Digital artist Stacy “Crowgirl” Spangler creates collages using vintage photographs, hand-painted watercolor textures and other images. Visit her website to see more of her artwork.
Like most artists, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to make art; to imagine something and to bring it into being. And as with most artists, there has always been a gap between my vision and my ability to make it real. One of the reasons I love collage so much is because it creates the smallest distance between the ideas and what I can do with them.
In August of 2014, I set a challenge for myself: to make one collage a day for the entire month. After a few days, I started working digitally, finding that the medium relieved so many of the anxieties I felt about gluing things down.
I have to admit, when it comes to collage, I might be just a little afraid of commitment! Working with traditional materials, every choice shuts down every other possibility. Working digitally, all the doors stay open. I like that.
At the end of that first month, I wanted to go on exploring the medium; to take it as far as possible, and I’m still doing it. I use Photoshop and other digital tools to remix a variety of elements–vintage photographs and other images in the public domain, my own photography and that of friends, hand-painted watercolor textures and more–all of which are blended together to create unique images and illustrations.
I’ve always been inspired by collage and mixed-media artists. I love the way we take all kinds of disparate images to make something new.
One of my goals as an artist is to bring new life to old or forgotten images, to bring them together in such a way as to make the viewer smile or even laugh. Collage is a visual language. I speak it with a digital accent.
My educational background is in anthropology and graphic design. My anthropology degree, earned in 2002, gave me a wider view of the world than I’d ever thought possible. My design degree, completed in 2010, showed me how to bring my own visions into being and to be a part of the great stream of art and culture that surrounds us.
Making art is revealing. When I make art, I’ve found that I’m not only revealing my inner landscapes to the world in general, but I’m also revealing them to myself.
Over the last year, I’ve been delighted to discover the places where my art comes from; a world of starlight and flowers and feathers, a world where people and animals form mysterious partnerships and almost everyone and everything has wings and can fly.
I’ve explored just how deep some of my obsessions run, and have been overjoyed to find how many people share them with me.