can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your practice?
So my name’s Freddie, I’m a London based digital collagist typically reworking and combining a range of images from sci-fi through to classical art, abstract and fashion. The very, very basics of what I do I’d say is cut and paste. There’s of course a little bit more to it than that and you pick up new techniques all the time but essentially I’m cutting and pasting and then reworking and editing.
What is your process for figuring out an image and how has it changed over time?
I’d say my process starts with looking at lots and lots of images and taking different kinds of inspiration from all of it. Then from what I’ve been looking at through the day I’ll save links and sit down at the end of the day and piece things together. I wouldn’t say this process has changed an awful lot but I’ve become more focused on knowing what I like and efficient with putting works together. In terms of software and technique this has shifted as I previously used Illustrator rather than Photoshop and used a pen on a Surface Pro whereas now I only use a mouse - mainly because the touch screen broke!
How do you get started in something like this?
When I was much younger (12/13) I used to make my own mixed CD’s and I’d always make my own artwork for them. This was always using Photoshop and was more abstract but I guess I’ve had more of an interest in digital art for a long time now. Then the collage piece has come from all sorts, I love the idea of muddling up images and plonking different characters in scenes they wouldn’t typically belong. There was a news piece I saw years back and there was an artist (David Irvine/ Gnarled Branch) who was painting old movie scenes on top of charity shop paintings. So for example he painted the black knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (limbs missing and all) onto another painting and it just really stuck with me - I thought it was absolutely fucking hilarious/genius and it really stuck with me. I just found the exact news article I read and it was from 2014 so it really did!
I got started with the photoshop collages I do now by seeing other collage accounts on Instagram. I think Moon Patrol was the first page I really loved and then he released a video showing where he sourced pictures from and how he pulled it together and it blew my head off. Made me realise that I/anyone could at least give it a go. It still took a little nudge with my old Mac breaking down which I was using to record music on - once that broke I needed another outlet and got a second hand surface pro (as I thought I’d need the pen and touch screen!). That was just over a couple of years ago now.
How long does it take for you to create a work?
It honestly varies so much, anything from hours to days. Sometimes I’ll go back to old pieces and then rework and add to them but generally I prefer to be fairly prolific. I think at first it’s quite scary releasing anything but that quickly fades and I love having a blank ‘canvas’ and starting new pieces.
This is the first time you have produced physical editions of your work. Did seeing them as a physical object change with how you interact with them?
Yeah completely, it makes them so much more real once they’re printed and framed. I think before getting anything printed it was always just a bit of a silly hobby (which it still very much is) but now the thought that someone can enjoy something I’ve worked on outside of a screen makes it a little more real - does that makes sense? It took me a long time to put my name on my account mainly because I wasn’t ever creating for anyone else's pleasure other than my own but since having physical editions I have started to show and tell more friends.
What decides the tone/narrative of an image and where do you start?
I’d like to say mood but I’m not so sure that comes into it at all. I guess escapism is very much part of the process so my mood will kind of settle once I’ve started working on a new piece. It all comes back to what I’ve been looking at throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll see a picture and know exactly what I want to do with it - other times I’ll figure it out later... or not figure it out all!
Are there artists/music/imagery that inspires you?
I’ve mentioned a couple of artists above and kinds of imagery I like but in terms of music I listen to a lot of 60’s psychedelia (Velvet Underground, Stooges, Silver Apples, Zappa, Santana etc. etc.) and also more neo-pysch, shoegaze and Krautrock (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Angels, Nue, Follakzoid, Vacant Lots to name a few). I play bass with some friends in a band called the Confederate Dead and designed the album sleeve for our last album. I am inspired by music more generally in the sense that I wanted to make album cover art hence making all my pieces square but it’s not something I’ve pushed particularly hard up to now.
The whole practice sways between dark and frivolous, sometimes in the same image. What is it about doing this that excites you?
It’s just what I find amusing. Linking to what I mentioned earlier, I love the ridiculous and things looking out of place and collage is the perfect medium to express that. Not all the time but I get a kick and a laugh out of it for sure.
Working with digital art whilst NFT’s emerge must be interesting, do you interact with that at all?
It’s something I’ve kept an eye on but not something I feel any pressure to dive into anytime soon. There’s part of me that’s fearful of losing some/ all of the enjoyment out of what I do once I start trying to monetise it. On the flip side of that it would be a really proud moment to see something I’ve created hanging on someone’s wall. I’ll take it one step at a time as I have up until now and see how things go!
if you would like to purchase any of Freddie's work please contact: email@example.com
7 Torrens Street, The Angel, London EC1V 1NQ Contact