Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My bestie Kansas (actual name Carolyn Richardson) grew up in kansas funny enough...I gave her said nick name when we worked together and bonded over a mutual disrespect for the task at hand. Magazine advertising is lame and is know to have caused bleeding eyeballs. That was years ago and although she left old sydney town and set up in Portland Oregon, she will always be my Kansas. 

I stayed with her in recently and she took some time out from her Art Directing, collage creating, puppy loving, nose blowing schedule to answer some of my questions...anyone that appreciates this type of Art or that has a bubbling sense of humour will love Kansas as I do.... 

Can you talk me through your process in creating your work?
I guess the process begins with acquiring old magazines from estate sales or second hand shops. My parents had a subscription to National Geographic so I used to pour over those all the time when I was little, any Nat Geo from 1970-1990 I've probably looked at at some point in my life. But any old printed matter works for me. Once I'm home I'll start flipping through the magazines and cut out any pages with imagery that interests me with no specific intention for them and when I have a pile collected I can begin to put different pieces together to create a whole collage, once I start on a collage I usually have to finish it the same day or else its probably not meant to be. I have other artistic outlets but collages are always the one thing I feel very free with because I'm at the mercy of found materials.

Have you created an image library to pull from?
I have a folder of collected scraps that I try to constantly add to, I've also started to look at different resources online and have a folder of images I've downloaded, I'm just starting to explore how it feels to print those and collage with them. Recently, I've started to do some collage partially with Photoshop and sometimes that feels right and sometimes it doesn't.

Do you have a narrative to each image?
The best pieces are probably when I don't have any narrative at all because then one tends to appear on its own and thats always more interesting than what I could come up with. For example, my 'pink series' was four collages that all pulled from the same four or five magazines that I picked up at a great estate sale  and the theme that came up was 'time travel', each one has a clock and a set of pilot wings somewhere in the collage. Other times when I'm making a collage for a specific person I'll try to use some imagery that seems relevant to them.

Your work seems to have a running 1950's Americana theme, is that an era your particularly interested in? or just find funny? I think my main criteria is using material printed anytime before 1990, and the main reason for that I think is because I had no control over what the world looked like then. Not that I had much control in the 90's but thats when I became aware of trying to make things look a certain way. Now that I'm making a living as a graphic designer/art director that lack of control feels even more essential. Being American, thats probably what country I have the most authority to reference and have access to but I would love to get my hands on more printed material from other countries!

What/Who inspires your work? Oh boy, the generic but true answer is everything I've seen does, though my grandmother was a big influence on my aesthetic taste in general, the pink in the pink series is from her personal note pads I always used to draw on but what I can always count on to motivate me to make work is the people in my life who I care about, friends and family.

Check her: 

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