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Canadian Collage Art

Mar 12, 2012

by Nada Alic

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Hello! My name is Nada, and I’m the Canadian Community Manager for Etsy. My focus is celebrating the Canadian Etsy community. With that in mind, this month we invited Canadian artist Tracy Jager to design a Twitter background for Etsy’s Twitter Artist Series. Tracy, who goes by Living Feral, is from Vancouver and creates dreamscape collages “rich with poetic ambiguity” using vintage prints and materials. She had me at dreamscape.

Who are you? What is your background?
My name’s Tracy Jager. I love art, animals and vintage. I grew up in a small town in British Columbia, and now live on the west coast in Vancouver. For a number of years, I worked as a communications consultant and freelance writer. This helped me pay my way through art school. I have a BFA in visual art from the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design. I am thrilled to have been selling on Etsy for a few years now. In addition to my Living Feral shop, I also have two other shops (Raccooncat Creations and Handsome Raven), and am a partner in another vintage shop (Hyacinth Vintage).

How would you describe your creative process? Where does your inspiration come from?
I’m really interested in dreams, and I find a lot of my work is inspired by psychology, philosophy, and poetry. However, when I create my collages I may start with an idea or concept, but quickly let it go to be totally involved in the process of creating. I will spend many hours cutting images, with my goal to access an almost meditative state where the boundary between my conscious and unconscious is thin — kind of like lucid dreaming, except I’m awake. Once I’ve reached that stage, I can begin to piece together the actual collages.

Where do you find the images for your collages?
I have literally hundreds of old books and magazines in my studio. Some have been given to me, some I’ve found in thrift stores.

Your collages have a dreamy nostalgic vibe. If you could transport yourself to any era, where would you go and what would you do?
Well, I tend to be drawn to the aesthetics of the mid-1950s through to the early ’70s. But I don’t necessarily like all the ideals of that time, so I might not want to stay there that long. I guess nostalgia is like that: selective memory. I’d prefer to be a time traveller that could zip into any period, and then leave rather quickly again. In any time, I’d probably be creating art and making friends with animals.

What does your typical day look like?
I would probably benefit from more routine in my life, as I don’t really have a typical day! The one constant is that I’m usually up way before the sun rises, and go to bed shortly after it sets. I’m on a farmer’s schedule in the city. In between, I make art, tend to my Etsy shops and sites like Facebook, spend time with my animal friends, and try to cook healthy food.

What’s your favorite thing about Vancouver?
The lack of snow. And though I don’t go to them much anymore, there are some really great restaurants.

What are your future projects?
I used to make little books of collages that had their own narrative, like a dream sequence. I keep saying I’ll make them again, so I hope to do that soon. Also, a buyer suggested I try printing my collages on fabric to see how they look as pillows. I haven’t had a chance to do that yet, but I’m intrigued by the possibilities.

Download Your Own Mobile Wallpaper
Download for iPhone / iPod Touch
Download for iPhone 4

Instructions:
1. Pick your device above and save the image to your computer.
2. Sync your device and click the photo tab to include your pretty new wallpaper.
3. After syncing, view the photo and click the lower left button to use as wallpaper.
4. That’s it! Now show off and tell all your tweeps to download their own digital background!

Find Tracy’s work on all of Etsy’s Twitter profiles: @Etsy@EtsyFR@EtsyUK,
@EtsyDE@EtsyNL@EtsyJP@EtsyAU and @EtsyCA.

Get Caught Up With Etsy’s Twitter Artist Series

2 Featured Comments

  • CrossesbyBarbara

    Barbara Velivis from LetAllBeArt said 4 years ago Featured

    The meditative aspect of collage is something that frees my mind, as well as working something out that I did not know was there. Thank you for an inspirational article. Your work is fascinating on many levels.

  • lovelyfeverboutique

    Jessica from LovelyFever said 4 years ago Featured

    I love that you talk about the artistic process here. I especially love how you describe your collage creative process as a "meditative state where the boundary between my conscious and unconscious is thin." Collages do have a dreamlike and surreal quality, making the possibilities endless!

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