Interview: Riikka Fransila

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First the basic introduction – can you tell us who are you, what are you doing, where are you coming from?

I´m Riikka Fransila aka Vintageart, a Finnish interior decoration entrepreneur and I create collage art as my hobby. I live in Helsinki with my 7-year old daughter and my husband.

Why collages? How you started to do them? What was the first thing that sparked the desire to try it out?

I`ve always been interested in arts. Especially in contemporary art. Pop-art and Street art are my favourites. I`ve also collected all kind of old materials and in some point I started to think about what could be done with those. When I joined to Instagram about 3 years ago I found collage art and I loved it immediately. The advantage is that everybody can do that. It`s inexpensive and easy art form.

Your collaging style is beautifully simple and effortless, how you quickly you found your ”style”? And how you personally see your it?

My own style was found actually only few years ago. I tried many different kind of styles but my own was found only when I found my self confidence and trust to my working. In the beginning I thought that simple is not enough. Now it´s the other way. I feel pleasure when I get my message through with as simple idea as possible.

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In your artist name you use word ’vintage’, you use old magazines as primary source materials and you make your works by hand – What is the THING with the old magazines for you? Have you tried modern source materials or building collages digitally?

I also make digital collages using new materials if someone makes an order, but if I can choose by myself, I prefer making by hands using mostly over 50- years old material. In old printed materials can be seen marvellous and rich colorings and their matt finish bring interesting viewpoints to artwork. New materials are often made of shiny paper and I don´t like that. 

With new material there is also complicated copyright issues to consider.

In your artworks, what are the most important things/elements to yourself? Do you have certain things that you notice to pay more attention to, like shapes/forms, colors, content?

Consistence of colours that they are matching together is always important point for me when I make collage art. Also that matt and rich surface of the material. When I start doing work I search always that one “interesting  element” that I start to fill. It has to be some marvellous colour, facial expression or the position of the body. I think there must be found some meaningful point that pays attention so I will approve it as a source material.

Usually I do have a clear vision about that one picture which around I start to build that artwork. But coincidence makes often the artwork ready. Even there was finally only two elements I´ve tried many dozens before the final combination comes to get glued. Less is more is my rule and usually I do make hard trimming before final choices.

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What’s your favourite work? And why? What makes it stand out?

I can’t say which one work is favourite but I enjoy those most simple ones. Sometimes I think I can’t publish a work if there is only two -tree cut-outs but usually those ones are the most liked ones.

What are the best and worst things in collaging?

Some days are better than others. I can make like 5-10 collage in a good day and then there can be weeks without finishing any piece.

“Final work is a big surprice for me too..”

When you begin to work a new piece, do you have a clear vision what you are going to do or where to start? How much your works ”live”/change from the original vision? How much you improvise? 

I usually start my work collecting images which has same kind of color-tone or structure. I hardly ever know what I am going to do in advance and final work is a big surprice for me too. That’s why collaging is so much fun.

How important is the meaning you believe a piece of art has to you? What do you wish that viewers experience thru your art?

It´s really very important to me that I´ll find some message or “Twist” to my art work. I`ll always give a name to my piece and there´s a huge meaning with the name of the work. Often behind of my art work there´s a some kind of comment or thought from my own life or some of my acquantainces or buddies life. The best feedback is when a viewer finds own life from my art work or gets inspiration to create own art.

 If you should describe your art with one word, what would it be?

My 7- year old daughter is asking constantly why I`m making so weird art work. So WEIRD is that word. And I love it.

Riikka around the internet:

Homepage: Vintageart.fi
Instagram: Instagram.com/vintageart_originals
Facebook: Facebook.com/taidekollaaseja

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