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.