19th December, 2020

by Caitlin Troutman

“Homebody” is a diaristic collage made from magazines and local newspapers, as well as personal artifacts, including a prescription label and my medical discharge papers. Phrases are lifted or reworked from what I wrote in my personal notebook earlier this summer. The work is a meditation on the contemplative and manic phases I’ve survived since March.

Collage can marry the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, and current events. It can mix past and present. I have used images of people in masks and images from before that was the norm. While all works of collage juxtapose different forms, images and textures, this piece also contrasts the recent past and the concept of “normal” with the normal of today. 

I have been collaging for years and find it especially rewarding when I'm experiencing writer's block. I like that it's creative work but there are still parameters in place since I need to work with the pictures available. I started working on this project as a sort of expanded journal entry in my spare time, a way to both process and document my pandemic experience. I sat on it for a few weeks because it's a scary thing to share, but I truly am proud of the work, and I hope it resonates with someone.


Caitlin Troutman is a writer and multimedia journalist. She is on Twitter and writes a newsletter about books and music, and she is a dog and cat person.