Nick has an amazing understanding of texture and it's no surprise that it's inspired by the music he listens too. I don't think we talk about that enough--how music inspires what we are currently working on and shapes our personal styles. I am reminded of an assignment I had to do once, creating a piece to music I am used to, and one with something completely different. See how it turned out here. I really enjoyed this in depth insight in to Nick's work, his lovely layered, distressed collages are quite inspiring!
Name (Real or Screename): Nicholas Woodruff
URL (Blog, Website): www.flickr.com/photos/cut_it_glue_it_see_it
Location (Where are you from?): Kent, United Kingdom.
Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: Experimental, abstract, graphic, typographic, visual noise.
Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: Anything with interesting colours and textures but mostly in printed, paper form. I look out for materials all the time, they can come from anywhere. If something has potential then I like to apply paint and/or scratches to the surface to make it my own. I also find interesting type fonts online and print them off to cut up and deconstruct. Distressed, weathered paper or cardboard boxes can be appealing too, I seem to find a lot of interesting pieces outside. Masking tape is a must for me, I'm never without a roll!
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: It's been ten years or so now but I did have a three of four year break from it, before I found my passion again. I stopped because I became interested in interior design but then realised that I wanted to create collages again, the urge never went away. I studied art originally and then moved onto graphic design. During the transition, I found that I enjoyed cutting things up including typography within the imagery. My styles evolved several times before I eventually found what I am now comfortable with. Although, I'm sure it will change again, it's an ongoing process.
Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I really enjoy interior design and work as a designer during the day. I make time (as much as I can) in the evenings for creating collages, it's a way of escaping and just switching off. My work is inspired by the music I listen to and I don't think I could create imagery as well as I could, if I was in silence.
Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: Yes, I studied 2D & 3D design, along with art and graphic design in varying levels but I'm pretty much self taught. I think I even used to annoy my tutors, as all my projects seemed to finish up as a collage! Collage is a combination of experimentation and technique, it's unique in that sense. I'm not sure if you can be tought collage but that's just speaking from personal experience.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: I create patterns and textures first. I start by painting, tearing, cutting and crumpling up paper and card before stacking them into piles, I make sure I have a good supply of material. I then use a thick carboard base to stick the layers onto. A collage could take a few minutes of a few days, or even weeks to create. A lot of the process is by experimentation and chance so you have to be patient. I especially enjoy creating layers, masking tape is a great tool for this. I apply the tape to imagery, then press it down and then pull it back off to see what happens. I will then use both the tape and the material left over. I throw very little away, all the off cuts are recycled into another collage, these are often the best bits.
Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: It's probably 'Untitled Five' There is a lot of layers in this piece and I was pleased with the final outcome. I focus on getting a good balance of colour, composition and detail. I have been trying to introduce more colour into my work recently and this piece was a good example.
Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: I like all the collage legends but I also like graphic designers like Tomato, David Carson and Vaughan Oliver. They are big influences to me. I'm also inspired by musical artists such as Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and Autechre. There is a strong connection with the music I listen to and the images I create.