An interview with a maestro of mixed media, Zach Collins.
Let's start with the basics: where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Grinnell, Iowa and currently live in Minneapolis, MN.
How old are you?
When did you first start making collages?
In September 2011 I started making analog collages. Prior to this I had been working digitally and scanning in materials. Working analog was very new and unfamiliar to me but quickly became an obsession.
What drew you to this medium?
In Sept. 2011 my friend/mentor Allen Brewer suggested I make some collages and think of them as sketches. Up until this point I was strictly producing digital collages, but soon found the immediacy of analog collage appealing. I also really enjoy the hunt for materials, which has opened up my eyes to my surroundings. I now am more aware of objects/materials that were once overlooked. The saying “one man’s trash is another mans treasure” has never been so true! I now see everyday as a treasure hunt!
"My work is about memories-tragic, humorous, and everything in-between."
How would you describe your work?
My work is about memories-tragic, humorous, and everything in-between. I investigate the unexpected associations and experiment in combining these contrasting materials with collage.
Can you run us through your thought process when creating a new piece?
For my personal work I usually don’t have a planned idea. My process starts with a couple pieces that intrigue me. This could be an image, text or a discolored, stained, and marked up piece. Then I start sifting through the scraps covering my desk. Slowly building up the collage until I feel it is complete.
What are some of your major influences?
Dada Movement and with my collaborative works Surrealism and Fluxus
Are there any artists you particular draw from?
Yes to many to list, but with the emergence of Kolaj Magazine and social media platforms, access to several are just clicks away.
Is there any client you would love to work for?
What's a typical day for you?
Getting woke up earlier than I would like to by my 4-year-old daughter and taking her to Pre-school. Then I walk my dog and when back home grab some coffee and sit down at my computer checking emails and checking in on my Flickr, Tumblr, and Facebook accounts. When I get done with my coffee usually start making collages or attending to some of the projects I have going on.
After lunch possibly do some reading and take care of some errands until 5pm and go pick up my daughter from school. Once home its hanging out with my daughter, baths, laundry, dinner ect… until her bedtime, and if I still have some energy make some more collages before I call it a night.
My favorite band right now is… Lately I have been listening to Gary Clark Jr. and The Front Bottoms.
The last good movie I saw was… Searching for Sugar Man.
I hate it when… I hear the word Juxtaposition it is like fingernail going down the chalkboard for me.
I wish I could... make collages 24/7.
After a long hard days work I like to unwind by… If I had the time would really like taking a motorcycle ride out away from the city on a nice 2-lane road. I find that to be a great way to unwind, but how I usually wind down is after dinner, baths ect.. My daughter and I sit down and watch one or two 20min episodes of her choice of instant watch shows on Netflix before bedtime.