We’re making some changes to our Meet the Artist series this year and making our interviews much more personal to gain a better insight into our artists’ lives and work. We’re kicking off the interviews with our latest artist, Cardiff-based collage artist Laura Redburn. We hope you enjoy reading all about her!
Has your work always been primarily collage based or did you start off working in different ways? Can you remember the first collage you made that you were really proud of?
Before I started making collages, I painted and drew a lot. My dad was an artist, so art/creating in some way has always been in my life. I had quite a few personal painting commissions, but wanted to make work that had more potential to be seen by a wider audience.
The first ‘proper’ collage I made was in college, it kind of happened by accident, so it (slowly) snowballed from there. I can’t recall the first collage I made that I was really proud of, but the first one I loved was ‘quatre’ (the woman with the raindrops over her face, and Russian building at the bottom).
You must be constantly on the look out for paper to collage with! Where do you look to for supplies and inspiration?
My favourite is fashion and lifestyle magazines from the 50’s, and I love the wonderful faded colours and textures in most older magazines too. I have a particular love of people, nature and colour so always keep my eye out for those.
Most of my supplies come from charity shops and eBay, though I’ve found gumtree and freecycle to be good in the past too. I try to encourage local friends to give me their magazines when they’re done with them as well. They’re recycling and I’m getting collage material!
Inspiration-wise, I know this is cliché, but I get inspiration from everywhere!
Where did your online name ‘Cardboard Cities’ come from and can you tell us a little bit about the blog you run under the same name?
Ha, well this is quite random – it came from me mishearing Modest Mouse lyrics (tiny cities made of ashes) I don’t know why I misheard it as cardboard cities, but for some reason it just totally stuck with me and I decided to use it as my moniker since …about 2005?
I didn’t start my cardboardcities blog until much later. I used to have a Livejournal blog many moons ago, and when I started creating more again before I started Uni, I wanted to have a ‘proper’ blog along my portfolio, so that’s where its beginnings are. I used to share my work every couple weeks, but since 2013 decided to blog regularly and haven’t really stopped since then!
I still regularly share my work, but I also share things such as my photographs, things that inspire me and reviews of creative books.
We enjoy looking at the ‘Snapshots of My Week‘ series on your blog, when did you start capturing moments like this and what has made you carry on?
I can’t remember when I started that to be honest, but am so glad I did! I have a lifelong love of photography, and it’s only strengthened it. Also, just by taking photos regularly I’ve improved so much in the past couple of years. My love of photography has made me keep doing it, but it also provides a visual diary of moments and snippets of inspiration I may otherwise forget.
We love the patterns you create! Do you mostly work with watercolour when creating these?
Thanks! I would say it’s a pretty even mix between watercolour and and collage based patterns. I’m not quite as good at drawing as I am at making collages so watercolour ones tend to take a little longer. I need to practice and make more though!
What would be your dream job or commission?
There’s a few things I’d love to do, some of which have been dreams since childhood. Hope I can make them a reality some day!
I’d love to work with a fashion designer or clothing brand to come up with a range of items with my collages/patterns on. It would also be fantastic to work with a photographer to do a collaged fashion story in a magazine like Vogue. Literal dream come true. I’d also love to do a few book covers in my time and would love to be in a couple art books too! There’s so much I hope to achieve… I certainly have my sights set high!