April 2008 Archives

Brandi Strickland - Notpaper

Brandi Strickland

I see the artwork of Brandi Strickland and think soft, delicate, intricate. In her collages, she creates warm feelings by combining seemingly disparate images in one piece—making the viewer piece together a story all their own. Subtle, and beautiful!

Name (Real or Screename): Brandi Strickland
URL (Blog, Website): www.brandistrickland.com
Location (Where are you from?): Charlotte, North Carolina

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: A source-channeling, stream-of-consciousness, intuitive, extrasensory, mixed-media, explosion!

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I plunder the book sections at thrift stores, live way too close to the neighborhood used book store, and hoard any magazine and paper discards that I can find. I shamelessly dissect children's books, especially old ones. Lately I’ve become fascinated with the seemingly infinite world of security envelopes. I also love to work from and with photographs, my own and other people's. Any vintage paper material has an undeniable essence, and lately I’ve been stuck on National Geographic magazines from the 60's and 70's.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started making collages in middle school. They were really cheesy but everyone has to start somewhere. Around age 13 I discovered decoupage glue and it was love, true love. I created multitudes of decoupaged paper mache hat boxes. That marked the beginning of my obsessive paper, magazine, and book collecting.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I also work part time in an office. when I finished school I spent my summer waiting tables at 'John's Country Kitchen'...so country that 'brains and eggs' are on the menu! I really liked my job at John’s… so many gracious, wonderful customers who I looked forward to seeing every day. The work was grueling though, and the hours were crazy...finally, one of my favorite customers (who owns a plumbing business) asked me to come work in his office. So, for the past several months I’ve been brushing up on my administrative professional skills, and learning lots about plumbing. Kind of strange, but I can't complain!

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: In May of 2007 I graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a B.A. in Art. It's a liberal arts school, so I also got quite an education on subjects across the board. I’ve been out of school almost exactly a year now, and, looking back, it was really a great, life-molding experience.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques. A: I use gel medium to create image transfers. This helps create the layered effect in my works on board. I like a nice hard surface for image transfer, but I think it might work on strong paper as well. There are really detailed explanations online, but in short:

Brush a thin, even layer of gel medium on a rigid surface. Press on any image/picture with ink or laser printing. I use magazine pages, old books, ink jet prints, and photocopies. Photocopies transfer especially well. Be sure to press the image on well, working out any bubbles. Give it awhile to dry a bit (I never wait as long as I should because I’m too impatient…) and then begin to carefully remove the paper from your rigid surface. I usually pull from the corners. The results are never entirely ‘perfect,’ but the imperfections lend a nice effect. I spend a lot of time removing the paper, it requires a bit of scrubbing to reveal the image that becomes transferred and trapped in the gel medium. It’s one of my favorite processes, but it is kind of messy and the results aren’t exactly predictable.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I made this piece probably 4 years ago. I’ve kept it with me through everything, I just can’t bring myself to sell it or give it away. It doesn’t even have a title, but it is dear to my heart.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Ray Johnson, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Alex Kanevsky, Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud, Robert Henri, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Robert Rauschenberg, Romare Bearden, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Jean Tinguely, and lots lots more.

Thanks Brandi!

Chen Y - Notpaper

Chen Y

I love Chen's use of body parts and graph paper. Her work is very original, with it's use of rich colours and dark inks. Check out her illustration as well!

Name (Real or Screename): Chen Y, Yao Chen
URL (Blog, Website): http://www.flickr.com/people/chenyaobb/
Location (Where are you from?): 广州 (Guangzhou, China)

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Works of my mind, works of people's minds.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Magazines.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: Three years. My tutor introduced this area of art works to me when I was studied in my MA course.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I'm an animator and illustrator.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: Yes, 4 years for fine art, 4 years for design, 1 year for illustration and animation.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques. A: Ink (pen) drawing; it's sharp and expresses my style in clear way. Computer edition, easy to try different effects and colour, and redo them easily. Paper cutting, it reminds me that there are bolder ways for creating that I didn't use.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created. A: It's hard to choose one. In my collage works, "noble" may be my favourite work. There are two interesting characters I created, and a simple but powerful space in the background. It's more dramatic to me, maybe I will use the similar idea on my animation work.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Dave Mckean, and Shaun Tan.

Thanks Chen!

internet-less. - Notpaper


I'll be moving tomorrow, and I won't have the internet for a few days. I hope to be back on Monday... See you then!

Next week will feature: Vivi-Mari, Chen Y, peregrinowillreign, and brandi strickland.

Gycouture - Notpaper


Gycouture says she hates feeling like she is doing the same collage over and over, but I think there is something to be said for style here. It's a good thing to have varied pieces, but I think she has a strong style here with her bold, chaotic collages that all have similar elements of shape and colour.

Name (Real or Screename): gycouture, Guylaine Couture
URL (Blog, Website): http://www.gycouture.blogspot.com/
Location (Where are you from?): Montreal, Canada

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Improvisation, flow, play, paper, typography, book, fast, composition.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Not so much vintage (old books sometimes) but everything you can put in your recycling bin: magazines, brochures, letters, photocopies, catalogue, etc.

One thing I do now is to change my "collage stuff" more often. Because if I don’t, I have the impression I'm always doing the same collage. This is one of the aspects in the 6x6 project that is really interesting: working with stuff from somebody else.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been doing collage for more than 20 years now. As a teenager, I started because it was a great way to create strong images. I find that drawing sometimes takes too long so collage was fast and very intuitive for me. I still do it for the same reason, but I put more painting and gestural in it now.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I’m a graphic designer and a teacher. It is very recent that I call myself an artist. But I've done art pieces since I was very young, so...

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I live in a environment where drawing is natural and very encouraged. My formal training is in graphic design, which I really love. I discovered typography and that change my life.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: This is a strange question because I have the impression that I try new things all the time. But I would say that usually I glue the big pieces, I add colour, collage again, add ink, add the words and after that I will find a way to bind everything.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: The next one, for sure.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: So many. All of the Dada period, the work of Candy Jernigan, Rauschenberg and Martin Venezky. But in the recent years, I have to admit that flickr is my main source of inspiration. So many talents. Really, for me, flickr is the largest art bookstore that exists.

Thanks Guylaine!

The Paper Apartment - Notpaper

The Paper Apartment

I very quickly fell in love with The Paper Apartment's simple and witty style. It reminds me of a project I'm working on, which uses images from a 1901 Eaton's catalogue. I wanted to use the images in some way, but it took me a while to figure out what for. When I saw Angela's work, I was thrilled by her intelligent use of vintage images that make up her personal style.

Name (Real or Screename): The Paper Apartment, Angela
URL (Blog, Website): thepaperapartment.blogspot.com
Location (Where are you from?): Boston, Massachusetts

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Ooh, that's a tough one.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: If I'm pulling actual images, I usually go for vintage early 20th century stuff from old books. I'm very lucky to have a great collection from my grandfather's library. Most of the time, though, I work from a huge variety of textured and/or patterned papers that I collect which I cut out to create images or flat shapes.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been using collage for about ten years now in a variety of ways. I started collaging with text as a way to add texture and a graphic element to paintings, but over time as I've found myself get more addicted to the process my work has become almost entirely collage with just some painting and drawing. Even when I use my own drawn figures or images I always cut them out and then collage them into the piece.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I hope to someday be able to work on my art and nothing else, but for the time being I also work a couple of days a week at a lovely little stationery store. Its actually a great balance because my part-time job is very art-related and definitely helps to inspire my own work and keep me in a creative state of mind. I don't think working in an office, for example, would give me the same benefits. Its also nice sometimes after a couple of frustrating days in my studio to get out of there and clear my head a little.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I studied Communication Design with a concentration in Illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I was the only paper artist in my class and I was lucky to have instructors that really pushed me to explore it.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: My favorite, favorite thing to do is to juxtapose my hand-drawn figures with flat objects that are cut out of paper. That look just really appeals to me. I also like parts of my pieces to pop out a bit from the page, because it adds just a hint of dimension and can also create subtle shadows depending on how you view the piece.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I think my favorite piece is a Red Riding Hood mixed-media illustration I did a few years ago while I was still in school. I used acrylic paint, colored pencil and a lot of different papers and the outcome was just so lush and dramatic, but not overdone. I think when you're using a variety of materials you have to be careful to strike the right balance. I feel like that piece really represents my aesthetic and technique perfectly.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I've always admired illustrators and my first love was definitely Maxfield Parrish. My grandfather had a very old, most likely first-edition of Eugene Field's "Poems of Childhood" which Parrish illustrated, and I was just obsessed with it as a little kid. I just think everything about his work was perfect and beautiful. A huge favorite from the present would have to be Camille Rose Garcia. Her paintings are so incredibly detailed and rich and also tell amazing stories. I love anything that is inspired by, or reminiscent of fairy tales and her work draws from those themes in a really dark and beautiful way. I think she strikes the perfect balance between beauty and content and has an aesthetic that is completely her own. Its pretty humbling, actually.

Thanks Angela!

lost without you! - Notpaper

lost without you!


Lost without collage, that is. And that is what I am feeling right now. Reading and writing about so many amazing collage artists lately has really made me want to make my own artwork, for obvious reasons. But we're moving on Saturday and all of my supplies are in boxes!

I have packed 6 boxes full of paper.

What I am planning is a little redesign. Since the blog has officially been repurposed (all collage and a few friendly updates from me), I would like it to have a similar feel. I have always loved those sites that completely reflect the artists' work. Since I will be featuring all different artists here, the look will have to be versatile. I've admired the "collaged" websites (for example, Eduardo Recife's misprinted type) for a while, and never knew how to even approach them.

After I am settled in, I will be redesigning. This is something completely new for me so I will post little updates of how it is being done.

More inspiration from: {ths}, Marisa Avelar and The Chemistry.

collage on d*s - Notpaper

collage on d*s

Reading one of my favourite blogs, Design*Sponge the other day I came across this post about illustrator Nicola Starr. And yesterday another article about Marisa Avelar was posted! I love when I see the "bigger" blogs writing about the things I am really interested in.

From D*S:

Based in the UK, Nicola is a recent graduate of the London college of communication with a major in illustration. in addition to more straight-forward illustration, her portfolio boasts a wonderful collection of collages that combine photography, illustration and found materials.


From D*S:

I mentioned my love of all things collage-y yesterday and today I’m still on the same trip, loving these beautiful pieces from Marisa Avelar. I’ve been looking at Marisa’s website since we returned from Savannah because, in the craziest turn of events, it turns out we walked by and watched a portion of her wedding in Forsyth park.

Tanja Novakovic Ostojic - Notpaper

Tanja Novakovic Ostojic

Of her collages, my favourites are the simpler ones, with solid white backgrounds and typographic elements. But something about her frivolously decorative paper and digital collages really thrills me.

Name (Real or Screename): Tanja Novakovic Ostojic
URL (Blog, Website): www.art-tanja.blogspot.com
Location (Where are you from?): Serbia

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: When I work with collages I feel happy, optimistic, childish, in love, brave, etc...that's my work in a few words!

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I like pictures of old buildings and houses, roses, rococo dresses, typography, oriental patterns, fragments of old paintings, etc...

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I'm 44, and have a sweet 11 year old girl; I love working with colours and with paper! I've been drawing, painting and make all sorts of little nice things all my life, :-)

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I'm a painter (Academy of Art, Novi Sad, Serbia).

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I love 18th century french painters, Baroque, Art Nouveau (Alphonse Mucha!) Art Deco, Pre Raphaelites, Sir Joseph Noel Paton (British Painter) and many more...

Thanks Tanja!

Stefan Kunze - Notpaper

Stefan Kunze

Stefan has some great work, most of which encompasses drawing or painting as well as collage, and his paint-splattered collages are wonderfully original. I hope to see more of his work to come!

Name (Real or Screename): Stefan Kunze
URL (Blog, Website): IBRI.DE
Location (Where are you from?): Munich, Germany

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: I'm not able to describe them.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I love to work with magazines! Most of them I got from my older sister, so I don't have to buy them. It's something like Cosmopolitan or even Playboy. I don't read them. I'm scanning them for pictures/text I can use for my moleskine.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start? A: It all started with this in winter 2006. It all began with the moleskine I got from Felix Lange for about 5Eur, which was quiet cheap.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I love to use sealing wax and sandpaper. Because it feels so different.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: It's my hometown in aerial view. The route shown on this piece is exactly the route I walked at this day.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A:Johanna Wilhelm and her boyfriend Jonas Fechner get all my respect.

Thanks Stefan!

Seniorita Polyester - Notpaper

Seniorita Polyester

I love the texture to this artist's work, she uses how-to manuals fully and effectively in most of her collages, which I think adds a mechanical feel. You see a lot of "grunge" in her work, yes somehow it is still very soft and "pretty." Yes, pretty.

Name (Real or Screename): seniorita polyester
URL (Blog, Website): www.senioritapolyester.com.ar
Location (Where are you from?): Buenos Aires, Argentina

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: I don't like to describe my work, I prefer other people do it. (I used more than 10 words :P )

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I love old magazines, old tapes, stained papers, I love to dye papers with coffee and tea. I also like manuals of cars, airplanes and appliances.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started in 2005, and it was for a college assigment. Since then I create collages because it's something that I really enjoy.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Handmade collages are my favourites, I enjoy digital, but I still prefer handmade. I like to cut different kind of papers to create textured backgrounds, also I collect little pieces that I separate by colors and styles. I love to create detailed collages with a lot of empty spaces.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I think that my favourite collage is 4a and 5a, but I'm not sure.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I love Eduardo Recife's work, also I enjoy Kareem Rizk's work. Richard Colman, Trevor Brown, and Mark Ryden are also among my favourites.

Thanks senioritapolyester!

anne taintor inc. - Notpaper

anne taintor inc.


I found these cute collage invitations at Winners today, 10 cards + envelopes for $5.00! Check out the anne taintor inc. site!

liz cohn - Notpaper

liz cohn

Liz has so many amazing pieces, it was almost impossible to choose my favourites. I really admire her work, and reading about her dedication makes me wonder if I will someday be an artist instead of a graphic designer. (We'll see how it plays out!). I hope to revisit this artist in the future for more of her stunning examples.

Name (Real or Screename): Liz Cohn, lizole
URL (Blog, Website): www.lizcohnartstudio.com and lizole.deviantart.com
Location (Where are you from?): Portland, Oregon

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Mixed media collage created by hand

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I work with cardboard, gesso, acrylics, ink pens, pencil, found dimensional objects, vintage books, vintage magazines, new magazines, printed papers, and rub on letters.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been a full time artist for 7 years, but I have exhibited professionally for 15 years all over the US. In 2003 I devoted myself to collage when a dear friend of mine was bankrupt and living for 9 months in my art studio. I was unable to paint and out of desperation, I turned to an art form I could do inside my house — collage. I dabbled in digital collage and made my way to glue and paper collage. I love what the digital people can do but I spend 6 hours just tweaking pixels and it was driving me nuts. Once I found glue and paper — I was ravenous for it.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I like to reuse cardboard. I gesso it to create a clean archival surface. I plow through my boxes and boxes of images and find lines and patterns, colors and textures that dance to my eye. I try to stay away from themes, but they seem to evolve on their own. I use acrylic gel medium for glue. If I add a 3D element, there is the extra challenge of how to adhere that piece. Some small finished collages get traded on my Flickr and deviantART sites. The piece I judge as gallery worthy will be mounted on top of a wood box that frames the piece without glass and gives the collage a depth and solidness and weight that makes it look like serious art — which it is.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Some of the pieces that came together with a minimum of elements are my favorite. Raven Lady 1 and Raven Lady 2 are my current favorites. Also a piece I made a year ago called Goya's Boy these pieces really send me into orbit.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Eunice Parsons who at 91 years old has been making collage for over 50 years, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Terry Gilliam (from Monty Python) and Joseph Cornell.

Lot's of young people on Flickr and deviantART are inspirational to me — I'm astonished by the talents of FredFree, Eva Han, kareemrizk, the-Px-corporation, and drahomira. I'd list more but it is easier to visit my deviantART site and browse my favorites.

Thanks Liz!

thereza rowe - Notpaper

thereza rowe

The first artist interview so far is with Thereza Rowe, an artist/illustrator from the UK who keeps some glue books, books about texture + pattern, quote books. Her work is very lively and has an excellent use of colour. You can tell she loves colour, and from a peek at her blog, I learned her favourite colour is red!

Name (Real or Screename): Thereza Rowe
URL (Blog, Website): tinyreddesign.com
Location (Where are you from?): London, UK

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Experimental as for me it's all about process...

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Anything that's ephemeral and have my colour palette on it. Textures and images have to grab me before I grab them...

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: Too long to remember...inspiration to create.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Every time a new one comes about it becomes a favorite...

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Don't have ' a favorite ever'. But it's always the ones that involved free experimenting process.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Basquiat, Joan Miro and Alan Fletcher to start with...

Thanks Thereza!

décollage - Notpaper



I have always loved the look of posters in big cities, posters repeated over and over or ripped to reveal what's underneath. Of course I was drawn to it, and thought, it's sort of like collage, and I have no doubt tried to imitate it. Little did I know that this technique does exist, and it is called décollage!

Also from french, it means to "unstick," the opposite of collage. The art form that emerged from this technique is called the "lacerated poster." For examples of the lacerated poster, see the work of Jacques Villeglé.

Found on Flickr, an excellent set of décollage photographs can be seen here by member offshore. Who knew such everyday displays could be considered works of art?

Above Image: Mimmo Rotella.

is collage design? - Notpaper

is collage design?

I remember my first semester in college, all of our projects in "Design" being magazine collages, over and over again, me delighting in my luck. I brought in my scrapbook in an attempt to impress my teacher (I know) and he shook his head up and down and said nothing but criticisms and told me how it could be even better. I was neither satisfied or unsatisfied with his response.

It's funny how in a Graphic Design program they make you do so many collages. Ever since I have been trying to figure out, is collage design? I know one thing for certain, when I am collaging, it's not about design, it's about feeling. Design has some part in it though, which you can't help even if you're not a designer. Attention to contrast, white space, lines and placement, all of these are design related. They are rules, design rules available to follow. But what makes collage different from design is that you don't have to follow them.

In this way, I think collage is more art than anything. Art is based more on feeling, "I am gluing this here because it feels right, or it looks right." Based on instinct, not on measurements, not on principle. There is my design, print work and web work, and there is my art, collage.

is not! is too! - Notpaper

is not! is too!

I am repurposing my blog.

Let me tell you a little bit about why it began as notpaper. Sitting over Starbucks one night, my boyfriend (Jory), friend (Adam) and myself decided that we should start an apartment blog (We all live together). We argued for an hour while snacking on delicious treats and sipping our caffeine about what we would call it. We came up with a lot of ridiculous names, all of which I can't remember because they are probably unmemorable. I came up with the name notpaper as a joke, slightly, because the internet is not paper. After no firm objections and repeating the name over and over into the night air as we walked home it grew on me.

After sharing the blog for a few months with minimal entries on all of our parts, I changed it around a little. In a way I feel notpaper was meant for me. I want to do something with it, and still do. I've been paying for the domain for so long because I don't want to part with it! It's my baby and my brand. It's strangely ironic, I know, that the website is called NOTpaper and my favourite medium IS paper. And now I am going to focus mainly on my collage, collage by other artists, and collage techniques. A blog about paper, called not(about)paper. The irony. I love it.

Notpaper is a blog dedicated to showcasing the work of international collage artists. We strive to meet the artists and understand the thoughts behind the process, so interviews with artists are a big part of what we do. If you are new to the site, please enjoy our archives featuring hundreds of collagists!   more 


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