Mainly most wallpapers created are collages of family photographs, sometimes of a family occasion like weddings, birthdays, births and babies, or a holiday theme. The broader family – the Family Tree is the most popular. Visually tracing the great great grandparents up to the 2020’s newborns makes a brilliant wall feature!
Collages do not come with a lot of rules, they can be as random as you want them to be, which gives you the freedom to use unrelated images if you choose. Photo’s can be mixed with paintings, black&white with colour, you can mix the Renaisance with Picasso and add in some some Ancient Greek – often it is the contrasts that make the collage.
There is a trend of people making wallpapers from great works of art, why have one picture when you can have the whole wall scattered in a cacophony of classic art – literally worth 100’s of million of dollars (…if only they were original).
As many paintings were painted over 100 years ago they are now in the public domain and are not copyrighted. In recent years many organisations, galleries and museums have digitised copies of there art and made them available for download often in high resolution – Perfect for wallpapers!!
Below are some good sites, but you can always google phases such as ” works of art in the public domain “, “free art downloads” etc.
Is a little more tricky in terms of possible copyright issues but at the same time there is so much more out there, it is more diverse and is being created as we speak. Yes Andy Warhol is still copyrighted but thousands of others are not and many artists want their work viewed and out there – “any publicity is good publicty” I believe is the saying.
Again search the internet try phases in Google such as “modern art in the public domain“.
As a general guide, copyright lasts for the life of the publisher plus another 70 years.
Public domain Photographs
Here is a starting point, 99Design directs you to resources
Other idea’s for wallpaper/collages…..
“My brother-in-law “Ping” is an artist and often makes charcoal drawings of super heroes, portraits, birds and animals – he donated us loads. The idea was to frame them and put a few on the wall one day – but never got round to it. Then Sumalee suggested we scan them and make a wallpaper! Bingo, it was easy and we got to show them all, well not all of them as there are 100’s, but enough to fill a bedroom wall – see the “examples” option/button there is a picture in there somewhere”.
“OK, it could have been a little better but that is down to the scanning, we got most of them scanned in Thailand and whilst very cheap was not the newest or best scanner I have ever seen. We got some more scanned elsewhere and they came out great – but anyway we can live with it, our son’s and their friends still think it’s pretty cool!”
Suppose the lesson here is to spend some time on getting the best material possible for your wall, if your scans or photo’s are bad then you might end up looking at your wallpaper thinking “it’s great but could have been better”.
If you have any idea’s/questions about your project and would like to discuss please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some popular styles
If you want to respect the boundaries of the picture, without another image overlapping then you need to go Tiled – I saw a very nice wallpaper of classic artists – Van Gogh, Matisse, Rembrandt etc which was Tiled. To go Scattered it almost felt disrespectful for another picture to be overlapping these works of art. Although please note, in both Tiled and Scattered it does not mean the actual pictures themselves cannot be slightly cropped to help fill the dimensions of the wallpaper.
To emphasis a particular work of art it can always be made bigger or put centre stage (that means you need to rename the image files 1sw, 2sw etc – to let us know).
A favourite is Scattered, this is where the images can overlap and gives the collage more freedom, more randomness. Particular images can be bigger than another if required, the collage has a feeling of being more artistic.
A small black border rather than no border is popular, as is a black border rather than a white border. Shadows where possible are also a favorite touch.
A Grid is good when you want to give every picture equal importance – such as a school year book.