Julia Geiser likes to slice things up. She's slashing various stuff such as fruits, animals, humans *gasps* ... No reason to stop reading and no need to call the human rights offices though, since she's only doing it digitally, via collages. Julia's been studying post-industrial design in Basel, Switzerland. She was initially drawn to the digital technique because it allows her to work fast and still explore all of different design styles. She's currently playing with vintage characters and miscellaneous creatures, creating her own wicked world of grotesque fun. No matter the object being sliced (faces used as masks, corps sliced in thirds, or bodies made of kiwi), her work always fluctuates between visual and legal borders. The combination of vintage, geometrical and dramatic really gives insane results and can totally satisfy our ghoulish appetites. Check for yourself.
How did you get into art or, more precisely, into the art of making digital collages? What were you doing before this branch of art took control over your system?
Next to being a clerk and working in culture management I also organised a reoccurring small open stage event. It was so small that we did everything by ourselves – including the flyers. That's how I got in touch with digital collages. After a while I loved to do digital illustration just for the sake of it and then I started publishing them on my Tumblr blog.
What does your workspace look like? What tools are you using while creating collages?
I only use Photoshop and my laptop. I can work anywhere like that: in bed, in my garden, on the train, in a bar … Wherever I feel the need to work. I almost never do free work at my actual workspace. As that one is usually overloaded with paperwork and everything else that feels the need to land on my desk.
I've read somewhere that you only use images taken from the internet. Why?
It just makes sense. The internet is filled with images to the brim. Searching and viewing the pictures in the various online image libraries, like the Flickr Commons, is a part of the process. The online voyeurism is inspirational and having the images in real life and then scanning them would be too much work and to little process.
Are your collages carefully predefined, or do you make changes to the designs as you work?
Taking up the previous questions, I usually don't have clear predefined ideas. Maybe a hunch or wish as a starting point. And then I spend hours looking at pictures, collecting inspirational ones and I start to take them apart. The beauty of digital collages is that I can always rearrange the composition or undo this and add that. It's a very "undestructive" way of creating.
Your pieces (new ones as well as the old ones) are so bold and unexpected. What's your main source of inspiration for all this creative energy?
Having time helps. Boredom does too. They are attempts to create the visual inputs that I miss. Maybe it's also just a way to deal with the visual inputs that surround me and translating them into my collages. Being chaotic also helps. My Photoshop files are always very messy and sometimes that just leads to interesting results.
Are images better than words?
Luckily, I don't have to choose. So I won't. For me they are both very precious. They don't exist without another.
What's your ultimate goal as an artist?
To surprise myself and others. But goals are a strange concept anyway. Luckily they can change quickly. Becoming filthy rich and living the dreams would also be nice ;).
Thanks so much for your time and answers, I really appreciate it!