Collage in Action

“Janet”, Kristyn Bat, digitized collage, 2012.

Last week when I was writing about this workshop I was about to attend, I gushed on and on about my love of postcards. However, I completely neglected the fact that my true love, my first real art medium, and the subconscious reason I was probably so excited about this workshop is COLLAGE. I remember my mom letting me cut up old magazines as soon as I was able to use scissors. Later on, this became the foundation on which I started my zine. It was the summer before 9th grade and I made a particularly cool collage, but didn’t have anything to do with it. I was just getting into the punk scene, and so I made some lists of all the shows that were happening, interviewed my friends, took creepy pictures of my sisters, and for thirteen issues spanning over two or three years, I cut and pasted, copied and stapled. Collage is the only thing I ever felt like I knew how to do well, before I went to art school and learned to draw. So comparatively, I’m a newbie at every other technique I know.

The technique Odalis showed us consisted of creating collages with three-dimensional elements, then photographing them. The result is a digitized collage that looks richer, voluminous and more alive than anything glued to a flat surface ever could. The people working with me must have thought I was on something, because I cut and glued like a maniac at Girls’ Club. I was able to create six original pieces in about three hours; Odalis and the Girls’ Club staff photographed, cropped and printed, leaving me with two sets of inkjet giclee prints of my work.

I’m so happy that I made time to fit art into my schedule. Retrospectively, after a recent turn of events, I feel like making that time was a little offering to the art gods, saying, I still really love to do this kind of thing more than anything else, and I’m willing to go out of my way to make it my priority now, so take note. After leaving Girls’ Club, giddy about the postcards I’d made and already planning who I was going to send them to, I made the long trek out to Kendall to talk with the lovely Maytee Bringas at Sunset Tattoo Parlour. I was super nervous walking into the shop of basically the two coolest and well-respected lady tattooers in South Florida, Maytee and Pooka. But I felt instantly at home – and that’s a good thing. Because starting after Memorial Day, I’ll be their newest artist!

Super big thank you’s to Odalis and Sarah for hosting such a great workshop, everyone needs to go see the stunning exhibition of photography and collage currently showing at Girls’ Club. And to Steve Zap for his Friday night Facebook premonition, hitting me up with compliments and friendliness before I’d even walked into the shop. And to Maytee and everyone else at Sunset, thanks for the opportunity – I’m ridiculously, embarrassingly excited to start working with you all.

Check out the other artists I worked with at Girls’ Club on the collections’ blog.

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About Kristyn Michele Bat

Teacher, tattooer, artist.

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