Erin Case is a collage artist from Midland, Michigan who makes mind blowing collages. Erin who wants to become an educator in the future, is currently pursuing her bachelor degree in Fine Arts. She loves art, acting and film making, singing, photography and is into organizing and hosting events throughout Michigan.
Erin also paints and draws but her main focus is on collage making and honestly speaking she's the best in that. She's into both hand-made and digital collage making. Read on to know more about Erin and her mind-blowing collages in our exclusive interview with her.
1. Hi Erin, please introduce yourself to our reader.
Hello Reader. I’m Erin, nice to meet you. I come from Midland, Michigan, world headquarters of the DOW Chemical Company. It’s quiet and stinky here. I’m about to turn thirty, which is kinda freaking me out because I’m a single college junior without dental insurance.
2. What prompted you to become an artist? Were you always the artistically inclined type of person? What art forms do you enjoy doing?
Well, I grew up with artist parents; a professional graphic designer mom and a musician and doodler extraordinaire dad. I think being an artist is just in my nature. I’ve always been creative, but it took me a long time to find what I wanted to do with my creativity, what vehicle best suited me. When I was a little little kid I wanted to be an opera singer. Ha, it drove my parents nuts. Later in my childhood I strove to be a writer. As a teen I just wanted to play music, then later I was an aspiring fashion designer. It wasn’t until pretty recently that I found my place with visual art.
There aren’t many forms of art that I don’t enjoy doing. I’ve dabbled in pretty much everything. My favorite is collage, of course, but I also love acting/film making, singing, photography, and sculpture. I’ll probably always keep expanding and exploring potential creative outlets.
3. Your collages and photographs are amazing, pretty edgy I must say, is there a particular concept behind creating them?
Thanks! Yeah, there’s definitely a concept behind each work. I think part of what sets me apart from many other collage artists is that I do conceptualize before I begin a piece. I don’t flip through an old magazine waiting for something to say “use me”; I have a clear idea of what I intend to express and of the composition in my mind’s eye from the moment I pick up my Exacto. Sometimes it takes me eons to complete a collage because I can’t find the pieces that I need in my hoard of source materials, and a hoard it is!
Most of the photographs that are in my public portfolios are collaborations with Andrew Tamlyn (whom I’ll talk about more in a minute). We have a lot of fun conceptualizing and executing shoots. We’ve done quite a few collabs, the best known being the Haircut series.
4. Your Haircut series is so unique and innovative. What prompted you to come up with it and would you throw some light on the techniques and softwares you used for creating the images?
The Haircut Series is a collaborative effort, with my good friend and housemate, Andrew Tamlyn. We spend a lot of time together and do loads of creating together. Over the Summer he went on this month long road trip with his family, out west. It was the longest period of time we had gone without working on something together, ever. So there I was, spending my Summer vacation sitting at home being totally jealous of Andrew’s adventures, thinking about giving myself a cool new haircut (as I tend to do when I’m feeling uninspired, don’t ask me why). As I’m browsing the web, looking for inspiration for a new doo, Andrew starts posting these insane Instagram photos (from his cell phone) to his Facebook page. It happened pretty instantly, I stopped thinking about cutting my hair and knew instead that I needed to visually relate Andrew’s absence with this lack of daily inspiration that existed without him around and my being compelled to cut hair. So I very quickly did Haircut 1 and Haircut 2 in Photoshop. I very simply did a couple “layers” of Andrew’s landscape and of the hairstyle photo. I just used the quick-select tool to select the fleshy parts and remove them, did a little fine tuning in positioning, and walah. I wanted the finished result to mirror the instantaneous nature of both Instagram and of the inspiration. Over the next couple weeks, Andrew kept posting more and more photos of his travels and I kept collaging with them. It ended up being this super cool way that we stayed artistically connected while he was gone. The entire series is going to be in the upcoming, all collaboration issue of the Chicago-based literary magazine, Red Lightbulbs. Andrew and I have each had our solo works in the magazine in the past, but there is just something about artistic collaboration that creates the most unique output. I’m really looking forward to the 9th Issue, which should be coming out Mid-October.
5. How do you decide upon the subject for your work - collages, ink drawings, paintings and photographs?
I tend to create when I’m in a state of emotional upset, be it high or low. I get it out of me, in a sense, by representing what I’m feeling (or the source of the feeling) through my work. Human connection is what keeps me going, as well as what tears me down. And my experiences with people are the prevailing subject throughout my body of work.
6. What other artists do you draw inspiration from? If you could work on a joint project with one of them, who would it be and why?
Visually I draw a lot of inspiration from surrealist artists, like Wilfred Saaty, John Stezaker, Man Ray, and Dali. I had this really great university art teacher, Mike Mosher. We had a collage assignment in his class and I did 4 pieces for the assignment. It was first time I ever really shared my collage work with anyone, and his appreciation and praise just really inspired me to start sharing my work with people. I definitely draw a lot of inspiration from my artist friends and they are whom I would choose to work with, over masters. I think that having a personal connection with an artistic cohort is going to result in something more remarkable.
|To Be Absolved|
7. Lets have a rapid fire round:
Are you a tea or coffee person?
Coffee all day. Tea is nice sometimes too though.
Your favourite genre of music?
Michigan music! And surf/psych.
Your idea of the perfect way to relax?
Cuddling up with my fat cat, Monkey.
The biggest compliment that you have received for your work?
There’s this blogger, Beach Sloth, that said of my collages, “completely sincere and devoid of irony”. A lot of people have said really great things, but knowing that my work reads as sincere just makes me too happy.
Which of your creations is your absolute favorite?
This is a hard one to answer! I guess if I have to choose, About-face.
8. What sort of activities do you like to pursue in your free time? Which of these do you find to be most de-stressing?
I love seeing live music, going on road trips, thrifting, Recently I’ve been playing drums here and there and trying to teach myself violin. Maybe this is a typical “girl” answer, but thrift shopping really de-stresses me.
9. What are your future plans as an artist? Any dream project that you would absolutely love to work on?
In the immediate future, I’m taking part in Saatchi Gallery’s 12x12 collection that they’ll be launching for the holidays. I created a new piece, exclusively for Saatchi and there will be a limited edition of only 12 prints and the original available for sale. I’m pretty excited that I was invited by the director to take part. I’m also currently taking place in Saatchi Online’s Showdown competition. You can view my submission here, and voting is open until October 8th.
I’m currently in pursuit of my bachelor’s degree in fine art, and then I intend to get a teacher’s certification. Art Education is really my practical back-up plan though. I would love to be able to make a living just making and showcasing art, because it’s really what I love to do.
10. What advice would you like to give to wannabe artists to help them succeed?
I think the most important thing I’ve learned, that I could pass on is: Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
For more of Erin's work, feel free to visit her website.
Thank you Erin for taking out the time and doing this interview with us. We'd like to wish you the very best for the future.