I see the artwork of Brandi Strickland and think soft, delicate, intricate. In her collages, she creates warm feelings by combining seemingly disparate images in one piece—making the viewer piece together a story all their own. Subtle, and beautiful! Name (Real or Screename): Brandi Strickland URL (Blog, Website): www.brandistrickland.com Location (Where are you from?): Charlotte, North Carolina Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less. A: A source-channeling, stream-of-consciousness, intuitive, extrasensory, mixed-media, explosion! Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific! A: I plunder the book sections at thrift stores, live way too close to the neighborhood used book store, and hoard any magazine and paper discards that I can find. I shamelessly dissect children's books, especially old ones. Lately I’ve become fascinated with the seemingly infinite world of security envelopes. I also love to work from and with photographs, my own and other people's. Any vintage paper material has an undeniable essence, and lately I’ve been stuck on National Geographic magazines from the 60's and 70's.
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start? A: I started making collages in middle school. They were really cheesy but everyone has to start somewhere. Around age 13 I discovered decoupage glue and it was love, true love. I created multitudes of decoupaged paper mache hat boxes. That marked the beginning of my obsessive paper, magazine, and book collecting. Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession? A: I also work part time in an office. when I finished school I spent my summer waiting tables at 'John's Country Kitchen'...so country that 'brains and eggs' are on the menu! I really liked my job at John’s… so many gracious, wonderful customers who I looked forward to seeing every day. The work was grueling though, and the hours were crazy...finally, one of my favorite customers (who owns a plumbing business) asked me to come work in his office. So, for the past several months I’ve been brushing up on my administrative professional skills, and learning lots about plumbing. Kind of strange, but I can't complain! Q: Do you have any formal art training? A: In May of 2007 I graduated from Queens University of Charlotte with a B.A. in Art. It's a liberal arts school, so I also got quite an education on subjects across the board. I’ve been out of school almost exactly a year now, and, looking back, it was really a great, life-molding experience.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques. A: I use gel medium to create image transfers. This helps create the layered effect in my works on board. I like a nice hard surface for image transfer, but I think it might work on strong paper as well. There are really detailed explanations online, but in short:
Brush a thin, even layer of gel medium on a rigid surface. Press on any image/picture with ink or laser printing. I use magazine pages, old books, ink jet prints, and photocopies. Photocopies transfer especially well. Be sure to press the image on well, working out any bubbles. Give it awhile to dry a bit (I never wait as long as I should because I’m too impatient…) and then begin to carefully remove the paper from your rigid surface. I usually pull from the corners. The results are never entirely ‘perfect,’ but the imperfections lend a nice effect. I spend a lot of time removing the paper, it requires a bit of scrubbing to reveal the image that becomes transferred and trapped in the gel medium. It’s one of my favorite processes, but it is kind of messy and the results aren’t exactly predictable.
Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created. A: I made this piece probably 4 years ago. I’ve kept it with me through everything, I just can’t bring myself to sell it or give it away. It doesn’t even have a title, but it is dear to my heart. Q: What other artists do you admire? A: Ray Johnson, Richard Diebenkorn, Wayne Thiebaud, Alex Kanevsky, Egon Schiele, Lucian Freud, Robert Henri, Sabrina Ward Harrison, Robert Rauschenberg, Romare Bearden, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Jean Tinguely, and lots lots more. Thanks Brandi!