1. When did you make your first mixed media piece, and what inspired you to start collaging regularly?
I started making collages at the beginning of 2015 and was making them on a pretty frequent basis a year later. I think being out of school was my inspiration. I had writers block after I graduated so I started making collages as a way to take my mind of off writing and to approach things visually. I found that so many aspects of collaging were fulfilling in and of itself, like searching for artwork and pictures in different magazines and rearranging pieces to create a whole new form. For a while, I was making collages at least once a day. To me, creating a collage got to be something that gave me a sense of purpose.
2. What do you think makes this specific art form unique?
For me, the process of collaging is unique because it is inherent collaboration. By arranging found images from different sources I can recreate an image by barrowing from other artists or photographers, which is something most art forms don’t typically do.
3. Who are some artists that you look up to as inspiration?
Francis Bacon has been a big inspiration recently. Basquiat. Stanley Kubrick. Robert Rauschenberg.
4. Do you think of specific themes such as love, nature, etc. which making your art, or do you just figure it out as you go along?
I try not to have a clear theme in mind. I enjoy the process of completely changing something whenever I want, whether on purpose or by accident. I use a lot of recurring images in my work, so a visual theme always seems to present itself organically. A majority of my collages generally include body parts like arms, legs, and eyes, but there’s never really a concrete theme that I approach the creative process with.
5. Is there a specific aspect that you like to focus on first? Whether it be color, form, or something else?
Honestly no, it’s never the same. Usually the focus is on form at first, barrowing from things I’ve seen recently or just browsing through books and magazines until something jumps out at me. I prefer to not go into it with a set focus in mind and usually wind up rearranging sections up until the last minute.
6. What types of magazine publications do you usually gravitate towards for materials? Do you use any other types of visual media?
I started using old National Geographic magazines, pages from novels that were falling apart, a book on Joan Crawford, IKEA fabric samples, and wax paper; basically things I found or that were given to me. I’m currently using images from fashion magazines.
7. What are some of your biggest art-related accomplishments, and what do you love most about creating mixed media pieces?
My biggest accomplishment so far is having a collage of mine published on the cover of “Meridian”, the University of Virginia’s literary magazine. I really enjoy how therapeutic and expressive mixed media can be. Right now, visual art is more fluid for me than writing. It makes me feel good to create something and it’s incredibly rewarding to see how my collages have changed over time.
Interview by Katryn Macko