issue 9-1
spring/summer 2008


At Haigaonline we try to publish a wide range of approaches to modern haiga, including scanned originals. But we are an Internet journal and thus it's inevitable that photo and digital haiga dominate. A while ago, a colleague at my haiku club said she'd been thinking of submitting something to Haigaonline but her haiga were art-based—she wasn't a photographer—and she didn't think we'd be interested. I was astonished and realized that, given the predominance of photography in modern haiga, it might be necessary to be more proactive in seeking out and encouraging art-based work.

I first came to haiku and haiga through the Internet. I bought a package of photo editing software, joined WHChaikumultimedia, and since then most of my haiga have been photo-based. By and by, even though I'm an art teacher, the prospect of venturing into "real art" for my haiga seemed daunting. I think it may be for many people, so we'll begin this workshop series by showing offering you two collections that employ collage for the image.

Collage takes very well to haiga, because it's an "anything goes" medium. Use handmade art papers, fabrics, ribbons, magazine illustrations, shells, feathers beads, found objects. . . If you stay loose and leave yourself open to the materials, the poem may suggest itself, and it you may well wind up with one that might not have come into being. Our first featured collection, by the ever-creative Alexis Rotella, are wonderful examples that may inspire you.

Our second collection also includes collage, plus stamping, quilting and origami. They're artist trading cards from an exchange this spring among members of WHChaikumultimedia. More than that I won't say—click on the link, learn what they are and gather your haiku friends to try them yourself. Please be warned, though—they're addicting!

Collage haiga by Alexis Rotella
ATCs: an exchange of artist's trading cards by members of WHChaikumultimedia.