Day 19 – Karen Lynch of Leaf and Petal
Leaf and Petal’s Karen Lynch is a woman of many surprises. Her collage art speaks for itself, so intricately put together to create some of the most aesthetically pleasing collages I’ve ever seen. In addition, Karen was nominated for a Best Cover Art ARIA award in 2016 for her work on the cover of Bernard Fanning’s album “Civil Dusk” . And this is only one of the outstanding achievements listed on her bio.
Are you a self-taught artist, or what studies did you do to get where you are today?
Yes I’m self taught. As far as studies go, I am a devoted Youtube and Skillshare student who is always trying to update my skills. The tutorial queen!
What tools, programs and apps can you not live without?
Up until about 12 months ago, I was strictly analogue so it was all about the scissors, paper and glue. Now my stuff is usually a hybrid of analogue and digital especially since I do quite a few commissioned projects that require revisions and flexibility in the design. I have big iMac for the digital side and use Photoshop and Plotagraph. The most important thing is my library of primary sources where I have hundreds of vintage magazines and books.
Your art provides inspirations to so many others. What or who inspires you?
My inspiration comes from surrealist art, vintage Kodachrome photography, avante garde cinema, architecture, and the colours of nature. One of the most important things I’ve ever done was a short course called “Inspiration Information” by the wonderful Pip Lincolne. It was all about finding inspiration in your daily creative life, studying the life and process of inspirational people, and forming a creative community. I could not recommend this highly enough.
Can you describe your process including how long a piece of art or photography takes you from concept to complete?
As I’m a material driven artist, it’s usually one image or part of an image that starts the process. It all builds from there. I spend an incredible amount of time searching for material before I’ve even started. For a commission, this could be two sessions of 3 hours each, sometimes days looking for the right material. Once I’m happy with one of the main elements, it becomes a matter of constantly rearranging, matching or contrasting other elements, and backgrounds. This could take 15 minutes or 3 hours. No typical time. I cut, rearrange, then only glue when I’m happy with the end result. For a digital commission, I might scan each element individually and resize and rearrange it in Photoshop. No glue! Glueing is definitely the most anxious time especially with a landscape piece with many layers.
What part of your process do you love the most?
When I am searching for material, usually in a run down secondhand shop, and flick through an old book and there’s an image that I know can be the starting point of a kick arse collage. It can be an adrenaline rush!
If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be doing for work?
Who is the most fascinating or inspiring person you have met or worked with?
It’s difficult to pick one! I’ve been extremely fortunate to work with some really great people, in advertising, the music industry and with collaborative projects, who are creative, professional, totally switched on and nice people as well.
Name an underrated artist
There are quite a few collage artists on Instagram who may not have a massive following but are incredible and respected artists, so I’m not sure they’re underrated in general. My favourites include ventralisgolden, Jesse Treece, Andrew McGranahan, Cur3es, Kate Cuthbert and Textile Warrior.
What artwork are you most proud of?
This changes constantly but at the moment, I love the album cover art I did for Tim Wheatley’s Pillar to Post.
What’s next in the professional pipe works for you?
I have an exhibition starting at the end of October, a limited edition calendar and some more cool album cover art coming soon.
Website: Leaf and Petal
Images courtesy of Leaf and Petal © Leaf and Petal