As their young sons grew up, friends Ana Brown and Kim Edberg encountered a challenge more seasoned parents know all about: what to do with the prodigious artwork created by their budding Picassos. After a short run on a bulletin board or under a refrigerator magnet, all that creativity usually ends up stowed away. Looking for an elegant and more lasting solution, the two tapped into their artist backgrounds (Brown, currently a freelance writer, is a former art major; Edberg is a graphic designer with an MFA) and founded Gem Collage last August, transforming children’s doodles, drawings, paintings and sketches into modern, display-worthy collages.
Gem Collage transforms childrens drawings, doodles and artwork into display-worthy collages. Photo Credit: Gem Collage.
To commission a piece, parents send in a stack of their kiddo’s creations and select a customizable theme—bucolic landscape, bustling cityscape or geometric abstract. Then, Brown and Edberg go to work, cutting the original art and repurposing the scraps in a new design, pasting the new piece onto a wood board and then topping it with a coat of high-gloss resin protectant. And though the submitted artwork is completely reimagined during the process, the pair strives to preserve the original spirit and tone of each piece. “It is important for us that parents still see the minute brushstrokes and influence of their child’s work in the finished piece,” Brown says. “In the end, each is as unique as the child who made it.” Pieces range in price from $200 (for 12-by-12-inch framed size) to $700 (for 24-by-24-inch framed size); custom sizes and designs also available upon request.