Coming from a graphic design background, Patrick Nelson has been a full-time collage artist now for various years. He sells his work on-line, in galleries and thru curated outlets. In 2020 he was featured within the De Younger Open in San Francisco, a juried group artwork exhibition. In June this yr, he introduced he was becoming a member of the artist roster on the California-based Aerena Galleries.
Describing his artwork, Patrick says: “I assemble graphic, timeless photos from hand-stained newspaper clippings, juxtaposing fashionable designs with previous media. The outcomes are textural snapshots into our collective reminiscence that encourage viewers to take a better look.
“My paintings lands someplace in the midst of collage and blended media,” he continues. “That mentioned, I imagine they learn extra as an illustration or portray than they do a collage. As a result of I take advantage of paper like one would use a paintbrush, utilizing smaller items to create a definitive, bigger picture.”
So how did he transition from graphic design to collage artist? “After getting my BFA from Cal Poly, I spent ten years within the graphic design and promoting business,” he recollects. “I labored with a handful of San Francisco-based inventive businesses, primarily in branding and identification, on a spread of firms from small tech start-ups to bars and eating places to the SF Giants and Virgin Airways.” Then, round 2017 he started experimenting with blended media, utilizing classic magazines and maps he present in vintage outlets.
“Over a brief time period, I developed a definite type and made paintings alongside my design profession for a couple of years,” he explains. “Then the pandemic rolled round, and I took benefit. In mid-2020, I took the leap of religion and commenced a full-time artwork profession.
“It was a narrative of the pandemic doing a little good,” he provides, “by pushing a passionate pastime into knowledgeable profession when freelance design availability was slowing down. After a yr of manufacturing and promoting positive artwork on the common, it was clear to me I needed to make the change and located a bigger work-live studio in Sausalito, California.”
His background in graphic design has had a significant affect on his type, medium, and course of, he provides. “In that business, I used to be consistently sourcing previous graphics and typefaces and bringing them to life in new methods,” Patrick explains. “I realized to create visuals utilizing the sum of a number of components, which ultimately led me to the blended medium I’ve at present.
“Moreover, I’ve all the time had an obsession with graphics and artefacts from again within the day. I used to be accumulating classic relics lengthy earlier than I knew I would be utilizing them within the paintings. The act of roaming round these previous outlets to seek out ‘new’ materials is one in all my favorite and most inspiring components of my course of.”
So what’s it about previous newspapers that he loves a lot? “Years in the past,” he responds, “when newspapers weren’t but flooded with images, they consisted of enormous one-colour illustrations, stylized typefaces, and funky layouts. The graphic limitations of this time within the newspaper business resulted in a superbly easy but expressive design aesthetic.
“These eclectic graphics play an vital function by balancing out the simplified strategy I soak up my illustration type. It offers the work texture and dynamism. Simply as a painter would create with their brush strokes, I take advantage of content material from previous newspapers.
“There is a multi-layered curiosity degree to all of it. I can admire the dated design aesthetics whereas appreciating the historic content material. For instance, whereas I wrap my head round how low-cost televisions was within the 40s, I am utilizing the expressive typography inside that advert to intensify a lady’s face.”
As Patrick sees it, there’s a sense of reality in creating photos from previous information articles and ads. “To me, this element represents the feel of society; viewers can really feel that sense of historical past frozen in time,” he explains. “We’re made up, in spite of everything, of the reminiscences and classes of our previous. An individual takes within the headlines, tales and ads, experiences them within the context of the collage at massive, and attracts connections between the 2.”
Many designers would like to transition into being full-time artists, however getting your work on the market can typically be the largest problem. For Patrick, social media has been probably the most great tool in that regard.
“Once I began out, no one knew who I used to be apart from a handful as a graphic designer,” he remembers. “So I did what most new artists do these days: I posted away, bought myself featured on different accounts, ran a few paid promotions, and tried to maintain the momentum up till I had sufficient of a follower base to make my social media efforts worthwhile.”
However that wasn’t all. “Apart from social media, I additionally took half in a number of artwork festivals, solo pop-ups, open studios, and curated showings,” he provides. “Plus, I used to be featured in a couple of native magazines. Trying again, The de Younger Open in 2020 was most likely probably the most notable of my endeavours as an rising artist.”
And he continues to develop and evolve his apply at present. “I am at the moment engaged on introducing acrylic into my paintings,” he says. “I’ve seen it will increase the significance of the newspaper sections once they’re surrounded by quieter blocks of color. I am additionally engaged on some pure acrylic on canvas items. This has been very enlightening as somebody who has labored solely with paper from the beginning. I really feel like I am going again to highschool and awakening components of my inventive mind that had been sleeping.”