them really ‘the best’?
    • Fascination with 1990s/2000s cartoon nostalgia as a current trend (e.g. Scenic Simpsons)
    • Art as a method of dealing with trauma (e.g. art in prisons, detention centres)
    • A short piece capturing thoughts about the creative process in your discipline
    • The history of a particular art form or style
    • Art and political process (can be focused on a specific country, artistic medium etc.)
    • One artwork that changed your life

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