This is a copy of my first blog for Up and Coming Art online platform:
Digital Collage by Jamie Twyman
For the last few years I have been doing something I never thought I’d find myself doing – using a computer in my artistic process. In the past I have very much been anti-technology when it comes to being creative, using more traditional methods of painting, drawing and handmade collage.
It started with wanting more control over my collage work. Once you cut out an image from a book or magazine, that’s it. It comes in that one size, colour, shape – and never to be duplicated. Having the ability to scale, re-position, change layer and more has meant more creative freedom for me.
This also means the books from which I use as source material are kept preserved and not defaced or vandalised, as each book is scanned and saved. Although this takes a long time to do, it is well worth the effort.
Above is an example of a simple photo study I took of my hand, through the layering process of the collage, to final work.
Digital collage or ‘e’collage (electronic), is a term used to describe the use of computers in the cutting and pasting process.
The difference between digital collage and photomontage, is that in a digital collage the artist usually works to make it clear that the finished image has been made by “pasting” different images together.
This is true of what I aim to achieve – a tangible finish often seeming un-polished. This adds a level of ‘realness’ to the collage, for example some scans show the print from the next page through the image, which I really like.
Collage as a medium has been recognised as not really emerging until after 1900, along with early modernism. There are now many forms and variations such as Decoupage, wood collage, mosaic, prolage, rollage, and 3D collage.
As technology and computers have improved in recent years, they have become a necessity in the design industry, and have also infiltrated the art world.
For me however, it’s important to maintain artistic practices, and not let the technology take over or dictate where the work ends up.
Any computer ultimately should be used as a tool to help you achieve your creative goal.
(Left: A 1950 photomontage by Grete Stern)