Susan Lerner

Who is Susan Lerner and what does she do?

I am a certified flavor chemist turned analog collage artist. My newfound love for this medium has become my passion. The process of cutting and then layering pieces into exaggerated forms is simultaneously meditative and stimulating.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

I have always been interested in photography but I wanted to try collage. I was put on a waitlist at the 92 Street Y in NYC for 2 years and in 2015, finally joined a mixed media collage class. I was hooked.   

 

Who and or what inspire you and your work?

The photographic collages of David Hockney have always inspired me. These collages are very complicated, yet he makes them look so simple. Hannah Hoch was a photomontage genius. In terms of contemporary collage artists, I adore Eugenia Loli and Ben Giles. They are the real deal.

 

What’s your creative space like?

Since I live in NYC, space is at a premium. I work on my dining room table! I have to clean it off whenever we eat dinner - a good excuse to eat in front of the TV.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I call my work “Modern Nostalgia” and I construct unexpected, yet whimsical compositions into complex visual stories, exploring relationships in the world. The work embodies the attitude that anything is possible.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

What makes my work unique is that I use my own photographs and collage them with vintage images to create surreal visual landscapes. I concentrate on color and texture, as well subject matter. In addition, I rely on original vintage images from books and magazines. The texture of the paper and color of the ink of the 1950’s and 60’s is so vibrant that I only use originals. I don’t use any scans or photocopies or Photoshop. I love how the glossy modern photos look juxtaposed with matte vintage images.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I am motivated by the pursuit of the hunt for the image both in print and through the viewfinder. I love to scour tag sales and flea markets for material. This era holds memories of my youth and dreams of exploring far walks of life. Through my travels, I am always on the lookout for interesting things to photograph and use in my collages.

I find the process of hand cutting meditative. I use Fiskars scissors, which are on a spring. As a lefty, I find them comfortable to use for hours on end.

I work on 12-15 images at a time. I lay them out and go from piece to piece trying new combinations. This way, I stay interested and don’t get bored. I never rush a piece or force it. The process is the best part.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

David Hockney, for sure.  But in the mean time, I have two groups I’m involved with. The first is my collage class at the 92 Street Y. The recurring artists and instructors in the class are talented, encouraging and nonjudgmental! I am also lucky to be one of the members of the international Instagram group @thecollageclub. We use the same book, one page a week. The members are so inspirational, creative and supportive. We hope to meet up in Norway next summer!

 

Aside from creating your artwork, what else keeps you busy?

I am a docent at the Museum of Food and Drink in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In addition, I am an assistant chef at a children’s cooking school. My family and dog keep me on my toes. Living in NYC, there are always opportunities to be culturally stimulated.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

My first solo show is coming up in October at a beautifully refurbished garage turned art space in Washington, CT. In February, I’ll have my first solo show in NYC at one of the branches of the New York Public Library. I also have a food collage calendar being printed as we speak!

As far as the actual work, I have so many ideas, my head is going to explode. I’m obsessed with maps, so you will find me using them in a new series. I’ve also started to use a sewing machine to sew on paper. As a Flavor Chemist, my long-term goal is to incorporate the senses of taste or smell into my collages, perhaps as an art installation.   

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

On a whim, I submitted a photo to a juried contest and won a grand prize. This gave me the confidence to put my work out there. So, my advice is to take a chance and just go for it. Think outside the box. Flip everything upside down. But most importantly, enjoy the process.

mixdmediamashup.com

www.instagram.com/mixdmediamashup

Pauline Galiana

Who is Pauline Galiana and what does she do?

French born living in the US, I have been exposed to dual cultural contexts since early childhood: French, North African, Swiss, and American. The collage form came naturally to me, as a way to bring together differences. I also explore other media, pastel and gouache drawing, oil painting and photography.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

When I first lived on my own while in art school, I started assembling and playing around with fruit stickers that I had been collecting. I did not even realize at the time that my kitchen walls had become an active art installation. I continued working with this medium but have since transferred it to translucent surfaces.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Everything around me can serve as inspiration as I respond strongly to visual stimuli. Concretely speaking, Paul Klee and Bram Van Velde are two of the artists who have influenced me the most. 

 

What's your creative space like?

I like to maintain a space in which I can switch my focus and never feel locked down on a project. I work in a space with long narrow tables and keep several pieces ready to be worked on at anytime.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

Although polymorph, my work generally sources itself in the broad theme of deconstruction versus reconstruction, mixing instinctive states of mind with free hand and formal associations, using obsessive and meditative processes tuned to rigorous grids. 

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

In and off the grid. Rhythm.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I work in bursts of energy. I always have different pieces in progress. I like to give a piece time to settle in the middle of the creative process, allowing me to move on to another work until I’m ready to go back to the previous piece. This allows me to keep a sharp, creative, and open energy and develop several different work series at a time.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I definitely wouldn't say no to the help of a team of assistants to cut and curl my million paper loops! Otherwise I'd love to collaborate with a sculptor for an installation piece.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Work for a living. I'm a designer and a space organizer.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I'm preparing a new series of "Shredded" collages for a show at the Durham Art Council in NC coming up at the end of 2017. I'm also exploring a 3D collage series.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

Collect, collect and keep your collected material organized to make it easier to use when you are ready to create.

Look at collage in art history. 

 

www.paulinegaliana.com

Dreamoskopia

What is Dreamoskopia and what does it do?

Dreamoskopia is a photographic camera whose lens is sensitive to dreams. The photos produced by this camera are the graphic representation of our unconsciousness, our dreams, desires, feelings and even fears.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage art?

Since I was a little boy I have experienced with art a lot, especially with plastic representations. My first collage, I do not exactly remember, but I surely was about 4-5 years old, then it was when I began to be interested in art as a way to express myself.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

All my personal life inspires me, the events that happen to me every day, my problems, my sorrows and my joys. I work when I need to vent and express what I feel. Music and smells inspire me a lot too.

 

What's your creative space like?

I do not have a definite place to work but I like to be alone and in a quiet place; I like the walls to be white and quiet music normally. The presence of plants also helps me a lot for the workflow.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I consider that I have an onoric style, subtle, poetic and romantic. In my most erotic side, I try to make pornography without being vulgar. I like that it can provoke excitement in people but, at the same time, it is not essentially masturbation material.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

To me, the most important thing is to start creating at a point that I really want. The most important thing to me is to let things flow and work when I need it, and that nothing interrupts my workflow.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I do not have a definite process, each work is a new experience, but finding good material before you start creating is basic.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Wes Anderson and Tim Burton.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

I am a photographer and a graphic designer, I write a blog about nutrition and vegan recipes called La Pasta no Engorda. Also I like to read, enjoy people I love and live the present.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I'm working on several non-normative style pornographic projects.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

I would tell them that, if they make collages, make them as they like to, based on their own volition and everything else will come.

 

www.dreamoskopia.com

Scrappyboy

Who is Scrappyboy and what does he do?

I am an artist living at the Jersey Shore with my husband of 25 years who is also an artist. When not "scrapping" I work in a hotel here at the shore.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

I first started playing with collage around 1975.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

My work is inspired by anything and everything. Whatever catches my eye that I can instantly see as either a background or a foreground element. 

 

What's your creative space like?

My creative space is a room with all four walls collaged from floor to ceiling that I collage over and over again with images that appeal to me.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I don't necessarily have a style or theme. As I stated above, it's whatever catches my eye that I can see a use for in a potential collage.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

My collages are made in minutes and are almost always spontaneous. I don't like to work on a piece over time as my thought process fizzles out. I like instant gratification.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I don't necessarily have a process. My work is always made off the cuff.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I would love to collaborate with my deceased artist friends who died way too soon.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Reading, writing in my journals that I've been keeping since 1980.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

Not at the moment but I'm always up for whatever should come my way.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

There are no rules in collage. If you like your end result than it's a success. Make art for yourself first.

 

www.scrappyboy.blogspot.com

Marusa Stibelj

Who is Maruša Štibelj and what does she do?

She is a passionate collage artist that loves to travel and has her head quite high in the clouds.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

The first beginnings were at the university during painting classes. Because I was usually forgetting my art supplies at home, I started to pick up all the things that my fellow students had thrown away in the studio. I was also a regular visitor of a big trash box in front of the University. Eventually, even on the days when I had my colors with me I chose not to use it. I had so much more fun putting all the found papers and objects together into a new form – into a Bricollage.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Traveling usually does it for me. Seeing new horizons and meeting new people speeds up imagination. 

 

What's your creative space like?

It’s a mess. Usually there is no free space on the floor as it’s full of old napkins, cut outs from old magazines and newspaper. But somehow I like it that way – messy studio but clear mind ☺.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

If you look at my work you will see that I do 2 types of collages. One is a “simple” cut and paste but the other one is my own technique that involves layers of old napkins and colored paper. With this technique I try to convince the audience that they are looking at a painted painting and not a collage.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

Usually the main thing is the story behind the collage and the question that the story provokes. I think questioning the world around us is very important as it leads to changes.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

Layers of old napkins and colored papers which I combine with cut outs from old magazines and newspaper. 

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I would love to work with an animation filmmaker and put my collages into moving pictures.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Making plans with my friends which usually involves nature, movies, deep conversations, silly jokes, coffee, traveling, karaoke singing and all that jazz.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

Right now I am actually trying to incorporate Impressionism in my collages. I would love to do interpretation of Impressionism with modern collage. We will see how it goes ☺.

As far as recent projects, I would point out a collage picture book for grownups called, 'Alice in Wonderself', which I wrote and illustrated during my artist residency in Germany. It’s a story about grown-up Alice who gets a little bit lost in life so she needs to go really deep in her mind – and then the magic happens.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

I think the most important thing with collage is experimenting even when you think you have enough. With every mistake you learn which ones to keep.

 

www.instagram.com/marusastibelj_collage

Kate Neilsen

Who is Kate Neilsen and what does she do?

Architectural graduate, collage artist and observer. I do lots of things, mostly revolving around architecture, research, collage and travel.  

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

During my final year of studying architecture in 2015. It was introduced to me as a method to portray design concepts, and seemed to come naturally to me. I have been working with it ever since.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Radical architectural think tanks from the 1960/70s such as Archigram and SuperStudio, as well as Rem Koolhaas’ early work. Not just their incredible collages and illustrations, but also their observations and propositions regarding the built environment. 

 

What's your creative space like?

I am not fixed to one space, as I tend to travel quite frequently due to work/study opportunities. It could be on a rooftop in Hanoi, in the jungle in Borneo or in a cafe in Canberra. As long as i have my laptop with me, I can create. It is one of the reasons why I prefer digital collage to the traditional method.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

The interdependence between people and the environment is a recurring theme in my work, as well as issues relating to modern society, urbanism and/or the environment.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

The concept first and foremost - what am I trying to portray? Do the colours/textures/overlays match the theme of a piece?

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

Usually, I will already have a scene in mind that I want to create. I start with the background, then basically play around with each element on photoshop one layer at a time, adjusting scale etc until the piece looks right.. Whilst, going back and forth a few times with the colours and style of the collage.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Peter Cook or Rem Koolhaas. 

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Architecture, yoga, friends and constructing drinks.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

Yes, I have started an avant-garde practice with a fellow graduate architect named AD HOC Studio. We are exploring visual design, collage, creative writing, installation and architecture as overlapping forms. We have some exciting projects in the works for 2017 including a zine, exhibitions and a pop-up architectural installation.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

Just start (usually with a strong concept), and keep playing with it. You can only get better.

 

www.cargocollective.com/kateneilsencollage

www.instagram.com/kateneilsen



Gloria Sánchez

Who is Gloria Sánchez and what does she do?

Gloria Sánchez is a Spanish illustrator and designer living and working in Czech Republic. Vintage lover, adventurous, vegan, creative and sensitive person who wants to provide you with new visual experiences and sensations and communicate with you through the stories of her collages.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

Since I was very small I loved to cut and paste pieces from all kind of magazines and newspapers. Around 2 years ago was the moment that I decided that this is the direction that I want to go, thanks to a collaborative project "Los Días Contados", where a group of collage artist create a collage a day from the same image. 

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Inspiration is everywhere, but mostly I find my inspiration in the greatness of the Universe, Nature, metaphysics, spirituality, esoterism, science fiction or mythology. 

Some artists that inspire me are Joseph Cornell, Randy Mora or Eugenia Loli. 

 

What's your creative space like?

I work at home. My work space consist in two big tables in L shape, a laptop, big screen, a wacom tablet, a bunch of notebooks, pens, post-it notes, a cactus plant, an A3 printer and an inspiration wall with quotes, images and goals. Minimalist and comfortable. 

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

A mix of surreal, whimsical and kitsch. 

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

A great composition and the color scheme is the key. Also, I consider important to make the collage aesthetically pretty. 

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I scroll down on my digital collection of images, I choose one and I start to play around it. I never know how it's going to finish. It's more like improvisation. Sometimes I have in my mind a very clear image of what I want to create and then I search for the correct pieces to put them together. 

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Hmm... Good question... I would love to collaborate with Versace, the luxury fashion company, to create an exclusive collection of clothes and accessories with my collages on the fabric. 

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Life keeps me busy. Expanding knowledge, traveling, spending time with my husband, family and friends,  books, podcasts, watching good movies or working out in the gym, my other passion, fitness. 

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I have a solo exhibition coming up in May in my hometown in Spain. I'm making a tarot deck and you can see the time lapse videos of all the process in my Youtube channel. As well as I'm working in other projects that I hope to see the light very soon! Also, I would love to collaborate more with other artist to create awesome works, don't hesitate to contact me if you are interested! :) 

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

My advise is to start doing and enjoy the trip! Do what makes you happy. Doesn't matter if it is analog or digital work. Collect a bunch of images and play with them. Work hard daily and be consistent! 

 

www.gloriasanchezartist.com

Abigail Smith

Who is Abigail Smith and what does she do?

Abigail Smith is a worker, renting an urban apartment who enjoys cutting out, rearranging, and glueing down parts of magazines or newspapers, like creating your own tabs and blanks for a jigsaw puzzle only you can put together.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

In 2015 I was asked to fill in facilitating an art group at my job and everyone in the group voted to collage. So I made one collage and that was it, it was like our eyes locked across a crowded room and now I always think about her.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Advertising executives, paper types.

 

What's your creative space like?

I have everything on and under a wooden table fitted into a corner nook. I have a desk light from a retired dentist’s office. Its compact. Things on and around the desk are always moving about in very personal ways, what I think people like to call, “organized chaos.” I’m also lucky enough that I’m often on the road and traveling so I have a tall, narrow, reusable grocery bag that carries everything I need, magazines, exacto, 18" cutting mat, and I can make my creative space in the passenger seat, or at the motel, or a friend’s house. Anywhere that is not windy.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I just wouldn’t.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

I think about colors, definitely and I look for what is, to me at the time, the most interesting part of the image, maybe something that, because it's an ad in a magazine or newspaper you aren’t really expected to notice, that you would never notice if you weren’t looking closely on purpose. Like, a potted bush on the patio in the background. But mostly I’m just drawn to some things in particular and I don’t question it too much.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I’m into the scissors, looking and cutting out those particular images that I notice, that sort of notice me, and handling the paper. So then I have bits and pieces surfing around and I see how they fit together or not. And last I glue everything down. Usually, or else it’s different.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I’d like to collaborate with more hobbyist magazines. And free papers in other cities.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Just everything all the time.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

In 2016, Mirro Editions published a book of my work called “21 Collage.” A series of my holiday collages was also published by Mirrro Editions as a set of gift cards this past December. A duet publication with photographer Justin Rhody is planned for this spring.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

I would say just stop looking and start doing it.  Scissors, glue, paper.  Some people don’t even use scissors.  Start there.

 

www.instagram.com/abigailsmithcollage

Harriet Moutsopoulos

Who is Harriet Moutsopoulos and what does she do?

I am a freelancer and passionate digital collage enthusiast based in Sydney, Australia. 

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

Around 16 months ago.

Since jumping head first into the world of digital collage I have found it one of the most satisfying, accessible and thrilling of art forms. I love its story telling ability and forgiving nature. You cannot help but let your imagination run riot. I love how each piece reveals its true self only at the very end of the process.

Ultimately, it is the way in which collage art seems to challenge traditional notions of aesthetics., which I find most appealing.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Inspiration is everywhere for me.  I love the works of collage artist Astrid Klein (I want to be her when I grow up). I am equally inspired by the unsettling perspective of high fashion photographer Miles Aldridge and by Maurizio Cattelan’s lack of inhibition. I love the brazen, I love the shock factor.

 

What's your creative space like?

Big long oak table stacked with books,  rotary dial telephone, music blaring in the background, post-it notes , chalk pens and iPad pro - these are the ‘tools of trade’ that form my work space. 

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

Surreal, imperfect and sometimes unexpected. I like the idea of colliding visual themes and I try to inject this into my work.. 

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

An original point of view is an important consideration for me and this is why I find myself drawn to the unconventional and off-beat. I try to stray from the norm and the more I learn and the more confident I become the easier it becomes.. 

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

The very first step for me is finding the ‘trigger’ for each work. This is usually a ‘single image’ that catches my eye, grabs me by the throat and triggers the start of each piece. This single image is ideally a little off-beat, confronting and unconventional. 

The challenge for me is going from that single image to the completed piece. I try not to over think each piece which is often a challenge in itself. 

I do not to use Photoshop or Illustrator - I find these interrupt my own natural creative process more than they enhance it. 

My chosen tools closely mimic traditional analogue, cut and paste techniques.  Backgrounds are removed using a simple eraser app. I then use another program to assemble the elements all on one canvas.  I organise and reorganise each element on the one page/canvas until it ‘feels’ right. This two step process keeps things fluid without interrupting the hand, eye (touchy feely) creative process. For me, it's like working with your hands in the traditional sense.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Definitely high-fashion photographer, Miles Aldridge (like that would ever happen). I just love how his messages and visual narrative are really unsettling and off kilter. I find his staged worlds,  and the empty, withdrawn looks of his subjects totally mesmerising .

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

I am usually totally immersed in 1 or 2 creative projects at any given time. Kids, partner and family make up the time that remains. 

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I am currently working on the brand identity of a quirky Australian retail group as well as developing graphics/ artwork for an Australian furniture retailer.  I am following my bliss, who knows where it may lead :)

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

If you love collage art, then immerse yourself completely. Learn everything and everything about it. Live and breath it. The result for me was tremendous momentum and clarity.  Be true to yourself and the rest will follow. No two artists are alike, there is no right way or wrong way and this is why collage as an art form is so thrilling.

www.lexiconlove.com

Yehoshua Viles

Who is Yehoshua Viles and what does he do?

Yehoshua Viles is an artist from Sydney, Australia. He makes all kinds of artworks, in many mediums.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

Yesterday. (13.01.17)

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

The dissonance of instruction and intervention.

 

What's your creative space like?

A 5 x 6 meter bedroom smack bang in the middle of residential canvas in Sydney's southern suburbs.


How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I'm told my collages are "novel".


What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

It's very subconscious. If you be too considerate, then the artwork will be too considerate - At least that's how it is with me.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I don't use scissors, scissors are too surgical. I get paint involved sometimes.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

Leonardo da Vinci, or Brett Whiteley.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

A steel factory.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I also paint and draw. But I can't afford 'projects'.

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

Try not to be linear. Don't just cut and paste. There is no "cut here" lines. No outlines or edges. Don't be afraid to damage your materials.

www.instagram.com/yehoshuaviles

Peter Horvath

 

Who is Peter Horvath and what does he do?

Multidisciplinary artist. Husband. Dad. Man with a mortgage.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

1995. I came across the work of Dadaists Hannah Höch & John Heartfield and my head almost
exploded.

 

What's your creative space like?

Cozy. Creative cave. Imagine a floor with magazines strewn everywhere, in piles, magazines open to certain pages. Organized chaos. White walls with 500+ vinyl record collection on one, artworks on the other. Drum kit in corner.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

Collage works exploring narrative, abstraction, and the hypnagogic, pushing the boundaries of convention, displacing the familiar and nostalgic with unique, surreal touches. That’s lifted from my website :)

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

Generally, sitting on the floor looking through material for either inspiration or specific references. Once I begin assemblage I lose myself in free associations. I tend to work late at night, often until 1 or 2am.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

John Coltrane.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Mostly making work, and family life, which is important to me. My daughter is my greatest achievement.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

Working on a video installation piece that is almost complete. It’ll be on my site 6168.org soon.

www.peterhorvathmontage.net



Linden Eller

Who is Linden Eller and what does she do?

I am a maker from the United States. I grew up in Arizona, studied in California, and have been moving around ever since - spending small seasons in Rhode Island and Maine, rural England, Europe, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, Samoa, and currently New Zealand. I really enjoy and support things from the old world - analog photography, writing letters, homesteading. I currently am spending my time exploring a lot of our planet, learning about other ways to live and think and be. I do a lot of WWOOFING (world wide opportunities on organic farms) on my way, and can’t recommend it enough. I like cats and picnics.  

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

I began playing around with collage in my first art class at university, 2-D design. I started out using the process of collage purely as an emotional exercise, and would build up layers beneath a oil-painted illustration on top. It’s only been in the last 3-4 years that I’ve given collage the dominant role, allowing me to focus on things like abstraction, subtlety, and composition.

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

So many things! I listen to music while working, mainly folk and ambient electronic, which greatly affect my mood and direction as I create. Colour is very important to me. I connect to subdued low contrast soft pallettes with the occasional bright. Whenever I go into a hardware store I always end up walking out with a handful of those free colour swatch cards. Other people’s work is always inspiring and I adore many photographers (Irene Kiel, Osamu Yokohama, Margaret Durow, Vivian Maier), painters (Andrew Wyeth, Rothko, Sarah Brooke, Joe Sorren) and illustrators (Kelsey Garrity-Riley, Keiko Brodeur, Stephanie K. Clark, Nastia Sleptsova). When I was at university, I used to hang a big piece of butcher paper in my studio with a list of all the things that interested me. I still sort of do that mentally, and currently some things on that list would be:  moons, plants, ghosts, and houses. In terms of materials, I get really excited about lost and found objects, and the fact that they are tied somewhere to someone else’s life: bus tickets, receipts, shopping lists, photographs. I’ve always loved exploring and going for walks, collecting little bits of treasure in my pockets, and I guess that enjoyment has carried over into what I make. I get a buzz out of the idea of creating work that has all these layers of memory from different people. I feel like I should also mention this podcast from Radiolab called “Memory and Forgetting” that has really affected my work - it’s brilliant. And lastly, my friends and their individual worlds have probably influenced me more than they realize. I’m grateful to know so many beautiful kindred humans.

 

What's your creative space like?

Since I’ve spent the better part of the last decade moving around the globe, my creative space usually consists of being tucked away in the corner of whatever room I’m currently occupying. I travel with a little art bag and when I’m ready to make something I just unload it all onto the floor (or if I’m lucky a table or desk). I have daydreams though about someday owning a real studio and filling it with plants and colour studies and objects I love. 

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I consider my work as field recordings from the mind. I’ve always been a melancholic person, which naturally parallels to being a nostalgic person. And so I suppose my themes are mainly centered around memory, its process, and the layers of small alterations which happen each time we recall something. Often I try to blend together personal elements with larger collective subjects, such as childhood, longing, home.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

I want my work to be pretty, quiet, and curious. Regardless of if I’m successful at communicating what I hope to in terms of theme, I try and create pieces that stand alone aesthetically. When moving pieces around, I’m looking for similarities between them, trying to figure out where to place each one that would create the best transition. Because I lean towards low contrast tones, I’m also wondering if a segment is too dark and if I need to lighten it using another layer. I guess when making any abstract work you are always considering many basic design principles as well, composition being a big one for me.  

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I suppose it all begins with sourcing materials. Sometimes my favourite part of the process is looking through books and magazines and cutting out bits I want to keep. It’s really powerful because you get to decide what is important and then try and show people why (like saying “psssst: look at THIS”). When making, I tend to start with a trigger, a scrap of something I’m really drawn to. I can get excited by a little corner of a photograph - an elbow, or a tree in the background - and that’s really all it takes to start the process. From there, I just play (probably like most collage artists). I sort of hunt through my big pile of materials searching for more pieces that would look or feel right next to the original scrap. Making my decisions based on colour, shape, and theme, I then shift everything around until I’m pleased. One of my signature features is using elements of tracing paper, and this is usually the final layer, as it adds softness and depth.  After using double sided tape or a glue stick to hold everything loosely in place, I finally sew it all down. This neutral repetitive stitching movement at the end always feels like a good calming exit out of the whole process.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

It would be a dream to collaborate with Michel Gondry - to somehow weave collage elements into film. The Science of Sleep and Eternal Sunshine influenced me a lot early on even though they are a completely different art form. 

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Traveling, volunteering on farms, figuring out my next place. I do a lot of writing, reading, and cooking / baking when I have access to a kitchen. Right now I’m working in the shearing gangs in woolsheds around Central Otago on the South Island of NZ. I’ve always had an interest in sheep and it’s been amazing to see what goes on behind the scenes in the wool industry. It’s incredibly hard work - said to be one of the toughest jobs in the world - but I absolutely love it. I’m always trying to surround myself with communities that aren’t connected to the art world. I think it’s really important for a balance in character.

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I just recently completed a 2 month residency at the Tiapapata Art Centre in Samoa. During my time there, I produced enough work for a solo exhibition in their gallery, titled Sleep/Swim. The pieces explored island nostalgia - dreamings and recollections involving an oceanic environment.  I’m currently working on an ongoing project of archiving my writings and photographs, which I hope to one day publish into book form. You can discover more here: www.lindowly.com

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

Find things that excite you.  Collage art is all about your materials, so that’s the best place to start. I still remember the advice Guy Kinnear (my wonderful drawing and painting teacher at university) told me ten years ago, which is to “just make work.” The good stuff you can exhibit and the shit stuff you can write off as studies or sketches, but at least you’re not shaking in the studio scared to make anything because it might not turn out perfect. I think that fear is what holds a lot of people back from starting to make things.

www.lindeneller.com

Benjamin Reaves

 

Who is Benjamin Reaves and what does he do?

I am a multimedia appropriation artist who's interested in consciousness, philosophy, our war on the human spirit, and how modern media, finance, and institutions influence thought in America.  

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

My first digital collage was created over ten years ago. I was drawn to collage as an art form as I became more interested in the use of symbols and the juxtaposition of meanings inherent in collage. Using these two elements, I am able to create new messages and sometimes undermine the meanings of these objects in our lives. I find it to be a powerful and almost unlimited tool in the modern era.  

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

Music is a huge inspiration to me . I am constantly inspired by a wide range of music from all different walks of life. Perhaps the music closest to my heart is the work of Nine Inch Nails, and Tool is a close second, followed by just a few of many: The Doors, Radiohead, Outkast, The Birthday Party, Tom Waits, Flying Lotus, Gaslamp Killer, Bonnie Prince Billy and A Perfect Circle. I am also inspired by many philosophers, among them: Aldous Huxley, Slavoj Zizek, Karl Marx, Carl Jung, and Noam Chomsky, because of their immense insights into consciousness and how ideology shapes our perception of the world, and their beliefs that it could be different. Artists that inspire me are numerous, but just to name a few: Joel Peter Witkin, Alex Grey, Banksy, Shepherd Ferry, David Wajnarowicz, John Heartfield and Diego Rivera. Like the philosophers above, their work revolves around challenging the standards of society and consciousness, offering a new vision. Film is also a huge inspiration to me but with lists like these I could go on and on, so I digress. I am drawn to work that is cutting, dark and beautiful, often blurring the line, and resides on the fringes of the mainstream consciousness. I like work that makes me feel, that's often raw and is either searching for truth or offers some personal truth; it's what makes me feel the most alive. 

 

What's your creative space like?

Mostly, I sit in front of my handmade computer with a 50 inch monitor. It not only allows me access to my digital creative space, but to music and the ideas of the world at large. Physically, I surround myself with the things that inspire me. These include media and cultural icons from my childhood to the present day, books, prints, magazines. My creative space looks a lot like a collage: a mashing of ideas through images. 

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

My creative style explores deeply the idea of beauty in darkness. My theme is consciousness and perception, and perhaps the outside forces that act upon them.

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces? 

Normally when I go to create, I have some sort of vision, either inspired by the thoughts of others that support or shape my view of consciousness, or some personal impulse or idea that I desire to express. I look to create some kind of visual harmony, in order to reflect the underlying metaphysical significance of these ideas and their effect on consciousness. I do not shy away from any subject, or symbol.  I feel most alive when my work blatantly and honestly expresses my intent to the viewer. My work often pushes the viewer to rethink or reflect on the more serious side of consciousness and of life. I find these ideas not only the most important but the most exciting. While some may see only darkness, I can only see the beauty. 

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I normally ruminate over an idea for a day, week, or sometimes a year, before climbing into some music and getting in my creative headspace. I then take to the computer and begin my process of fleshing out the idea. I habitually work in the late hours of the evening into the early morning, often for a few days, to finish a work. I am extremely driven to see a work finished and once I've started I can't stop.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

I would collaborate with Trent Reznor, through the body of Nine Inch Nails. 

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

My personal life inspires my artwork, and is spent consuming thoughts and ideas I would like to explore. I am always trying to know, see and hear more. I am working on trying to climb out of my work area and trying to become a part of the art community. 

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I have recently taken an interest in zines and the DIY movement. The focus of my zine is different ideologies' role in an American home. The book consists of the interior of a house displaying these very ideologies at work in our lives, while we see them manifest in society outside the doors and windows.  The DIY movement lends itself perfectly to such a project, where I am attacking things like religion, government, and the traditional family. Where other mediums might find it hard to be able to express these ideas, the Zine community is one willing not only to receive, but to embrace them.  

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

It's nice to know the history of collage and the roles of symbols throughout human and art history. But really there are no rules for anything in this life. If you're interested in creating just start doing it. With each image you create - look at it, cut, and paste and you will learn and grow. And I suggest you keep growing.

www.benjaminreaves.com

Molly Scannell

 

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!

www.a-collage.com



Stephen Tierney

 

Who is Stephen Tierney and what does he do?

Stephen Tierney is an Australian mixed media artist and graphic designer. He creates small floating worlds using found objects and images cut from old magazines. He also likes to talk about himself in the third person.

 

When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

I started playing around with what you’d call mixed media and versions of collage when I was in design school, around 1995. I was really into magazine design and I actually used to re-create page layouts by cutting and pasting images and text from other magazines into my own sketchbooks and zines. For a while I played around with a few different styles of mixed media that included a combination of collage, painting and silkscreen. I didn’t get into it seriously until about 2010. That was when I made a conscious decision to develop a style for myself and just work in the medium of collage. 

 

Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

I’m more inspired by music and writers than visual artists for sure. Usually whatever I’m listening to at the time is what is inspiring me. Certain musicians and bands have remained influential and inspiring over the years though. People like Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Bowie, Thom York, Michael Stipe, Bjork and The Stone Roses. I guess I have some favourite graphic artists who are inspiring, like David Carson, John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. And of course there are contemporaries I’m following online who would inspire me indirectly and directly. But it’s mostly music and my own life experiences that influence and inspire my work day to day.

 

What's your creative space like?

I keep it fairly simple because I move around a lot. I don’t have a huge collection of books and magazines. I carry some of my favourite things with me and set up a new space wherever I’m living or visiting. It’s fun to shop around in a new city and find something to use from that place. In some ways the thought of having a studio space with hundreds of magazines and all kinds of crap actually scares me more than excites me. I like to be able to pick up and move on easily.

 

How would you describe your creative style or theme?

My style is very design driven and structured, while the themes remain more abstract and loose. I like to think of my artworks as floating worlds. When I look at them, they are three dimensional. The collage is kind of floating in space and the background is like the landscape or skyline where things are happening. 

 

What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

Often there’s something that I want to say or a personal experience that comes through. I definitely have words or phrases in my head while I’m creating art pieces and feel a bit like I’m writing a poem or lyrics to a song using pictures. The final image always comes together by moving things around until it looks right. But I generally have a basic idea in mind when I start each piece.

 

Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?

I tend to work fairly quickly. Most pieces don’t take more than a couple of days to be glued down. I generally have a background prepared, like an old book cover or just a torn piece of paper. Then begin with one or two key images that I want to include in the collage and go from there. While I’m working I often discover a new idea that doesn’t really fit with the piece I’m creating and I’ll have to start a second or third artwork at the same time. I almost always end up making a short series of pieces that include similar objects or content. I rarely make a one-off collage that stands on it’s own unless it’s a commissioned piece.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

If I could choose anyone, it would be Nick Cave. I’d pretty much just like to sit in a room and watch how he works. The guy is brilliant. I guess if we could collaborate on some kind of visual or graphic video that complemented his music and lyrics I’d be very happy.

 

Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?

Like many collage artists I’m actually a full-time graphic designer. I run my own design consultancy with clients all over the world. That actually keeps me very busy, and is also why I’m able to move to different countries so easily. I’ve learned to make time to work on my collage though. This year in particular I’m really concentrating on my art and investing a lot of time and energy into its development. Other than that I still skateboard pretty regularly. Recently I’ve been trying to learn to surf. 

 

Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

I have a large solo exhibition coming up in November of this year in my hometown of Sydney Australia. That will be a big project for me, and hopefully a big step forward in my artistic development. I also have some really fun projects coming out very soon. I created a series of skateboards for a company called Cliché that will be released in June or July. I also recently collaborated on an animated collage music clip for a close friend of mine’s band, FETES. I’m excited to see the final edit of that. 

 

Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?

Generally I think the most important thing is having a good eye for composition. It’s also important not to limit yourself to what you think collage is. Use anything and everything around you. There are no rules in art making really. So in a way the best advice is don’t take advice. Just do what you enjoy.

www.stevetierneycollage.com



Alison Kurke

 

Who is Alison Kurke and what does she do?

I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, looking at things, reveling in art, craft, architecture, design and political humor. I retired early from the corporate world, and now spend a lot of time cutting things out and rediscovering my collection of paper and ephemera, trying to reconcile my introvert-extrovert nature. My formal training and background is in the history of art (specifically Italian Renaissance painting) which was far too stodgy for me and too interested in the history when I really loved the slides. If I didn’t swear so much, and if I had a diplomatic bone in my body (I don’t), I’d probably be driven to going into politics as a way of channeling my frustrations with the world.


When did you first start playing around with collage as an art form?

I have always loved paper. I started printmaking about fifteen years ago, and that led to classes in bookmaking. Monoprint led to the incorporation of chine colle and then to photocopy lithography. Eventually all of it seemed to run together. I guess pure-sticking-of-things-to-each-other began about ten years ago.


Who and/or what inspires you and your work?

I like looking at everything. I am nostalgic by nature and especially appreciate vintage engravings and bold and striking design of all periods. I have no guilt about cutting up old, damaged books. When I was growing up we’d often go “antiquing” with my mother and when I worked at a major auction house (in “collectibles”, not the big $ stuff) my appreciation for ephemera grew. There is a quality an innocence, purity, and calm to many vintage images that I like. There is inspiration in everything, but I think each person’s nature comes out in his or her approach to collage. I find many contemporary collagists inspiring, and a few very perplexing, but I enjoy looking at all of it anyway.


What's your creative space like?

It is an enormous room and my work-surface is a flat file on wheels. A wardrobe at the other end of the room is filled with bits of books, commercial papers, things that tickle me, old photographs, jewelry making bits, knitting wool, gewgaws and gimcracks. In one corner is a small etching press. Below that is a huge box full of monoprinted tissue paper. Cutting mats are scattered around, as are half-finished compositions waiting for attention. Basically my studio looks like a bomb has gone off in it most of the time. My cat sleeps on a giant pillow nearby, music or the radio is always on (I abhor silence), and the cork board above my table is full of photographs, postcards I love, and bits and pieces that I lose track of on a regular basis. In winter it is very cold in there, in summer it is an oven and dark - not conducive to working in, but it has a great view. Tidying it is a chore I prefer to avoid until it can no longer be denied. Strangely, I consider myself to be a relatively compulsive and organized person.


How would you describe your creative style or theme?

I guess I’d consider myself a maker and appreciator of more traditional images: background, middle-ground, foreground, narrative, figural. Not minimalist. Not random. Not suggestive. Not titillating. Not National Geographic.


What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?

I’d hope to create an image that I like and that rewards more than just a cursory glance. Richness and layers are important for me. Good craft is important to me. Simplicity is not my way. Balance, dynamism, harmony - those are good design concepts I hope I have internalized and that inform my work when it succeeds. Humor too. There are plenty of collagists that can get away with few elements, but I am not really one of them. Someone once commented on several of my collages alluding to them being in “my style”. I was quite pleased that I seemed, at least to someone, to have a recognizable style without resorting to a Miss Mazeppa-like “gimmick”.


Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work? 

I think making anything is such a personal process rather than a secretive one. Deciding when something is done or deciding on the right place to put something, are decisions made in the blink of an eye. I stand at my desk for hours and lose track of time. Participating in the Los Dias Contados project this year and is a great exercise in making something every day, and something as simple as I can get away with. I also like to spend a few days making a stack of backgrounds to be used later on, generally in black and white. Basically, it’s snippet, line, color, expression or shadow that sparks a thought. Juxtaposing elements until I like it. I think most collagists work this way, but luckily all of us have different tastes, stashes, and sensibilities, so the results are always different.


If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? 

I have only done one collage collaboration so far, this past winter (with Sabine Remy), but would LOVE to do more. It was very energizing. I have a stack of starters ready for anyone interested in them. Ready! Willing!

:-)


Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy? 

Life keeps me busy, living in a second language keeps me busy too. Trying to keep active is also a daily concern. In the summers for the past few years I have facilitated a painting school that comes to my adopted town - acting as local liaison, troubleshooting, organizing and putting out fires. That keeps me very busy in the hottest months of the year. I like to travel and would love to do that more - just walking and looking is very inspiring. Locally, I collaborate with a few friends to bring cultural and artistic tourism to our town and to open the minds of the locals to the wider world. Worrying keeps me busy, as does keeping up with the wider world.


Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?

More collaborations would be fun to do. I am trying to put myself out there a bit more and execute themed collages for publications and exhibitions, but deadlines are not my strong suit. Next year I really would like to organize a meet-up for cutting, pasting, wine-drinking and idea exchange here in my little town. A comfortable, inclusive, non-critical forum to exchange ideas and get to meet people in person we all know mainly online. I can’t imagine anything more engaging. Not taking ourselves too seriously (PLAY!), but a lot of fun and very international, productive, and collaborative. It is tentatively called “Collage Convivium Civita Castellana”.


Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art? 

I don’t think there is a more accessible medium for anyone who wants to be creative than collage. I think everyone should do it, and everyone can do it. The calendar project of Los Dias Contados is a fun way to do a bit every day, so that would be a great start for anyone new to collage who enjoys a daily prompt and a ready-made community online. Endless looking is never a bad idea. Making something every day is also a good discipline.

www.tumblr.com/blog/alibooboo

www.flickr.com/photos/kurberry