May 2011 Archives

Ciara Phelan - Notpaper

Ciara Phelan

Ciara's digital collages are so colorful and playful that I had to feature them! I love the shapes and compositions that she puts together--using charming antique black and white imagery with a huge juxtaposition of colour. She's not afraid to mix different ideas and different eras together in one collage. This is what makes them so refreshing.

Ciara Phelan
London, UK

Describe your work in 10 words or less.

Playful, vibrant, fun, colourful, vintage and geometric.

What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!

My preferred medium is vintage encyclopaedias from the 1960s. I love the texture and grain on the photographs from the slightly mis-registered printing. I also use a lot of pattern, I find inspiration for these in fabric and textile swatch books.

How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?

I've been collaging for the last 2 years. I stumbled upon the medium quite by accident whilst exploring ideas for a vinyl sleeve project at university. I started arranging imagery closely on a page to save paper and created quite an interesting composition so I thought it was something I should explore a bit more. Since then I've just created more and more.

Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?

I work full time as a freelance illustrator, luckily I am able to make a living from it as I don't know where I'd find the time to get a proper job!

Do you have any formal art training?

I studied Graphic Design at Brighton University but I have never had any training to be an illustrator.

Explain your favourite techniques.

I try not to get into a routine in the way I create my work as I think it starts to become a bit predictable and formulaic. I always do a lot of research before I start any project as I like to read around the subject and let my mind wonder about the possibilities. Then I gather imagery and scan it into the computer. Nearly all my work is cut out using photoshop and digitally manipulated, I find this the easiest way to work as I can play around with scale easier. Sometimes I cut out lots of elements and move them around on the scanner to create different compositions. I think I avoid cutting and pasting as the finality of placement scares me, I like to be able to move objects easily.

Describe your favourite piece ever created.

My favourite piece created was my first collage which has a massive panda and tiger. Compositionally its not amazing, but I love that its not particularly well thought out, it didn't have any end goal and there was no grand message to convey. The more I collage and create illustrations, the more i think about what I want to say with the elements I use but in this first collage I was just collaging for the sake of collage.

What other artists do you admire?

There are so many talented people both past and present that its hard to pick out but a few artists I admire are Hannah Hock, Valero Douval, Charlie Harper, Saiko Kato and Micah Lidberg.

Thanks Ciara!

WAFA Zine 03 - Notpaper

WAFA Zine 03

Here's a little peek at the newest zine from WAFA collective, titled "Everything At Every Moment Is Awaiting Your Arrival". It just proves this group can do no wrong!

They (generously) sent me a copy in the mail recently, and it is so sobeautiful. This zine is on a whole other level--limited edition, printed on really nice paper, hand-sewn stiched binding, and an embossed cover--it's really an art piece in itself, great to add to your book/zine collection.

Pick up a copy here, and hurry because they are mostly gone! Also be sure to check out WAFA's sleek new site.

Laura Guarie - Notpaper

Laura Guarie

I love the geometric nature of Laura's collages, and also love that she likes lines and shapes but is still willing to go off the beaten path. She certainly has a style but there is a wide range to her ideas. I am excited to see what she comes up with in the future, too!

Laura Guarie,
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Describe your work in 10 words or less.

Hard to describe! Well, most people comment about what I do and describe it with words like subtlety, minimalism, constructivism, geometrical, balanced, asymmetric, surreal, mind blowing and so many more... And I agree with them! I'm always searching for balanced compositions.

What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!

I usually like to leaf through old magazines (vintage, retro, photographs, maths) and also try mix it with new ones (fashion, architecture) looking for some elements to use and begin to build something with those objects that inspire my imagination. Sometimes I use my own photographs, other kinds of images, patterns, geometric and abstract forms, letraset, different paper textures and colors, linear drawings and... whatever I find! Most of my works are made with human parts of bodies and specifically, portraits of women. I think we all are special creations to be transformed and utopically recreated.

How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?

I began to experiment with different techniques during my profesional career, most handmade and digital too. That was a perfect moment to start finding my own style of work.

Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?

I don't consider myself as an artist at all. When I'm really inspired in something, or feelings... I let my mind go. I'm just in the middle of my career, Graphic Design at UBA - Buenos Aires University, and I'm also working as a freelance designer in a graphic design studio where I still keep on working with my style and sharing it with my office mates but fitting them on real pieces. I also enjoy making personal projects for myself and also with my mates, a few months ago we rented an atelier for handmade bookbinding and typographic press, so we're on the way to produce our own design pieces, that's such a pleasure for us, we are very happy!

Do you have any formal art training?

No, not really, as I said, I'm studying and working at the same time so that's what lets me experiment. I'm hoping to take some extra classes in the future like photography and illustration maybe.

Explain your favourite techniques.

I let my hands do the work and paste it just in the perfect place of the paper or canvas, unless I'm using digital. And then it flows! I go crazy when cutting! But sincerely, it takes me a long time to decide where to paste it, so my eyes get half-closed and out of focus.

Describe your favourite piece ever created.

I can't select specificly one! They all have something that make them unique because of the moment I created it, the elements I used, the place where it was made and the reason I made it.

What other artists do you admire?

From history, works and artists from Bauhaus and avant garde as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Mies van der Rohe with his purity and rational thoughts, El Lissitzky. They were awesome!

And from nowadays, all my flickr contacts I guess... One of the first I saw and inspired me were osorojo, exo, Louis Reith, Paulo melo, and many more of course, but I clearly remember some works from them.

Thanks Laura!

Cut Stripes - Notpaper

Cut Stripes

Check out these collages on canvas by Ermanno Cavaliere, they all follow the same technique of cutting images into strips, and I think they're quite nice! See more of them on his flickr.

New Masters - Notpaper

New Masters

New Masters
featuring Ann Marshall
May 7th - June 4th
Subliminal Projects
1331 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Untitled Places - Notpaper

Untitled Places

Untitled Places
Opening May 3rd, 8pm
Solo exhibition by Vesna Pesic
KC Grad
Braće Krsmanović 4
Belgrade, Serbia

Updates - Notpaper


Hello all, sorry for the delay. We had to do some updates to our hosting, and I was unable to post for a little while. Everything is now back on schedule! If you notice anything strange or broken, please contact me at

New Wallworks - Notpaper

New Wallworks

New Wallworks
Featuring new work by Greg Lamarche
Curated by Michael Klein

April 20th - June 11th, 2011

Maryland Art Place
8 Market Place, Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21202

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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  • WAFA Zine 03

    "Everything At Every Moment Is Awaiting Your Arrival."

    Limited Edition of 50 copies. Full color, 3.75 x 5″. Embossed front cover. Hand-sewn Japanese stab stitch binding. Edition number of 50, hand-numbered on reverse.

    Available from WAFA Storefront.

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