Why and when did you start making art?
What I liked the most when I was a child was reproducing characters from children’s books. I had an ability to replicate them as they were. This is the first memory I have of when I started drawing.
What kind of art do you make?
I make collage both in my personal and commercial work.
From what do you draw your inspiration?
I am inspired by the old artforms from print encyclopedias, books of birds, plants and animals, old fashion magazines, vintage cookbooks, used notebooks, and other such ephemera.
How would you describe your work?
I like to say that my art is a poem of images instead of words. I started artistically working with collage in my last year of fine arts. A friend gave me a Japanese newspaper as a present. Paging through the newspaper, I was surprised to find it full of fanciful colorful shapes and patterns. I was looking at the newspaper design in its purest form. I got really inspired by that and so started cutting and gluing them together, giving them a new significance. I fell in love with collage then. As with the Aerofauna series, I also love vintage and ephemera and working with this kind of imagery. I also like painting and drawing, but always mixing it with bits of collage…. In fact, I didn’t choose collage, it chose me.
With regard to the Aerofauna series, what came first — the idea or the image?
Aerofauna is an idea — to put the tails of airplanes on birds. Yet sometimes I get inspired by an image and then the idea comes. Sometimes there’s the idea first and then I look for the images. This last process always happens when working in commercial projects as I have to illustrate a specific concept.
Where do you source your materials/images from?
I have lots of old books, vintage magazines and prints I collected over the years… I love spending hours at charity shops and car boot sales. I have also used online shops but I prefer touching and skimming through the physical books before buying them.
Is there a specific order in which you use these materials?
Does one image suddenly recall another? Yes always one image recalls another, one color recalls another. It’s a process of concentration. It’s a magic moment of communication between the images and me.
Do you have an “image bank,” an archive of cutouts?
My image bank is my own library and antique prints. I try to organize it by subjects and have it as tidy as possible to not get lost. For my commercial work, I have lots of scans that haven’t used so I often search on my computer folders.
Do you use scissors or a computer? Or both?
I use scissors for my personal work. I really enjoy the process of cutting and the final results I get with it. I use computer for my commercial work. It allows me to easily amend the illustrations if need it.
Do you only use original material in your work or can it be photocopied or digitally edited?
I always use original material in my personal pieces, except a couple of series I did in the past. It gives the special vintage feeling and beauty that any photocopy does not. For editorial work, I scan and edit the images so I can get the proper image and color for a specific project. The final illustration will be printed so the result is quite satisfactory.
How do you go round the copyright of the images you use? Did you ever have issues?
I use very old images out of copyright. If by any chance I have to use any more recent imagery, I always use a small bit of it or modify it quite a lot, ending up with something completely new. That’s the essence of collage so I won’t have any copyright issues. As with the Aerofauna series, clearly this is art — the designer of the image of an aircraft profile never imagined that the tail section would be put together in a collage with an old print of a bird in watercolor.
Do you work with total freedom, or do you impose certain limits on yourself in terms of what constitutes a collage?
I work with total freedom. I create my own technique and it’s always evolving. I’m very keen to experiment, mix and match new methods and procedures.
Does your collage relate to the kind of visually saturated environment we live in? Is it a reaction to it?
I prefer telling lot of things with fewer elements. I can easily get tired of over saturation but not with simple things.
What are the themes which your collage work tries to explore?
I find fascinating the mysteries of life, the nature, the instincts and the incorporeal energy. I like to explore the emotions between human beings and between humans and nature. All of those explorations end up in personal stories most of the times.
Do you relate to the surrealist idea?
Yes I definitely do. I relate to surrealism and also to constructivism, futurism, modernism, minimalism and suprematism.
We have been seeing a lot of collage work around. Why do you think that is?
Yes I’ve read some articles talking about how collage is fashionable again. I think collage is back with a contemporary vision that makes it exceptional.
Do you consider yourself as being part of a movement?
Yes, I’m taking part of Illustrationism.
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