Eclectic Cut-Outs | Agnieszka Zajac aka Agazart

Lucky Dip Mixed Media Collage Kit by Agazart

/DRI:M/ARTZ: Can you tell me a little about yourself?

Agnieszka Zajac aka Agazart: I am a Polish-born artist based in Plymouth, UK. After studying Visual Art, Interior Design, Humanities and Art Therapy I moved to England where I have been living and working since 2005. I specialise in analogue collage—paper is my medium. I work from my home studio, which is always buried in paper, old books, vintage photographs, embroidery thread, retro and contemporary magazines, worn out cabinet cards and boxes filled with paper scraps. I am a very curious artist—I love to expand my creative territory and I keep experimenting with different collage styles and mediums. Collage satisfies me on many levels, there are no rules to it, no such a thing as a wrong turn. You destroy images to create other ones. There are no bounds, and you can use pretty much everything to make it. Collage is a wonderful and spontaneous medium of artistic expression—even “so-called” mistakes can be turned into surprising and interesting elements of design. Analog collage just works for me— I simply enjoy cutting, tearing, layering, bringing unusual and bonkers elements together. Working by hand requires lots of practice and patience—when I make collage or cut my stash of ephemera, I simply meditate, kind of disappear. I don’t like to confine my collage to a specific style or technique. I love collage because it's never boring. You can use anything to make it from kitchen foil to cardboard scrap. You can bring together unlikely elements and create something totally bonkers, arresting, beautiful and ironic. The possibilities are endless and unlimited—it really works for me!

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Lucky Dip Kits with Mixed Media Ephemera / Retro, Surreal, Kitsch & Vintage Bits

DA: What inspired you to make collage kits and offer them to the community?

AZ: There are few reasons why I do it. Firstly, it's difficult to buy decent, quirky and interesting collage kits that consist of mixed media ephemera—a mixture of retro, surreal, kitsch or vintage paper bits, and a mixture of subjects and objects too—my collage kits are designed exactly this way. I know how important it is to have good material to work with and I wanted to share the material that I have and don’t use with others. Secondly, I make them to encourage other people to try collage—by giving them a complete set of collage fragments I am also giving them ideas by selecting specific themes, shapes, card toppers, and objects. Last year I took part in the local art market and apart from selling my typical artwork, I made a few collage kits for adults and for children. Surprisingly, they happened to be one of my best-sellers. I had mums buying them for children or friends buying them for friends. I had total amateurs who simply wanted to give it a go. The truth is when you go to the art shop and look for a collage kit, the options are very limited—if there are any at all you will get let's say 5-6 pieces of ephemera, 1 blank postcard and you end up paying £5 if you are lucky. My collage set contains 100+ pieces and comes with scissors, notebook, glue stick, postcards and A6 frame. And to be honest that is something I would expect when buying a mixed media collage set. Having all those tools—you are ready to go, to create! The last reason is quite practical. I collect loads and loads of ephemera. I am constantly on the hunt and because I use a variety of mixed media in my collages, the ephemera that I gather is super diverse. There are pieces of books, magazines or postcards (usually vintage) that I am not interested in, I don’t want to throw it away or keep it in my studio, so I use them to make collage sets. I think of it like an upcycling process—paper scrap art project.

DA: How do you go about designing the templates? Do you offer specific themes?

AZ: My process of designing and creating collage sets is spontaneous. I always have a few boxes in my studio that are specifically designed for collecting ephemera—a few boxes for different themes. I have a box with retro magazines pages, a box with vintage postcards, a box with wooden card toppers and buttons, a box with thread, lace, sequins, tags, stickers, confetti, washi tape, pom poms, you name it—it's there. When I make collage kit I combine them all—I want my design to be qu