Day 1 – Sarah Eisenlohr
Sarah Eisenlohr is a collage artist and graphic designer who resides in Montana, USA.
Are you a self taught artist, or what studies did you do to get where you are today?
I have a BFA in Fine Arts and a BFA in Graphic Design. While I was going to school for arts, I was taking a class called “Mapping,” which incorporated art media and maps together. We had to create a series for our final project and I had wanted to try out collage, so I made a few pieces involving how humans can impact our landscape or “remap” its appearance. These ended up being the beginnings to my first collage series, Mapping. Afterwards, I became obsessed with collaging.
What tools, programs and apps do you love or cannot live without?
Vintage magazines, paste, X-acto, healing mat are
essential for creating my collages. Adobe programs and Apple products in general I can’t live without for getting my collages into print and also creating my graphic design work.
Your art provides inspirations to so many others. What or who inspires you?
Nature. I live in a really beautiful place with jagged, snow-capped mountains, thick green trees and pretty flowers. Also, spirituality is an important part of my life so it’s embedded into a lot of my work.
Can you describe your process including how long a piece of art or photography takes you from concept to complete
Lately, I’ve been creating my collages digitally as a trial run to see how it will turn out before totally committing. I typically have only one copy of an image so it’s important to cut it right the first time! If I feel excited about the piece after digitally arranging the collage, I’ll go for it.
The analog version never ends up like the digital. Sometimes I cut off a piece that I didn’t intend or I totally place the image in the wrong spot and leave glue marks trying to move it around. All of the prints I sell of my work are the analog version- I want to show my hand in the work, rather than the perfect digital version.
Most of my pieces are about 6″x10″. Since I’m very methodical before I paste everything together, some pieces can take take a year to complete, while others fall into place in a couple of minutes.
What part of your process do you love the most?
I love when a piece comes together, all the elements harmonize well with each other and I’ve finished something new. My least favorite process is the physical cutting and pasting because it’s the part where I could accidentally mess up the piece.
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be doing for work?
If I wasn’t into art, I would probably be more sciency, so I would find a job that involves being outside. It would be cool to be an archeologist or paleontologist. I actually live in prime territory for dinosaur bones… But also being a botanist or a horticulturist could be fun, too!
Who is the most fascinating or inspiring person you have met or worked with?
Like, anyone who is from Bozeman (where I’m from). It’s very Bozeman-y to be really good at any outdoor sport. So there’s really good climbers, and super marathoners and backcountry skiers and also skiers and guns (biathlon). There’s some pretty inspiring people here.
Name an underrated artist (if you know one)?
I’m really inspired by Gemma O’Brien right now – she’s a handletterer in Australia.
What artwork of yours are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my BFA senior thesis series – Comfort. You can look at them here: http://sarah-eisenlohr.com/comfort. During my senior year, our final semester was totally dedicated to finishing our thesis and my professors kept encouraging me to try different avenues each time I presented them with a new idea. When I had two weeks before the gallery showing, I still had nothing to present and decided to not think about it too hard and started making collages. My first piece that I ended up with was called, Tent. I created three more and during that time, I was reading the Bible one evening and came across Psalm 61:1-4 and saw that they all closely aligned with the scripture, which was pretty cool.
What’s next in the professional pipe works for you?
I’m wanting to learn how to handletter, start framing my own pieces for local shows, and continue with graphic design projects.
Sarah Eisenlohr’s bonus fun questions
What is your pet peeve?
I think I have slight misophonia, so repetitive sounds like a phone continuously dinging with texts drives me nuts.
What is your current favourite album?
My all time favorite album is Arcade Fire’s, Funeral. I’m currently listening to the XX, which never gets old, either.
Apart from art, what is your favourite thing to do?
I like riding bikes and bouldering. I think I need to find a PT before starting up bouldering again this year. I messed up one of my fingers from crimpy holds last year, so it might be fixable or I might just have arthritis.
If you could tame any animal and have it as a pet, which one would it be and why?
Any baby animals are cute – if only they could stay small. I love watching videos of baby elephants…
Photographs courtesy of Sarah Eisenlohr © Sarah Eisenlohr