Everything Handmade: Reese Lansangan and Her Collages

We caught up with former Candy intern and singer Reese who just launched her first album, Arigato, Internet. She taught us how to make a collage!
PHOTOS Mark Jesalva

We caught up with one of our former interns Reese Lansangan to ask her about the art of making collages and find out what she's been up to lately. If you didn't already know, apart from being super crafty, Reese is also a singer-songwriter (we had her and Kai Honasan on the very first webisode of Candy Jams!) and she just released her very first album Arigato Internet last week. We talked with her one afternoon about her creative process, her dream collaboration, plus why making collages is a pretty cool thing to do.

Reese Lansangan


How did you get into collages?

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I was trying to learn Photoshop. There weren't tutorials on YouTube yet at that time. Then I saw this artist online who was making collages. I tried to study his style—which looked really flat, almost like a painting. So that's how I learned. I tried to emulate the style of Eduardo Recife (Ed's note: You can check out his work here). I was super active on DeviantArt! And I was also into scrapbooking when I was in high school—everything was cut and paste!

Do you prefer doing it by hand or digitally?

I find that it's easier for me to do it digitally. I don't hesitate on the materials I'll use. You can change the colors easily. You can flip an image, change the size. You can manipulate the materials easily. But with analog, it's nice because I can do it quickly. And you can't overthink it because you have to make do with the materials you have. You can't really manipulate too much.


What's the inspiration behind your collages?

Usually it's the image that prompts me. Like if I find a particular picture, I'll build the story around that. Sometimes I'll see a photo of a jellyfish and I instantly know the layout that I'll make for it. Right now, I'm doing a lot of client work so I have the brief as a guide. And then I work backwards trying to find the materials needed for the output.

Reese Lansangan


Who's one artist you'd love to work with?

Leeroy New! I've always been fascinated with sculptures. I used to see his work in Ateneo and I was really interested in his installations. I don't know how it'll work but in my head, I want to work with him!

WATCH: Everything Handmade: Abbey Sy

How about a dream collaboration?

Dream collab? Maybe Tom Sachs. He's a multi-disciplinary artist. He's like a collective except it's just him! He's this very OC artist in that everything's labeled, everything has its space. He likes space, he likes NASA. Also, Taylor Swift! I can make album collaterals or music video stuff for her. And Rookie with Tavi Gevinson.

Reese Lansangan


Where do you usually get your materials for collages?

I go to bookstores. Ask friends. They usually give me old magazines because they know I can use them for my collages.

What are the materials you usually use for collages?

I use cold-pressed paper, about 200 gsm. I also print out stuff from the Internet. I keep my scrap material in case I can use them for other collages.

What's your collage process like?

I lay it out first on the page, but don't glue anything down yet. Because sometimes it looks better in a different way when you move things around on the page.

Reese Lansangan


Would you recommend making collages to someone who's not quite crafty?

Of course. You don't really need to be good at drawing or anything like that to make collages. You just need steady hands and the resources.

WATCH: Candy Jams: Kai Honasan and Reese Lansangan Talk About Their Music Goals

Now it's time to watch her in action. Click play to watch Reese create a collage especially for you, Candy Girls! Don't forget to follow her Instagram @reeseypeasy and grab a copy of her album Arigato Internet.









About the author
Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief,
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted?

I have forgotten when was the last time we shared a smile - the last time when I saw the glow in your eyes and the last time when you whispered an I love you to me. I have forgotten when, but here I am - writing to you again.

I do not know if you will read this or you will just add this one to my proses and poems that you left unread, but you see, I am still hoping. I am mailing the pain of us to the gods out there - hoping they can take the pain away. I should have gotten over you, but instead of forgetting and accepting our ending, I am writing about us in tissue sheets, carving about us on trees, telling about us on the back of my journals, hoping that a thousand or a million write ups about us, can make me forget about what happened.

I am writing, waiting for the point where I can no longer write anymore, for I have none to tell - but when? I have nothing in me anymore, but the memories of us - and no matter how hard I try put those to its own grave, the memories grow back like lilies in the swamp - painful and beautiful at the same time.

No matter how hard I try to silence those and put it at the back of my mind, those ring back, playing like the favorite song we used to listen. They say heartbreaks turn into poetry and that is what happening to us - but poetry should be dulcet and dreamy, why does ours sound like pain and agony? They say time heals all wounds, but it has been ages - is heartbreak exempted? Darling, I guess not.

Anne Luna A day ago
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