Coming from a graphic design and style track record, Patrick Nelson has been a entire-time collage artist now for a range of many years. He sells his perform on the internet, in galleries and via curated stores. In 2020 he was highlighted in the De Young Open up in San Francisco, a juried group artwork exhibition. In June this calendar year, he declared he was joining the artist roster at the California-primarily based Aerena Galleries.
Describing his art, Patrick claims: “I construct graphic, timeless images from hand-stained newspaper clippings, juxtaposing modern day styles with old media. The benefits are textural snapshots into our collective memory that motivate viewers to just take a nearer glance.
“My artwork lands somewhere in the center of collage and mixed media,” he proceeds. “That mentioned, I imagine they examine a lot more as an illustration or portray than they do a collage. Mainly because I use paper like a person would use a paintbrush, working with smaller pieces to generate a definitive, more substantial image.”
So how did he changeover from graphic style and design to collage artist? “Just after receiving my BFA from Cal Poly, I spent 10 many years in the graphic design and advertising business,” he remembers. “I labored with a handful of San Francisco-based artistic organizations, principally in branding and identification, on a assortment of organizations from smaller tech start off-ups to bars and restaurants to the SF Giants and Virgin Airways.” Then, around 2017 he started experimenting with blended media, utilizing classic publications and maps he discovered in antique stores.
“Above a limited time period of time, I made a distinctive design and created artwork alongside my layout occupation for a number of several years,” he points out. “Then the pandemic rolled all over, and I took gain. In mid-2020, I took the leap of faith and began a entire-time artwork career.
“It was a tale of the pandemic executing some fantastic,” he provides, “by pushing a passionate pastime into a qualified career when freelance design availability was slowing down. After a year of making and advertising fantastic art on the normal, it was distinct to me I had to make the swap and found a larger sized get the job done-are living studio in Sausalito, California.”
His background in graphic style has had a key impact on his style, medium, and process, he provides. “In that business, I was continuously sourcing aged graphics and typefaces and bringing them to everyday living in new approaches,” Patrick describes. “I acquired to develop visuals applying the sum of numerous components, which eventually led me to the blended medium I have these days.
“Also, I have always had an obsession with graphics and artefacts from back again in the day. I was gathering vintage relics extensive in advance of I knew I’d be applying them in the artwork. The act of roaming about these aged shops to locate ‘new’ materials is one of my favourite and most inspiring components of my course of action.”
So what is it about outdated newspapers that he enjoys so much? “Decades ago,” he responds, “when newspapers weren’t nonetheless flooded with pictures, they consisted of large one-color illustrations, stylized typefaces, and funky layouts. The graphic restrictions of this time in the newspaper sector resulted in a beautifully very simple yet expressive design aesthetic.
“These eclectic graphics engage in an critical position by balancing out the simplified solution I acquire in my illustration model. It gives the get the job done texture and dynamism. Just as a painter would build with their brush strokes, I use material from outdated newspapers.
“There’s a multi-layered curiosity amount to it all. I can admire the dated design and style aesthetics whilst appreciating the historic content material. For case in point, although I wrap my head all-around how low-priced televisions made use of to be in the 40s, I am utilizing the expressive typography within just that advert to accentuate a woman’s experience.”
As Patrick sees it, there is a sense of reality in developing photographs from previous information articles or blog posts and advertisements. “To me, this detail signifies the texture of modern society viewers can really feel that sense of historical past frozen in time,” he clarifies. “We are manufactured up, just after all, of the reminiscences and classes of our past. A man or woman takes in the headlines, stories and ads, encounters them in the context of the collage at big, and draws connections concerning the two.”
Quite a few designers would really like to changeover into getting full-time artists, but getting your work out there can typically be the biggest challenge. For Patrick, social media has been the most beneficial instrument in that regard.
“When I began out, no one realized who I was apart from for a handful as a graphic designer,” he remembers. “So I did what most new artists do these days: I posted away, acquired myself showcased on other accounts, ran a pair of paid out promotions, and tried to hold the momentum up right up until I experienced more than enough of a follower foundation to make my social media initiatives worthwhile.”
But that wasn’t all. “Aside from social media, I also took aspect in various art festivals, solo pop-ups, open up studios, and curated showings,” he adds. “Furthermore, I was highlighted in a handful of nearby magazines. Hunting back again, The de Youthful Open in 2020 was probably the most noteworthy of my endeavours as an emerging artist.”
And he proceeds to grow and evolve his practice these days. “I’m presently performing on introducing acrylic into my artwork,” he claims. “I have discovered it will increase the significance of the newspaper sections when they’re surrounded by quieter blocks of colour. I’m also functioning on some pure acrylic on canvas pieces. This has been incredibly enlightening as a person who has worked solely with paper from the start out. I come to feel like I’m heading back to college and awakening components of my inventive brain that experienced been sleeping.”