Digital Collage: Jessica Harja

For my project, most of the images i used were from a website called Pixabay. This website described itself as a collective of creators that share their content for freedom of use. I chose these images because they helped to form the narrative I was trying to put together for this artwork.


A digital collage created for the first project that tries to bring the feeling of vulnerability when opening up to someone, to an image. Designed by: Jessica Harja, September 2018.

In terms of elements of principles and design, there are varying degrees of lines, shapes, textures, and colors. There are the lines of words that overlap each other and fall behind the hands. The haphazard layout for the repetitive shapes of the words create a kind of unsettled mood combined with the actual words themselves. The heart, the object with the most color, is placed in the center of the image to place an emphasis on why it is important. This heart, with its rough wooden textures, looks worn and used. When the two different subject matters are combined, it helps to understand the purpose of the image a little better by directing the viewer throughout the text and the image itself.

What I hope that viewers get from this image is a sense of what we all feel when it comes to being vulnerable with others. Originally, it was intended for romantic relationships but could also be applied to platonic ones. We all have a wall of insecurities we may be hiding behind when we first get to know someone. Sometimes it takes a long time in order to get through that wall that we’ve built to protect our damaged hearts; to offer up a bit of ourselves to the person we are getting to know. So the words are representative of that wall of insecurities that we’ve built to protect ourselves from while the hands are meant to be reaching out from that wall to offer up the heart of vulnerability to the reader.

Most of the tools used for this project were the use of layers, the magnetic lasso tool, move tools, opacity, and eraser, blur, and smudge tools. At first, this project didn’t really need to be constructed digitally until I started playing around with the opacity, blur, and smudge tools. It’s very difficult to use those techniques with printed images rather than with other materials. In the end, I tried to create a semi-surrealist landscape of how someone would feel with the internal battle of trying to open up to people.


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