Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Heart Lab: Nicola Starr

Nicola emailed me samples of her work and I knew right away that I had to get her on the site before she got too big and busy for lil' old me!

Her collages have an air of simplicity, almost Zen in nature. Each element is balanced, right down to the last pixel. The page could have 10 very different elements on it, but somehow everything is in harmony. By no means do I equate simplicity with easy, in fact, I think simplicity is one of the hardest things to achieve (in life, in art, in cooking ... I guess in everything).

Don't take my word for it, have a look at her website and her flickr gallery.

Step 1: Searching
The image search begins. Old magazines (1950's and 1960's national geographics are my favourites), old books, stamps and envelopes. I also take swatches of colour from modern glossy magazines = Usually I spend about 45 minutes finding the images and 30 minutes re-reading the magazines (very bad habit!)

Step 2: Cutting
Now for the cutting out of images and shapes and paper. I have a scalpel obsession, I have to change the blade on mine constantly, I can't stand a blunt blade = I find it beneficial to both my work and fingers if I spend at least 30 minutes cutting out slowly!

>> continue reading Heart Lab

Step 3: Layout, layout, layout
Working out my layout/composition can sometimes take minutes sometimes hours. If something isn't working, I flick through some of my favourite design books (End of Print - David Carson, All Messed Up - Anna Gerber) for some inspiration = hard to put a time on this one, on a good day 25 minutes, but I have been known to spend about 3 hours moving a square frame about 2 inches in either direction.

Step 4: Finishing by Hand
I used a lot of lines, letters and general doodles to pull all parts of the collage together = I like to take my time with finishing touches I usually spend about 45 minutes.

Step 5: Scanning
Scan the collage into my lovely laptop = if Butch, my laptop, is behaving nicely this usually takes about 10 minutes.

Step 6: Tweaking
I use Photoshop to clean up the image, balance colours and add a few elements = Again I have been known to play around with one image for at least 3 hours but I aim to get this done in about 30 minutes

Step 7: Uploading
I usually upload to my flickr account or send the image to the printers depending on who I created the collage for = this again is dependent on "Butch" and the interweb so sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes I'm resizing for an hour!!

Thanks Nicola!!


Melissa de la Fuente said...

Awesome! I am looking forward to checking out her flickr!

Casey Maura said...

I stumbled on Nicola's website a few months back and have been in love with her style and collage work since. thank you so much for this interview with her--it was fun reading about the process!! :)

Marichelle said...

melissa & casey:

melissa: get ready to be amazed :) I love her work and can't wait to see her do more!

casey: Isn't she the best? I'll be doing a more in-depth interview with her - it will probably be posted sometime in June (in conjunction with her site relaunch). Thanks for saying hello!

Bev said...

WOW I am so impressed that my Sisters work is on this site! She is so very talented and it's lovely to see other people appreciating her work...Well done Nicky! xx Bev xx