a couple of weeks ago i discovered sammy slabbinck’s work on tumblr, so i asked him a few questions about his work. interview below. thanks sammy!
1. Tell me something about you.
Good question! I am a 35 year old graphic artist living in Bruges, Belgium with a fondness for everything vintage. My main activities are creating postcards & collage illustrations.
2. What experiences and artists have influenced your work?
I’ve been an active viewer of (graphic) art for a long time and started creating only later on without going to art school. I think this baggage still is helpful. Lot’s of artists inspire me everyday. I have a deep love for the pop art era. Still groundbreaking!
3. What attracts you to the medium of collage?
I guess the complete freedom you have in creating something. You can combine found elements endlessly, old & new, and make up a whole new imaginary world.
4. How do you arrange your collages? Do you have a specific idea in mind or do the images evolve on paper in front of you?
One image can create a process of association and then it comes down to finding the right images to combine. Structuring images is the hardest part of all. There is no real fixed strategy, it all boils down to a gut feeling I guess. Of course some compositions always work but I try not to repeat myself too much:) and try to find new ways to create a balance between different elements. Most laws of composition can not be ignored even in collages. Some collages are made instantly others take weeks before you find the right combination or balance. A sort of complex ‘simplicity’ is usually what I aim for. The images have to interact naturally and work together to serve the bigger picture. Less is more is the old Mies cliché but it’s oh so true !
5. Where do you source your images from?
I have been collecting vintage magazines and books for a long time now, even before I started cutting them up. I’ve always been attracted to the graphics and imagery from the 50’s to 70’s era creating a database of stock images for myself.
6. I’ve noticed that you use a lot of vintage imagery, what is the reason behind this? How important is the digital media in your work?
I was always intrigued from a young age by the 50 & 60’s , the generation of my parents. I started collecting vintage stuff about 10 years ago. A lot of magazines, music, books but also furniture etc.
Designers, architects and (graphic) artists of that period all came up with new ways of shaping objects, cars, houses etc in a way that’s very appealing to me and apparently still appeals to a lot of people. The designs are still being recycled. There’s a ‘realness’ in the design and art of the fifties & sixties we’ve kind of lost nowadays. The age of possibility in comparison to where we are at now…
I love working with just paper but once you start combining them with the digital possibilities all doors fly open and the freedom of creating gets even bigger.
7. What is coming up for you in the future?
Keep working hard at creating nice & original stuff , be it digital or on actual paper. I would love to get some more assignments as well. Book covers and magazines for instance or a music album, that would be great! But I got a few nice projects coming my way and maybe even an exhibition!
8. Where can I get more info?
My portfolio site is http://sammyslabbinck.tumblr.com/ where you will also find links to my Flickr, Facebook, prints etc.