DOWNTIME w/ Garrett Blad

 Artist workspace

Artist workspace

1) Location? Cincinnati, Ohio with my best friend and most honest critic, Chloe. 🇺🇸

2) Years collaging? 3 years.

3) What do you love and hate about collage? 

Love: Colliding new ideas. My passion in life is to build a just, sustainable, and peaceful community on earth. As a gay man surrounded by conservative communities for most of my life, I’m fascinated by how our socialized identities inform our relationship to earth, to each other, and to our politics. Collage is the perfect medium to make these ideas crash together in novel and surprising ways - to make something beautiful out of what I see is problematic with the world.

Hate: Unlike many things in modern society, there are no second chances collaging with glue. It takes preparation, concentration, and plenty of patience to get everything glued down just right. It’s a hate/love relationship really. Both the magic and frustration is in the uniqueness of the images and the permanence of the glue.

4) Biggest influences? 

Eduardo Paolozzi is a big one. His early work (late 1940s to 1960s) consists largely of collage art that explores tensions between high art and popular culture, the erotic nature of consumerism, popular representation of gender and war, and the new design concept of 'artificial obsolescence'. For Paolozzi, his life was collage.

I always have music playing when I collage. Stromae, Walk the Moon, Astronomyy, Christine and the Queens, David Nail, Years & Years, Frank Ocean, Kevin Garrett, Lostboycrow, Thomston, and Troye Sivan are a few of my main go-to artists. Also NPR and John Oliver when I want to engage in the world and giggle, respectively. 

Authors have also inspired my collage work. The writings of William Cronon and Jennifer Price helps me dissect how we think about ourselves in nature. Charles Eisenstein helps me better understand the roots of our economic, political and environmental crisis. And J.K. Rowling keeps me alert collaging with my window open, eagerly awaiting my owl from Hogwarts. 

5) Analog Vs Digital? Always analog, always.

6) How do you spend your downtime? Collaging. I spend most of my non-collaging hours in various parts of the climate movement. I’m currently Executive Coordinator of SustainUS, which is a youth-led organization that empowers young people to advocate for justice and sustainability at both the domestic and international levels. I am also the Digital Communications Fellow with Climate Nexus in NYC from January 2017. Watch out Big Apple.  

7) Three tips for someone starting out in collage? 

1) Find what images excite you and start there. Even if that means buying a book from a tiny island bookstore in Canada and carrying it around the world for six months on a bicycle.

2) There are no mistakes. 

3) Ok, sometimes there are mistakes. Say it was a bad night, compost it, try again tomorrow. 

8) Up and coming shows or projects we should know about? I’m in the process of planning a show to display all 365 of my collages from this past year sometime in 2017. Follow me on social media to stay up to date!

Links:

Website: www.garrettblad.com
Instagram: @garrettblad
Facebook: @collageartbygarrett
Tumblr: garrettblad.tumblr.com

Artworks (top to bottom) 
'Speak Now or Forever' Handcut collage
'I Think They Call This Warmth' Handcut collage
'SOme Of Us Have Physical Cages' Handcut collage
'Where To Next' Handcut collage
'I Like It When You Grab My Chin' Handcut collage
'Both Are Ok' Handcut collage
'Which Flamingo Goes On The Front Lawn Again' Handcut collage
'So Much Better Then The Last One' Handcut collage