I am what may be gently referred to as a “packrat”. Any harsher than that and I’ll get too defensive for you to convince me to edge the Vogue Magazine back issues I’ve been hoarding under my bed for some time now into the recycling bin. Paper tends to be my weakness for its flexibility – I decorated my walls last year exclusively with the legs of X-Acto-wrested models, now it’s several images from the American Got Milk? campaign. Just over a month ago I insisted on taking my girlfriend on a tour of Sturges, convinced that the building was on its last legs given the recent mass exodus of the health staff, clubs, and history professors, solely for the purpose of taking what they had all left behind – paper. Doodles, advertisements, misdated posters, flyers for STD prevention – I shoved it all into a cardboard box and took it back to my house for a gleeful day of cutting, snipping, and otherwise repurposing. Several totes and, most recently, one particularly large accordion file in my room are dedicated to holding these paper cutouts. Catalogues and fliers are dissected by me for their crispest images, most catching typography, and whatever else I’m convinced that I can make use of (hint, there’s a wide berth). Advertisements in particular fascinate me: remove the product and logo, and many an ad instantly becomes some form of basic-level poetry; or at least highly motivational, at worst.
Wresting the means of art from companies and salvaging it from trash-bins is where my inspiration comes from – dipping my hand into my store and being able to draw out bits of a child’s hand-written homework, a Gucchi model whose eyes I accidentally removed with a poor scissor cut, and a double entendre from a Sun Chips advert sans the chips is the ultimate literary grab-bag; your mind can’t help but working it all over to make a cohesive narrative, just like what happens when we dream.