• UO Interviews: Loren Crosier's Collages

    We love the artful collages of NY graphic designer Loren Crosier, whose thoughtful pairings of mixed mediums regularly stop us in our tracks. We teamed up with Loren to create a special series of pastel collages for us, and sat down with her to learn more about her work and inspirations.

    You wear a lot of different creative hats — can you share more about what projects you’re working on right now?
    I work full time as a freelance Graphic Designer and Art Director so I juggle a lot of different creative projects at once and they tend to spill over into my own artistic endeavors. I mostly do graphic design and have a lot of exciting branding and print layout projects on my plate right now. In an effort to do more art direction I’ve teamed up with Michelle Cho, an amazing photographer and videographer in Oakland and I am so excited about this collaboration. We’ve been working on short exploratory films and photo essays for some Oakland brands we love. In addition, I’m always working on digital collages and film photography, out of habit, not for anything specific.

    Can you explain the concept and ideas behind these collages?
    These collages are a general accumulation of what is inspiring me lately and what I’ve had on my mind. Some of the colors and textures are from current design projects so there is an ongoing dialogue and exploration going on there. In my graphic design practice I am moving more toward 3D design and animation and am looking to create more of 3D space and encapsulation of movement in 2D artwork. It’s subtle right now for sure. It’s becoming more abstract than ever before which feels right.

    Can you share a bit more about your artistic process — what are you most drawn to in your work?
    I’m drawn to small moments, such as light, texture and color combinations and I usually start from there. It’s very exploratory so however I come across a visual whether it be through an old magazine, an image online, or something I see and take a photo of, I then break it up and play with it. It’s a lot of extracting and combining things I’m drawn to. I mix analogue and digital pretty frequently and without a lot of a rhythm. For example, I might take a photo of a shadow, get it developed and scan it in, do some digital effects, print it and tear it up and scan it in again, and sometimes it’s 100% digital. Either way the pieces in the collage were at some point an object or place that was photographed.

    What have been some recent (specific) sources of inspiration?
    Fashion is always an underlying source of inspiration in my artwork and I usually quite literally extract fabric folds and garments in my collages. I’m really drawn to film lately and love seeing how fashion brands in particular are playing with it for editorials and lookbooks. A friend just introduced me to "Meshes of the Afternoon," a short film by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid and it blew my mind. I could watch it over and over again.

    What locations have been most influential to you?
    I feel very inspired and intrigued by people and culture so that’s what usually influences my work the most. The cities I have spent a lot of time have definitely influenced my creative career and interests. I grew up in Nashville surrounded by lots of strong southern women. I think that my work has an almost overly feminine feel that can be attributed to that,  think Dolly Parton. I then lived in Baltimore where I pursued a liberal arts degree and was very much focused on exploring social justice, at that point keeping my photography and art hobbies completely separate. During college I  lived in Buenos Aires for a semester and became more familiar with social art and started to think about using artistic skills to  communicate messages, ultimately design. After college I moved to the Bay Area which was very conducive for graphic design and anything digital. Oakland in particular is a large community of artists so it was easier than ever for me to feel comfortable pursuing an artistic freelance career. I traveled to New York a few months ago and felt a pull towards design and artistic endeavors there.  So here I am 3 months later living in Brooklyn. We’ll see how that shapes my design and art.

    Much of your work is digital — can you speak about having a creative outlet like this that is tactile?
    When I happened upon graphic design as a career it was a huge “aha” moment. It was something I was always attracted to yet never really thought about how it was produced. Once I started playing around with creative software I started using it in my collage work which had been strictly analogue. I had so many magazine and paper clippings that would just sit in binders because I was too afraid to use them and mess up and lose an amazing artifact that I had strategically plucked. Once I started scanning things I was collaging more than ever. I could use one image in so many different ways. As someone who travels and moves around every few years it’s not practical for me to cart my entire clipping collection and tools with me each time. Digital work for me is freeing because I can actually do it whenever and wherever I want.

    Who are some of your favorite artists?
    I’m so inspired by everything that abstract painter Heather Day is coming out with right now. I’m also a big fan of other collage artist such as Rosemarie Auberson and Linda Linko. I have a soft spot for photographers and Charlie Schuck and Paloma Lanna (from Paloma Wool) just get it.

    What are some of your favorite color or texture combinations?
    I’m very excited by this question. Right now I have a few combos that I keep coming back to, pastels and stripes. Fabric folds, usually cotton. Metallics and other synthetic materials such as pink vinyl paper. Marble and more organic textures have been a constant favorite for a while now.

    We also really love your blog! What have been some recent themes or ideas there?
    I’ve had the blog for over 5 years and it is always changing. It’s a place where I share things I really like which you can see are largely fashion related and/or photography and art. I have a guest column that I do with photographer and designer, Jessica Comingore where we share our personal photography and write about mindful living topics. It’s been fun for both of us to do a little more personal reflection and writing each month about topics that aren’t addressed by a lot of our design peers and bloggers. Some topics include, the glorification of busy, traveling alone, and tidying up. The blog in general is a place to share things that mean a lot to me for no other reason than I want other people to feel and see what inspires me so they can also feel inspired.