Amit Naamani > New-School Collage makingby Itay Blaish | 27.01.14
Composing collages is a very common pastime among artists and designers, especially the young ones. In my opinion, it is the most basic way to portray ones creativity, mainly, because it’s the most intuitive way to produce art and design.
I was sure collages couldn’t surprise me anymore, until I met Amit, while applying to one of our La Culture exhibitions, and I fell in love at first site with his work.
Amit’s style is very colourful, incorporates rough edges, has great composition and most importantly, is beautiful. It gives me that old-to-new-school feel, like when you take something old and make it fresh and new.
I had the chance to ask him about is work and life, Meet Amit Naamani:
Hello Amit, can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Well, at first I never really cared much for art or graphics or what it meant, drawing was just something I did, some days, while hanging around, listening to punk-rock music.
Several years ago I started taking it more “seriously” and began drawing every day. I worked in some of the best tattoo studios in Tel Aviv, drawing tattoo art like crazy, spending eighteen hours a day in the studio for around two years, until I had enough.
Exactly three years ago I put that behind me and got more interested in Images, Graphic Design and Typography. I read a lot, asked myself a lot of questions, and found my interests and what I enjoy, things that just floated in the back of my mind but I never paid attention to.
Today I’m in my second year at Shenkar studying Visual Communications. While a lot of people ask me why I am not studying art, I feel that learning about graphic design is more productive and helpful to where I want to go, from both the visual and cultural side.
I think, like a lot of people of my generation, I’m thrown somewhere between the grey area of graphic design and art.
Tell me about your art, can you describe what you do in a sentence or two?
There is a movie, “Died Young, Stayed Pretty”, about underground poster design in the US, and includes an interview with Art Chantry, who describes himself as an artist strongly influenced by graphic design and its history – I think I like that description.
Mostly, I create collages, I draw and I write, trying to combine them all together for a super interesting result. Sometimes I draw portraits or quick sketches of friends or I write something about that moment, it looks silly and meaningless but within a few days it develops and goes somewhere.
Since I began my studies at Shenkar, I have been constantly writing and making collages in my sketchbook. I now have over 20, which I might put up for a show one day.
What and who inspire you the most?
A lot of my inspiration comes from cultural and historical heritage – mostly from the USA’s American trash, Punk-rock, skateboarding genres, as well as, from music – digging deeply into Neil Young and a lot from the late sixties. I also find myself fantasizing about living back in those days making art around Height/Ashbury in 1967. I think about it as if I am reminiscing old times and people I never knew. For me, making collages has a nostalgic feel to it, and I think it shows in my work.
As for my sketchbooks and writing, I have to give thanks to Lynda Barry, a writer/illustrator – who I strongly recommend everyone to look her up. When I was just starting to explore images and words, I read her books and they changed my life. I really can’t emphasize enough how much they have inspired me, up to this day.
I’m also deeply inspired by Typography as it’s such a small thing yet it is the basis for everything from graphic design to the structure of a page to our life and culture.
Collage making is very intuitive usually, Can you elaborate on your work process and how you collect your materials?
As I am more spontaneous and impulsive than an organized planner, I don’t have a specific method of work, I just go out and do it.
I get ideas and collect materials from what I see throughout the day whether I am in school, walking in the street, or on the internet. You need to be observant of your surroundings and in that way you will always find something. I think it’s all in your material and resources. I work with whatever I can find whether it is daily papers or elaborate magazines. Once, I was visiting my mom, and I picked up some old books from the trash, then my mom showed up and couldn’t understand what her son was doing going through the trash can.
It is important to always look for fresh stuff that interests you and to even be open to copy other artists. I am really grateful for my days in Shenkar, where I met a lot of good people and teachers who I have a learned a lot from.
sketchbooks, papers, glue, pens, a lot of liquids (water colors or coffee), stuff that can ruin the paper but still keep it alive for me to work with, I am always into the textures of things and how much i can destroy the page.
a tumblr page with my friends from Shenkar; Or, Raz, Igal and Andrey.
this page is like a sketchbook or a diary of some stuff we do