Collage – 1989-2001 

I created this technique in the late 80s and started to employ it for illustration around 1989. The work method was pretty simple: scissors, glue, and paper. I had always admired the collages of artists like Kurt Schwitters and Joseph Cornell, just to name a couple, from the 20th century’s contemporary art zeitgeist. I thought the image possibilities—texture, juxtaposition, positive-negative space, surrealism qualities, contextual associations, and black-and-white contrasts—were very rich, inspirational, and powerful.

I used to photocopy images from the Dover Series cut-out imagery books. The publishers were from New York. They were copyright-free and came in different books with collections of late-19th-century imagery. I used to cut pieces of images and mix up fragments to see how they worked out within a newly recreated image. Always trying to follow a concept that related to the ideas expressed in the article, I would pick it up at the newspaper newsroom. It was traveling back and forth to the paper almost every day to pick up the articles and deliver the illustrations.

I developed this technique and continued publishing illustrations for about ten years, from 1989 until about 2001. After that, I started developing new techniques with digital tools and learned how to create collages with the computer. The new thing became communicating and delivering illustrations through digital files called JPEGs. That changed everything. The creation times changed, and everything, including the turn-around time, became much faster. New apps appeared, and digital illustration became a thing. The digital tablet appeared, and it created a new learning curve. How to draw and paste up collages with a tablet and digital pen. The messy glue, stained fingers, and hand got cleaner!

I obviously stored the originals but decided that collecting the pages, where the illustration appeared, would be smart. The article and the illustration are working together on the page: word and image. Page layout, article content, and illustration are doing their thing within this full newspaper page context. I still have most of the pages, and the originals, of course.