June 8, 2010

Collage Comrade Column : Kareem Rizk

Thank you so much for taking this opportunity to be featured on my blog. I am a pretty new collage artist therefore I always love to bump into another one especially with such an inspiring techniques, materials and concept. So, let’s start with the interview now shall we?

1.Please tell me a bit about yourself and how you are first finding collage as one of your creative expressions?
I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been making traditional collages since 2005. My original creative training was in Graphic Design. I used to work for a newspaper as a graphic designer and illustrator. 
Before my formal design training I was introduced to many fine art techniques and mediums at a college pre-course. This experience has always enabled me to be very open to the application of a diverse range of mediums and techniques. Collage always seemed to be an interest for me and it often found its way into my design work. But I didn’t pursue collage as a main focus until 2006 when I found that I wanted a change from commercial graphic design. I wanted more creative freedom. 

2.Tell me about your creative process in making a collage? Is there any specific ritual or just wait for the inspirations to come or any other way?
Most of the time I will gather several elements which I feel work well together. Often I will find an image and collect typographic elements which compliment the image. I will also gather textures, patterns and colours which initially sit well together when loosely laid out on the table.  
Often my pace of working is very slow. But sometimes I seem to work very spontaneously and hastily. When a composition starts to develop and I like the direction it is heading, the rest of the work seems to progress naturally. Sometimes I will introduce different mediums like acrylic, oil pastel or pencil to add another dimension to the work. Sometimes the composition will come together by chance but will always end in some kind of order. Strong design principles always determine the dynamics and balance of the final piece. 

3.What kind of materials that you have been using or even try out after all these time? How many of them is actually works and are there any failures?
I have experimented with acrylic transfers, solvent transfers, oil pastel, pencils, ink, acrylic, gauche, spray paint, and oil paint. Oil paint never seemed to be as easy to control when combined with collage. It was also very messy to clean up. Experimenting with image transfer techniques that often use photocopies or inkjet prints with Gel medium have been the most successful. Drawing materials such as pencils and pastels have also been successful and often enhance my eclectic style. 

4.Apart from making collages, are there any other craftworks that you make?
Currently my sole medium and creative application is collage. One day I would like to experiment with screen printing and other printmaking techniques and incorporate this into my work. I also enjoy photography but it has always been a hobby.  

5.Now, let’s talk about selling the craftworks. Does it take a long time for you to decide that you can sell your collages or even actually live out of it?
By late 2006 I made the decision that I wanted be a collage artist and I wanted to make a living out of it. It was a short time after I started promoting my work online that I decided that I could sell my work. The response that my work received was greater than I could have ever expected. But at that stage I was only just starting out. My main focus was to build up a significant body of work, promote it extensively and hopefully one day get my work into galleries. Moving forward I have several projects and exhibitions lined up for 2009 including a second solo exhibition in the US. I am very grateful that the day I make a living out my art is getting closer everyday. 

6.I notice that several collage artists are also into making and selling kits and organize workshops. I love doing workshops and hoping to have more next year. How about you? 
I used to sell collage packs. They were basically bags which had a collection of paper collage elements like images, typography and an assortment of ephemera. As for workshops I haven’t been involved in any as yet. 

7.Have you done any exhibitions? Would you like to tell us what was it like?
Just over 2 years of promoting my work and many collages later I am grateful that I have already been involved with several local and international group shows and one solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the solo show but I shipped all my work from Australia without too many hassles. From all reports it was very successful considering it was my first solo show and it created some very good exposure.
8.I’ve notice also that there are so many medium where we can put our collages in apart just make them into wall-hanging or ACEO. How about you? What kind of medium that you’ve used or plan to use for your collages?
For my upcoming solo exhibition in the US I’m looking to produce a couple of large wall pieces by utilizing the technique of wheat pasting. I’m also looking at experimenting with some 3D installations. This method could include more rigid, free-standing materials and maybe boxes. 

9.What do you like most about making collages? Is there anything that you don’t like about it?
The thing I like most about making collages is that when I start a new work, I often don’t know what the finished piece will look like. Much of my work develops gradually as I put it together. Sometimes a certain theme or direction develops but it is often improvisation that plays a big part in my work.
10. Any last words? And please share us your email, shop, gallery or anything that you would like to share with us. 
Thank you for the interview and for sharing my work with the world. 
Email: info@kareemrizk.com
Website: www.kareemrizk.com 

          No comments:

          Blog Widget by LinkWithin