Who is Molly Scannell and what does she do?
Molly is an artist who lives outside of Boston MA. She's a Creative Director by day - but moonlights as a collage artist. A true passion.
When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?
I grew up in a tiny artistic bohemian place, Lanesville. Aside of picking blueberries from the local artists and sitting for portrait classes, my mother was an incredible draftswoman. Her father, an architect, helped bring the concrete movement to Boston with structures such as the Boston Public Library and the T system. My grandmother was a design lover and would tinker with block prints, pushing shapes and color. I spent a good deal of my childhood with her learning all things crafty.
In high school I started playing with giant pieces of color block paper cutouts to make portraits. When reaching college, majoring in Illustration, I started to really become enamored with Polly Becker and Marty Blake. I started using found objects as a means to tell a story. What I loved about the assemblage/collage style was the material content : dolls, wood, fabric, illustrative text added in and anything else that tickled my fancy. Also, that it was more abstract and not as literal of a translation. I must have spent all of my extra cash earned from my college job at the campus copy machine. I would copy an image, than copy that image and so on until it was so gritty and interesting. I experimented with printing on color papers and different weights and proceeded to cut them up.
Upon graduating college, I needed a job. I took the to digital agency world and haven't stopped since. Im happy to be able to do my collage work as a supplement and hope that one day its all I think about creatively.
Who and/or what inspires you and your work?
Everything inspires me to do my work. Outside, people, colors and out importantly magazines! I love magazines. Ever since I got addicted to Raygun it was over. It feels good to make things with your hands. I do a lot of digital work as well, but there is something about manipulating an image with your bare hands that has enormous pay off. Often times ill will collage with my children as an activity together. We collage on paper or boxes. Using whatever we want- paint cut up images and 3-d objects found out and about. I love to hear the stories my children come up with as to what it is that they are making. Its an incredible thing to have them on your journey with you. Inhibition. It’s good to be reminded of that as much as possible. There is no wrong way. (according to them.)
What's your creative space like?
Currently?! You don't want to know. It consists of my dining room table or the kitchen counter where endless boxes and pieces of paper are stored or laying about. I have a few book shelves dedicated to magazines I love and/or cut as well as my sketchbooks.
How would you describe your creative style or theme?
My 92 year old grandmothers description may capture it for some, ‘this is really weird stuff.’ She’s the best. Unfiltered and raw. I like to think of my work as everyday people caught in moments of time. Time meaning, places and thoughts pertaining to specific things. You be the judge. ;)
What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?
When sourcing imagery, it just has to stop me in my tracks. Usually that is built into good shape, social qualities and colors or the absence there of. Also, places & people of course!
Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?
When I cant solve/design something in under an hour and feel good about it, its time to move on or start something new. I should feel good about the things I'm working on, thats ultimately why I do this. It makes me feel fulfilled and happy in every way. Also, ‘mistakes’ are your friends.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
My usual answer to this question is everyone. I really really love learning from other people. I like that we all see things differently and bring new perspectives to the same situation. Though, secretly I really want to do big fashion brand stuff. I would love to do storefronts with projection mapping and real time interactions with my collages. Last year some of my work was used for a french film festival and projection mapped on the sides of buildings. Thats awesome, but whats the NEXT level!
Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?
Life! I work in the agency world and have 3 young daughters (9, 7 & 3.5). I also spend a decent amount of time rowing on the Charles river in Boston. It’s important (to me) to enjoy as much as you can in every corner of life.
Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?
Currently, I am showing at a gallery in Osaka Japan. Recently my work was published in the amazing Jungle Magazine. Go check them out!
Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?
DO IT! There are no rules. Make everyday, even if just spending 5 minutes on it. Be inspired & inspire others!