Nick's surreal collages look like something borrowed from dreamland, something you can only faintly remember but have a feeling that sticks in the mind. The celestial themes and rainbows of colour make his work look like something you see when you close your eyes. It makes me wonder if he collages while he sleeps or is just really good at daydreaming nonsense!
Describe your work in 10 words or less.
The vaguely recalled dreams of a magician laying in bed.
What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
I try to only use photographic material... usually from the 60's-70's, from National Geographic or old science books. By using pictures that were all printed in the same era, and by not mixing photographic elements with graphical elements in the collage, the finished pieces (to me) have some kind of equilibrium or grace... also a nostalgic feel which also adds some believability.
How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
I fell out of the hay loft of a very tall barn last year and broke some ribs. During the downtime I started collaging and the habit stuck.
Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
I do some website/graphic design, farm work during the season, and other less mentionable odd jobs.
Do you have any formal art training?
No formal training, but I would like to someday be creating art while dressed in formal wear, and being paid for this.
Explain your favourite techniques.
I like to get a stack of fresh (old) magazines and index everything that catches my eye, then go back and cut them all out and spread them out everywhere. I like starting several collages at once like this, and then building a mental library of these weird pictures to call on... Sometimes Inspiration strikes while reading National Geographic on the toilet. I strive to make the pieces appear slightly believable. The situations are obviously surreal/absurd, but there is some visual unity with the colors an the era of the materials I'm using that makes the scene believable in a dreamlike sense. You might dream of two people rowing a boat at night and then they just start rowing up into the sky, and in your dream you're like 'ok, I can accept that'...and then you move along into the next scene and don't even think twice about the sky-rowing until you wake up. And when you do think about it, it's faded and low contrast like a 1960's National Geographic magazine.
Describe your favourite piece ever created.
I think my favourite is "Peanuts". It's one of the simpler ones I've made but the most powerful.
What other artists do you admire?
I like William Kentridge, Chris Johanson, Fred Tomaselli, Megan Coyle, Siena Mayers, Phillip Estlund, Agnes Montgomery, someone that goes by "KOKOFREAKBEAN" on flickr.