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.