Cut, paste, art

Editor-in-Chief develops creative hobbies, passion

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Blake Loria

One of the first collages Loria crafted while beginning his art journey, titled “Working Machine.” A blend of magazine elements, washi tape and stock paper, the collage lay in one of the various journals filled with mixed media art by Loria.

Art.

This word has a lot of baggage. What is art? And who decides what is not art? Why is there a stigma with artists?

A more recent work by Loria, the collage utilizes washi tape, a picture of a man from a magazine and some glue to create not only a dark tux and background around the man, but also an aura of pink tape to stand out. (Blake Loria)

I do not consider myself to be an artistic person, or even to be very good at it. Through middle school and much of high school, I was much more of a classic nerd, focusing on literature and academic interests such as writing. And although I cannot answer the above questions, in the last few years, I started a journey of developing my art skills and expressing my ideas, emotions and thoughts through an amalgamation of art and photography.

Many self-described artists declare art to be some beyond-important, essential experience, with figures such as Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and even Bob Ross being idolized for generations. Along with cringey phrases describing the importance of art forms abundant throughout the internet, it is understandable why some would be intimidated by beginning art and the stigma around it. I, for one, found my inspiration for art in a much more modest way: flipping through magazines.

From monthly magazines like Wired and Popular Science, I began noticing the different designs and layouts on their pages. I decided to piece together my own designs and even take parts from some designs and switch those parts with others, inadvertently making simple collages. Piquing my interest, I looked into mixed media arts—the visual art of collaging various mediums or materials together. Since then, I have made many collages, both physical and virtual, have picked up paint pouring, bound several journals and even created bookmarks.

Art was never something I excelled in; it did not come naturally to me. But now, gazing at paints, magazines and photos inspires me, and through the development of my art and photography, creating my own works has become easier and easier. Washi tape, comic strips, vintage newspaper–all things I include in art projects. One thing I learned through my artwork is everything can be recycled and reimagined.

Loria took this photo of a bird flying past a bison with his NIKON D5600 camera in a snap moment of judgment. (Blake Loria)

One such example is the above collage. Created with several styles of washi tape, along with a mix of ideas from art books, I combined the photo from a man’s obituary with some dark-colored tape and an atmosphere of sorts made from pink tape to contrast with the other tape and grayscale image.

My use of art has been a way for me to grow and open my mind to creativity. I find it fitting I once could not design anything myself, but I now get giddy from the different magazines and design elements I see. An example of this are the Indianapolis 500 magazines from the 70s I acquired from my grandmother and the unused magazines and newspapers left in the school library for me to skim through.

Alongside art, I further expanded the right side of my brain by picking up a camera, going outside and becoming a photographer. While I have a lot to learn and much room to grow, I am proud of my development and the comfort I find in holding a camera. As a journalist, I have learned to take pictures for stories, or even create a photo illustration in a bind, but as a photographer, I have learned why exactly to take a photo and how to further those skills to combine with journalism.

The clicking of the shutter is not the most important aspect of taking a photo. It is instead the intention of the photo; the split second between the action of the subject and the feeling of exhilaration knowing whether or not the shot was worth it is the thrill of being a photographer. This limbo between subject and photo is not only important to me, but my images overall. I know I am not the best, and I am aware I am no where close, but I hope to one day be proud of my collection of photos taken at football games, random objects I discovered outside or of my friends on weekends.

One example of how Loria combined his love for art with his love for photography is through editing photos in Photoshop and messing around with filters and different tools. (Blake Loria)

From taking my first photo for The Eagle’s Tale–as mediocre as it was–to having my photos used in our yearbook, my use of photography has helped me become a better journalist. The final step in this metaphorical, artistic journey is the combination of both my photography and collage art. Although on the surface the two vary greatly, my investment in these two hobbies has developed my skills in both creativity and my work for journalism. I plan to one day use my skills for a career in journalism, so I am thankful for the time and care I have spent on my art.

Readers interested in my art and photography can follow my Instagram page for my (occasional) progress at bobos.mix.