Vincent's work is hugely inspiring. The word that comes to mind looking at his work is "concentrated," and I'm pretty sure this is an apt description. There is always white negative space in his collages, and he uses very few elements to display his message, which is often concentrated in one spot on the page. I think his work is brilliant, and that there is so much variety on his site (you should check out).
Vincent Pacheco aka Mudchicken
Seattle, WA (originally from Northern California)
Q: Describe your work in 10 words or less.
A: A never-ending hunt for the truth.
Q: What do you like to work with (magazines, photographs, vintage)? Be specific!
A: I have a big collection of Life Magazines from the 60s and 70s that I use for my collage work. I also use vintage Playboys from the same time period, Cosmopolitans, and a variety of old encyclopedias and Time Life Books. Those are the sources of material that I go to on a regular basis. There's something about the photo quality in these vintage publications... the dot pattern and colour is amazing! I also use modern fashion magazine from time to time, but I would say that the vintage stuff is my bread and butter. Other materials I can't live without are vintage floral fabrics, family photographs, and a variety of tape and adhesives.
Q: How long have you been creating collages and what made you start?
A: I've been doing my personal work for 5 years now. I started collaging for fun at first, and I was immediately drawn to how freeing the medium was and how much I could communicate through small gestures or compositions. I never really connected to other mediums; I found most to be quite time-consuming. With collage, the emotion really comes through, and the results are immediate. I am an impatient person by nature, so collaging was a perfect fit.
Q: Are you solely an artist, or do you work in another profession?
A: I'd say that I'm in transition right now. I quit my job as a graphic designer in Corporate America last year to clear my head and focus on my personal work, but I still have to rely on freelance design work from time to time to stay afloat financially. I am trying to remedy this though... I'm trying everything I can think of to make art a reality, and to eliminate the corporate work from my life. I have recently started a non-profit artist collective called WAFA, whose purpose is to allow other artists to come together and inspire each other, and will give each of us an avenue to show and sell our work out of our studio/gallery. My hope is that this takes off and allows me to continue doing what I love. I'm trying to figure it all out, and it's definitely been a challenge. I feel like I'm in the fight of my life out here.
Q: Do you have any formal art training?
A: I took a few art classes in college--basic drawing and photography courses, but the majority of my course work revolved around graphic design. I was never taught anything about collage, I have had to explore this on my own.
Q: Explain your favourite techniques.
A: My goal with my work is to simply tell my story. One technique/approach that has helped me get closer to this is working with the idea of "sketching". When I start working, I don't set out to make a masterpiece--I treat the piece as just another sketch along the way. It keeps the work honest, and in a way, allows me to relinquish control. I've realized that it is a long journey, and that I have so much work to do in my lifetime. But every step along the way is important. Every sketch and idea will ultimately add up and tell my story in the end. I just have to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper! This approach helps alleviate some of the pressure of making a masterpiece right now, and to see the bigger picture. I've found it to be much easier to be honest and connect with myself, and I can just let it flow naturally without any preconceptions.
Q: Describe your favourite piece ever created.
A: I created a piece in 2006 that changed my life forever. It was the first piece in my "Burden of Choice" series, and It was the first time I had experienced a direct connection between my work and what I was going through in my life. I had never experienced this before, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a defining moment for sure. I think that if it hadn't been for this piece, I would still be sitting in a gray cubicle wasting my life away.
Q: What other artists do you admire?
A: Walker Evans and Robert Rauschenberg have been huge inspirations in my life. I love how they worked and worked throughout their entire lives, and never lost their curiosity. I've also been inspired by the work of Jasper Johns, Anselm Kiefer, Tim Hawkinson, Jackson Pollock, Eduardo Recife, CocoRosie, Andy Warhol, Bruno Savona, Thomas Schostok, Margaret Kilgallen, Mike Mills, Brandon Wilson, David Carson, Joanna Newsom, Esther Pearl Watson, Miranda July, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and tons more. I must also mention my good friend Sundry Sullen, who I am lucky to share a studio with.