January 2009 Archives

Nicole Natri - Notpaper

Nicole Natri

Nicole's work is a fascinating mix of both creepy and calm. She combines soft elements, like birds and small children, with ropes and knives--it's like any contradictory mix of right and wrong, sharp and dull. They certainly make you think.

Nicole Natri
www.nicolenatri.com and my blog at www.nicolenatri.blogspot.com
Sweden

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: I create spaces suitable for stories, both personal and common.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I mainly work with antique materials (woodcuts, book covers, paper, cut outs, ephemera etc). All my work is handmade, no digital elements. Also, I'd like to paint more, and I have some ideas waiting to be realized.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: Since 2006-7. I thought I'd try to interpret my stories more visually, since I had been putting all my energy into writing before that. I found the collage technique captured my ideas perfectly so I just kept on working.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: When finishing my studies I'll have an MA in Art History, so I'm hoping to work within that field besides working as an artist.


Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: No, I?m self-thought.

Q: Explain your favorite techniques.
A: Often when I get an idea I have to find the right material to express it, which is a part of the progress itself. Sometimes it's the other way around; I see some images and immediately start to place them in various contexts. The backgrounds are my playgrounds, and I do believe less is definitely more.

Q: Describe your favorite piece ever created.
A: Whenever I'm done with a piece, I'm done but sure? I like Siblings.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Danish painter Tom Krestesen and Francis Bacon. I've had the luck to meet Tom at one of his a show openings and I just wish I could have met Francis. They're both sort of my absent mentors?

Thanks Nicole!

Anthro Scrapbook - Notpaper

Anthro Scrapbook

This is the prettiest thing! I am a huge fan of anthropologie (a store we don't have in Canada) and have been trying to get my hands on a catalogue for a long time (to no avail)! This is such a creative way to use a catalogue, made by Kristina Contes. I love how textured and three dimensional it looks. See the entire set here.





via Old Lady.

Altered Polaroids - Notpaper

Altered Polaroids

I REALLY like this set of mixed media polaroids by paigelovelife on flickr. I've always wanted a polaroid camera, and if I had one I would definitely incorporate them into my collages.




Alejandra Villasmil - Notpaper

Alejandra Villasmil

Alejandra's quirky portraits of vintage women are so unique! I can tell she loves to accentuate the eyes--including the use of googly eyes--which just add to the fun and playfulness of her work. Her collages definitely make me smile.

Alejandra Villasmil
www.flickr.com/photos/alejandravillasmil/
(Born in Venezuela/lived in New York for 10 years/Currently in) Santiago de Chile

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Sexy, funky, colorful and playful.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I flirt with various sources, from Escort ads in free newspapers to glossy fashion magazines. I have an extensive series of work using images culled from colouring books. These days I'm having fun with Chilean vintage magazines covers.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: We all start at kindergarten age, an instinctive stage in life which is suitable for collage. I've made sculptures, installations and drawings with no elements glued to them but I always keep coming back to collage in a systematically, obsessive way.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I graduated from journalism school in Caracas (Venezuela) in 1994 and since then I divide my time between cultural writing, art criticism and art making. I'm currently working as a press director for Galería Moro, in Santiago de Chile.


Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I took several art classes in New York for five consecutive years in three different schools but with no intention of having an art degree.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Layering, pouring, mixing, cutting, combining, adding, tasting--it's like cooking!

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I'm a mom with many favourites children.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Ladies Wangechi Mutu, Ellen Gallagher, Isa Genzken, Jessica Stockholder, and Rachel Harrison, and a great man, Martin Parr.

Thanks Alejandra!

Sally Linsdell - Notpaper

Sally Linsdell

Sally works with vintage, distressed images, and black and white with touches of colour. She seems to really be in tune to shapes and geometric forms. Her work often reflects the sort of geometric style that is also used by artists like Chris Butler and Eva Han. I like this, and I see plenty of promise in her version of this style.

Sally Linsdell
www.flickr.com/photos/sallylinsdell/
Newcastle, UK

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: The result of an obsession with geometry.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I love photography from the 40's and 50's and I'm lucky enough to live right by a market which sells hundreds of old photographs! But sometimes I'll just be looking around the internet and see a photo I love so just print it out, that's why I'm not so scared about cutting them up. I recently found out about a method called packing tape transfer which is the most amazing thing! Google it if you dont know!

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I'm still only young (18!) but I just find collage so inspirational, and limitless! I remember first getting into this style of work 2 years ago from listening to the band The Blood Brothers, their artwork was by a guy called Andy Dixon and I just couldnt get enough of it in my first year of college, everything was referenced to him.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I never ever want to work a job! That would drain me. My life plan is to have a big white studio in London and make lots of money! (fingers crossed).

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: Yeah and I'm still currently getting it! I have a national diploma in graphic design, and I'm currently doing a foundation year at Newcastle College which is going to get me into Camberwell College of Arts in London (again fingers crossed).


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Sundays! If it wasn't for Sundays, I'd have no work! I love getting up early, going to the local secondhand market and buying some old photographs, coming home and making what my mum likes to call 'a disgusting mess.' She doesn't agree with what I do.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: It changes everyday! But I guess if I was to really think, it would be the green diamond I created. It was set as a summer project at college and the title was 'who i am' so it's very personal to me. It also has the most views on flickr!

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Oh man, erm... Bauhaus, Kandinsky, Kurt Schwitters. More recently The Nous Vous Collective, Eduardo Recife and Hooded Fang! Everyone should check him out!

Thanks Sally!

Experimental Typography - Notpaper

Experimental Typography

This is a very image heavy post, as I think it should be! I recently interviewed Hugo Werner about his collages, and along with his work I found the work of his students, part of an Experimental Typography class that works with collage and typography. I love love love the idea of this project, which involves collage, transfers, lettering, stamps, stencils, and calligraphy. "The main objective is to explore the materiality of the word-image," says Hugo.



What I find so fascinating about this experimental project is the way each student interprets the assignment differently, and of course, the excellent use of typographic elements. I think it's such a valuable collection of student collage work!



Students working on their projects (below).






Visit Hugo's Flickr for more images from 2007 and 2008.

Michael Mew - Notpaper

Michael Mew

Michael's work has so many good qualities, and it's like nothing I have ever seen! He has such an original taste--I love how beautifully botanical each of his mixed media and collage pieces are. His paintings are a perfect combination of retro-looking paper, bright colours, flowers, and graphic paint splatters.

Michael Mew
www.michaelmewstudio.com
(Grew up in Los Angeles, CA, Live and work in) Oakland, CA

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Large scale collage mixed with painting, drawing and resin.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I use images from books, magazines, the internet and scale them up to the size I work, generally 48x36 inches.

I use painted and drawn images as well. Often I will sand back into the surface to allow the imagery from the surface below to show through and give the work a worn, weathered appearance. Then resin is poured over the work to meld the layers together and saturate the the colors.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I started doing collage exclusively in 1994. Before that I did assemblage which incorporated collage as well.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: Just a artist for the last two and one half years. Before that I worked at a art moving company where I packed, crated, shipped, installed and stored artwork 4 days a week, and did my art after work and the other 3 days of the week.


Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: Graduate degree in painting.

Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Cut and paste! I do small scale (traditional size) collage as well. Cutting out intricate little images under a magnifying lamp.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Impossible, each new piece is my favorite until the next one is complete.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Joseph Cornell, Mimmo Rotella, Jess, Tony Berlant, Manuel Ocampo, Max Ernst, Bruce Connor, Robert Williams to name a few.

Thanks Michael!

Caitlin Burt - Notpaper

Caitlin Burt

Caitlin's collages send subtle messages with soft, pastel, construction paper shapes. She really knows how to deliver a strong message while still keeping it gentle. My favourite part of all is her hand lettering by drawing or cutting out paper letterforms.

Caitlin Burt
I'll have my own website soon--I'm working on it. But for now there are some things at www.flickr.com/photos/leforet
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Whatever comes to mind.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I collect old magazines whenever I can find them. National Geographic is good, it has a lot of color photos. Beyond that, whatever I can get my hands on, including lace, cutouts, and old photographs stolen from the darkroom at school.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've always enjoyed collage, but only started considering it as "art" a year or two ago. It started as a way to keep my hands busy, and evolved from there. Through the internet I discovered artists like Erin Jane Nelson, whose sketchbooks inspired me a lot in the beginning.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I am an artist and a high school student, as well as an aspiring novelist.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: The odd art class here and there, but nothing truly "formal."


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: Late at night, in the basement, with a cup of coffee or tea and my ipod. I flip through my magazines until some images catch my eye, and then start to rearrange them--often inspired by the music I'm listening to or a lyric that's stuck in my head. There is nothing magical about it. Cut and paste.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I can't say I have one particular piece that stands out as my favourite. They're all meaningful in different ways (of course). I love working with unusual materials; collaging on wood or board with found objects is fun whenever I get the chance.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: So many artists in many different mediums, most of them young people like myself because I feel like what they're doing is most relevant to what I'm feeling at this point in my life. I won't bombard you with links, but my favourite artist on flickr is www.flickr.com/people/mylittleseapony/. Her collages are great!

Thanks Caitlin!

M is for Maps - Notpaper

M is for Maps

Happy new year, happy new features! This is an idea I've had stewing since last year, to compare collages based on content or technique, to show how we inspire each other or are drawn to the same things naturally. I want to think of it as a little collage encyclopedia...




1. selflesh 2. misspaperclip 3. Sandra Juto 4. Caitlin on Flickr 5. Karine Leger
6. Chris Kenny 7. Elisabeth Lecourt 8. Brandi Strickland 9. Edvard Derkert

I've been planning this post for what seems like forever! I love when maps are used in collage, and here are a few examples of different ways it can be done, and done well. Two aren't exactly collage, but I found it necessary to include them here. #6 is the work of Chris Kenny, who cuts out graphic elements (rivers, roads) in maps and mounts them, and Elisabeth Lecourt folds dresses out of maps. Hope this inspires you to use maps in your collages! Break out those old Atlases...

John Fogarty - Notpaper

John Fogarty

John's collages are sort of mathematical and geometric, but while this sounds boring, his collages are anything but. The bright colours on brown paper, (which I am drawn to because I have a strange, unexplainable soft spot for Kraft paper) are very exciting!

John Fogarty
www.flickr.com/photos/49963509@N00/
Rutherford, NJ

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: A physical, emotional, and psychological explosion of energy brought together on paper.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I enjoy finding old textbooks, manuals, magazines and chopping them up. I'm especially interested in finding things that can be either used structurally, defining some sort of space or direction in the piece as well as odd and funny things that out of context can mean multiple things or nothing.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been working on collage off and on for about 5 years. More recently, say the past 2 years, it became a way of me keeping the majority of art (drawing and painting) fresh. So over time the collages started to take some of the ideas from my drawings and paintings and become more interesting, or cohesive, than earlier stuff (which was just an overflow of energy and boredom with the other mediums).

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: Yes, mainly painting and drawing, but making collages is becoming more and more interesting to me.

Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: No not really, I took some classes at the Art Student's League of NY, but mostly I'm self taught through pouring over art books at the library for the past 8 years and painting, drawing, and making collages for catharsis.


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I love finding pieces that connect, like building a schematic of an imaginary construction with tangents or satellites that I connect with pen or have positioned in a way that feels right. Lately I've started to cut more delicate and intricate pieces from magazines and books. My technique is pretty much being in the zone that a lot of other artist's just call "flow".

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Hmm. Possibly this piece called "Firmament" I made a year or 2 ago. It was in connection to a song, but mainly to the idea of creating being a direct link to the unexplainable or what some people find in religion.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: So, so many. Max Ernst, Roberto Matta, Kurt Schwitters, David Ellis, Abandonview, Yves Tanguy, Gordon Matta-Clark.

Thanks John!

Jessalyn Aaland - Notpaper

Jessalyn Aaland

Jessalyn's work is whimsical, colourful, magical, rainbow fun. Those are literally the words that have just come into my head. Her work is so playful, she seems like such a colourful person as well. What makes all of this work great is that she uses a lot of white negative space in her collages, so the whimsy stands out while not being too crazy.

Jessalyn Aaland
aalandisland.com
Oakland, CA

Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Communities of folks enjoying life. Old books + stickers = fun.

Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I am a really huge fan of saturated color, so I love National Geographic up until the 1970's, but also in general I use other magazines and books from the same era (especially travel, craft/art, and nature books), old children's books (I really love the illustrations in books by Golden Press, like Golden Nature guides or their children's encyclopedia set. Patterns are also very important to my work, so I use a global palette ranging from the Euro-American quilting tradition, African art, Islamic mosaics, Native American motifs, and abstract geometric shapes. I also find these images sometimes in vintage wrapping paper, but not as much lately - recently I've been trying to pull them out of other things. The last key ingredient to this mashup is stickers, which I've loved since I was a kid (my mom is a big craft nut) and are key to the textures I like to create, where there is a bit of shiny here and there.

Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: Since I was pretty young. I always identified as a writer when I was a child and so my work has always been very narrative. When I was hanging out doing general kid stuff a lot of times I would cut up my parents' JC Penney and Sears catalogues to create my "dream homes." I did this a lot as a child (in addition to reading) so I never understood how anyone could be bored ever.

Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I am an artist, writer, and musician but "professionally" I am a public school teacher (right now, high school English).


Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I remember taking art classes when I was young, like ceramics, and in high school, but I never really learned proper drawing and painting. I think I took up collage because it's the way that has always made the most sense to me, and I think I have stronger skills in composition than say, freehand drawing. I did take a couple of studio art classes in undergrad but my school's art department was more conceptual and not really focused on practical skills training.


Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: My process involves going through piles of books, or stuff I have already cut up until I find the feeling I am looking for, like colors, themes, etc. As far as technique then I just bust out the xacto knife and mat and go to town until I begin mentally cutting out every image I see for the rest of the day, like pictures on my bathroom wall. I think at this point I've got this technique down enough so that I could give any Japanese schoolgirl a serious run for her money.

Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: Of mine? I'm not sure but there is one piece I have a special place in my heart for and am reluctant to part with. It's a collaboration my friend Matt started for a musical project we were doing called "Treasure Nest." I think it's important to me because I had a hard time visualizing where to build upon what he started. In the end, though, I really love how it looks and I think it's so special because it taught me some things as far as collaborating, a skill Matt also helped me develop in playing music together.

Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I think as far as those whose work resembles mine, easily I'd say Joseph Cornell and Henry Darger. Surrealism influenced me a lot when I was younger and I've always been drawn to "outsider" art because of what I guess you could call simplicity? I'm not sure if that's the right word, maybe more so a lack of pretense, honesty, earnestness--love for craft? Also for a while I've been into contemporary artists like Chris Johanson and Jockum Nordstrum who do these really flat paintings. Johanson's work is very colorful and tends toward the theme of communities and relationships between people, which is also a trait of Nordstrum's work. His stuff is less colorful, but sometimes also incorporates collage and has a lot of do with music and human interactions. I would like to reference more people that aren't just white dudes but those are just the names off the top of my head. Also since I am a writer too I would add that Trinie Dalton's writing is totally like reading sometime I wrote myself. She is also a musician and artist and has been a teacher so it is nice to see someone else working along interdisciplinary lines in a parallel community.

Thanks Jessalyn!

Happy New Year! - Notpaper

Happy New Year!

The year 2008 started out really well (but ended a little flat) for Notpaper, but I am very excited for the coming year. I'd like to talk a little about the things that happened in 2008 and what's to come in 2009!

What happened in 2008:

1. Notpaper was born! On April 10th, I decided to change my personal blog into a blog about collage. The result was a lot more posting a lot more frequently. On April 15th, I posted my very first collage artist interview with Thereza Rowe, and it felt so right I've been doing it that way ever since.

2. On May 26th, 2008, I proudly posted about my 13 subscribers. Imagine how proud I am now, adding 120 new subscribers after that (and counting)! We also climbed from a 0 to a 4 Google page rank (fun statistics)!

3. Notpaper got a pretty little redesign on June 8th 2008, and I reached out for advice from my readers (many of which are also graphic designers).

4. Notpaper posted 126 artist interviews in 2008! Just to let some of you know, Notpaper is run by me, Aprile, and just me. I do often refer to me as a we, and I guess it's me and the blog, or more likely, me and all of you!

5. I started tracking on a Google map where everyone is from, really just to satisfy my own curiosity. Seeing this made me realize how truly diverse and international Notpaper is and can be! (I am missing so many countries, and I want to make it a goal to cover more...)

What's to come in 2009!

1. Notpaper the book of course! This is my main excitement right now, a non profit project to get Notpaper and it's participating artists recognized. This could become an annual thing, we will see how the first book turns out.

2. I am planning (resolutions, resolutions) more regular features, I feel I am about to have a lot more time to spend working on blog material. I have thought of this before, and I have definitely started posting about all kinds of things, but I would like to do this more frequently in between interviews.

3. I have been thinking about offline events for a while, starting out of course in Toronto (where I am) and moving on from there. I would like to organize collage themed group shows in different areas to help promote the site and the artists.

4. I would eventually like some sponsors! It's not like I consider Notpaper being like a job, but I would like to be able to put on offline events, or publish more books, or even sponsor other collage artists/sites.

5. More interviews! There is an endless number of collagists out there, and I will find them all!

Also, some special recognition:

1. We (or I should say: I) have had a lot of great mentions from other sites, but what I think was so thoughtful was the digital collages made specifically for Notpaper. These are two made by Max-o-matic and Cless (respectively).



2. I would also like to thank the following people for their support (in no particular order):

Hollis, Liz, Ethelind, Una, Chad, John, Max-o-matic, Cless, Eva, Edvard, Gracia and Louise, Ginette and Guylaine, Karine and Shelley.

I hope I am not forgetting anyone, I feel these people have just been particularly helpful or have made an impact in some way.


Thank you all for your support and dedication, and best of luck to everyone in 2009! And keep reading!

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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