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.