vintage collage artist
London, UK

When I first stumbled across the beautiful collages of gooseglitters online, I must admit: they hit me with a wave of nostalgia. The colourful, kitschy compositions of gooseglitters is the “crafty collage business” of London-based Laura Goossens, who creates new, fun art pieces from old vintage magazines and papers.

When I asked what kickstarted her journey into collage making, Laura spoke fondly of being inspired by her late grandfather. Professionally he worked as a doctor, but he also was a passionate photographer who left behind decades of beautiful photos of his extensive travels. It was while scanning her grandfather’s photos that Laura got the idea of collaging – it became a new way of relooking at history.

Since then, Laura has chosen to put her grandfather’s photos aside, and taken to using old, vintage paper, books and magazines to create fun, whimsical compositions that often have a deeper meaning to them. Her personal rule is that all the materials she uses must be recycled and be from the ‘90s and before.
Reflecting on childhood preferences and past jobs, Laura traces how she had always loved paper products, all while showing me piles of vintage scraps and a spread of colourful and textured paper. Some were given by friends and family, others she found and rescued at carboot sales and flea markets. She loved paper so much that she had even worked in a print company! Yet it was only after years in the corporate world before Laura decided to pursue her dream of being a full-time collage artist last May.

Some might scoff at the fact that collage art is “just cutting and sticking”, or how it might seem simple or not a “real art” when compared with other art practices like illustration or painting where artists create something from scratch.
Yet once you dive into collage art, you’ll realise it isn’t all that easy. More than just “cutting and sticking”, Laura describes the composition process as “figuring out puzzle pieces”. It requires creativity to form art within existing limits. Yet there are no rules.  

“Anyone can do collage, there is no right or wrong to it.
That’s the beauty of it – it is open to all.”

On top of creating her own art pieces, Laura also loves introducing others to collage making and does so in the form of running workshops and selling vintage collage paper packs for others to join in the crafting fun. She is inspired and energized by teaching, and finds that her past workshop participants continue to share their collages with her online. Some even come back for a second round of crafting!  
Throughout our conversation, Laura openly speaks about how collage has been beneficial to her mental health. It is why she is happy to hold workshop sessions to spread the joy and calming effects of collage making. 

“Cutting out images and trying to fit them together is an extremely relaxing and mindful activity.”

I love that gooseglitters is a celebration of the old and existing. By consciously recycling secondhand books and vintage magazines, Laura creates unique art that breathes new life into what would normally be tossed aside or thrown out. Each found and repurposed vintage element comes together in a moment of creative serendipity. 

Visited April 2022, published June 2022.