By Kellette Elliott
5″ x 5.5″
Analog Collage Using Magazines
I made a resolution in 2018 to create art every day to be a role model to my high school art students. I spent months experimenting with different media, posting each day on Instagram so my students could hold me accountable. About mid-2018, I had a vision of a minimalist collage with a strong negative white space surrounding the art. I truly felt inspired. This is now an integral part of my artistic voice. I appreciate vintage source images as they make me nostalgic for my childhood. I continued to make analog collages, soon finding inspiration with circles. I enjoy creating almost a portal into another world where my main subject looks into it like it’s another dimension. Because I’m creating daily, I also like to work with full-size background images as well as bold flat colors that let the viewer imagine what the space represents.
My journey as a collage artist has carried me through some dark times and times of celebration. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in my first year of my resolution. I not only found that collage was therapy for me, but it bonded us during her last months as I would share each collage with her daily, and we could discuss the meaning and it gave her a distraction from her pain. Collage carried me through her passing; you can see the pain I felt from her death through the subject matter I chose. Collage has also carried me through bright times like opportunities to do album covers, win international art contests, being published internationally, illustrating an editorial in Playboy magazine and the cover of New Statesman magazine. It’s created a bridge to friends around the world who share in their love of collage. I am an active member of the International Collage Club where we create collages weekly from the same image, but also raise money with our artwork for different causes. For the past few years, I have been battling chronic pain. It has limited my abilities as an educator and life in general. Collage has been my escape from pain, but also a way to express my feelings as navigate this pain journey. I publish my daily creations on Instagram to connect with the online collage community, and it’s been the best support system one could ask for.
Kellette Elliott is a professional collage artist and educator from Oregon, USA. She studied art at Old Dominion University and worked as a graphic designer and animator for years before she found her passion in teaching. Her students inspire her to learn and study new art techniques and that’s where she found her love of analog collage. Her work has been published in Playboy magazine and New Statesman magazine, as well as multiple album covers and galleries around the world.
For three years now, Kellette has created over 1,000 collages that are at most times autobiographical. Covering memories from her childhood, or how she’s handling her day-to-day life events. While dealing with chronic back pain in the past year, she uses collage as an escape. She can get lost in the cutting and pasting and forget about her pain even for a short time. It’s also a way to express how she’s feeling without the viewer knowing at times what is actually going on. It’s a diary of her struggles and how she tries to navigate a new life of pain and limitations. Collage is therapy for her.