Having perfected the delicate and artful technique of composition, Parisian artist Caro Ma has established herself as a leader in the fields of collage work and digital illustration. Sourcing inspiration from the wonders of yesteryear, Caro scathes through old photographs, books, illustrations and various other imagery to create her original pieces.
Taking notes from famous French new-wave Director Jean-Luc Godard, Caro explains "it's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to". Her ability to effortlessly mix elements from various backgrounds into one evenly balanced composition is a mark of digital poetry at its best. Through this technique, Caro translates the ordinary and mundane into an extremely insightful and provocative account of 'human interaction with the natural world.'
When did you first get into this line of work?
I never really decided to be an illustrator, I don't even consider myself an illustrator now. But it was about two years ago when I first started making collages.
Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
We can tell that I'm self taught. I was getting bored with my job so I started making collages to have fun!
What or who inspires your work?
One of the advantages of doing collages is that images are an important source of inspiration. I've always loved looking for old images. As for the rest, I'm still not sure where my ideas come from!
Have those influences changed over time?
Yes of course, things that touch me and inspire me are always different and always new. Those influences are made up of what I live day after day.
Who is an artist you would love to collaborate with and why?
I would love to collaborate with a music artist or mix media artist - maybe with a musician from the band Saycet.
"I can express an idea in 10 minutes... I like the speed and efficiency of this medium. I'm not a patient girl!"
What is it that drew you to collage work?
For me, working with collage is the easiest way to express myself. With 3 or 4 pieces of paper I can express an idea in 10 minutes - so I like the speed and efficiency of this medium. I'm not a patient girl!
What kind of techniques do you use with your work?
Essentially, my process can be broken down into three steps: Cut, Scan, Photoshop. I'm always looking through old books to find new images to use in my work. Once I've found the ones I like, for their meanings, the form, the colours etc, I scan them in to make my bank of images.
Once this is done, I move onto Photoshop. I pick the images I want to work with and try to create a new visual. I use Photoshop in a simple way (cut and paste) which is a lot faster for me than a traditional cut and paste. I can also easily change the size, the color and try different options until I find what I want.
Can you take us through your thought process?
I don't really have a thought process behind my work. It's just something I feel I need to do. It's the simplest way for me to express my feelings - I find it cathartic.
How do you find living and working in Paris as a creative?
Paris is an amazing city and the art-world is very dynamic but after 10 years living here I would love to find a new city.
"It's just something I feel I need to do. It's the simplest way for me to express my feelings - I find it cathartic."
The most exciting place right now is… no idea.. you tell me ?
Right now I'm listening to… The Maccabees.
The last good movie I watched was… a long time ago! The only film that comes to mind now is The Turin Horse.
The last book I read was… anything by Eleni Sikelianos.
I wish I could travel to… every where!
In the next 10 years I will be… I don't want to know, I don't like to plan!
Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor? Audrey Hepburn.