Feature Friday: Collage Artist John Turck

Happy Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 17.05.05!

John Turck redToday, we feature collage artist John Turck. Most of us can say we dabbled in collaging when we were kids, but John’s work brings it to the next level. We love how his work seamlessly blends pop culture, nature, architecture and nostalgic symbols of the past. One of his aims is to create handmade collages that look as if they were done in Photoshop. We certainly think he has achieved that. Some of his pieces truly look like digital art. Read on to learn more and see some awesome pieces!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.

Screenshot (59): My name is John Turck, I’m 35 years old and I live in Manhattan. I graduated from Miami of Ohio with a degree in Fine Art in 2001. Aside from photography and a little bit of painting, I wasn’t really creating any artwork for a while. In late 2012 I started to spend time creating collage work and I decided that I was going to dedicate myself to it. I’ve been making collage art ever since and sharing it online almost everyday.


 Castle Logo: How did you get your start in collage art?

Screenshot (59): In high school I covered every square inch of my bedroom walls into one giant collage. Thousands of little magazine pieces from floor to ceiling. It was a massive project that took over 4 years to finish.

Takin' Care of Business

Castle Logo:  Did you study/do other forms of art before collaging?

Screenshot (59): Mostly painting and photography. I really enjoy photography, there’s a gallery of my photographs here:  http://turckart.blogspot.com/p/photography.html

Back and Forth

Castle Logo: What are some of the techniques you use to create your pieces?

Screenshot (59): All of my work is handmade. Most of my time is spent collecting collage materials from books and magazines. I’ll cut them up in advance, and then file them away. I try to stay organized so that I can find the right pieces when I need them. I don’t always have a concept in mind when I start, usually I’ll lay out a few key images that I’d like to work with for the day, and then I’ll play around with different combinations until I find what I feel will be the absolute best fit.

Some of my work is mixed media – I’ll start with a painting, drawing – and then bring in collage elements that would best match the theme of my image.

Blueberry Garden

Castle Logo: Are there any messages that you try to convey in your work?

Screenshot (59): I’m interested in Pop Art and Surrealism. My primary goal is to combine the images until I find the perfect fit. I want to make a handmade collage that appears like it was done in photoshop – where the coloring, shapes, lighting, everything just fits and works well together. In the process of combining these elements, each piece will take on it’s own life and a scene or story will start to emerge.

Circulatory System

Castle Logo: You sell your pieces on society6. What are some of the best parts about running your shop and what are some of the challenges?

Screenshot (59): I’ve been on Society6 for a year and a half, it’s great to have a space to sell my art. They make it pretty easy. I love that in addition to prints, I’m able to offer lots of other cool products – phone cases, t-shirts, tote bags, etc..

I sold my first shower curtain the other day, I thought that was pretty cool. Especially since the image is of a giant psychedelic frog, that’s the first thing that person sees everyday!

It’s also been a great place to see & meet other artists and form this little online community.

I just opened up a new store at Print All Over Me, I’m really psyched with the way the sweatshirts look. Check it out here: http://printallover.me/collections/turck-collage

Oblivious Fool

Castle Logo: Who are some of your favorite collage artist?

Screenshot (59): One of my favorite artists is Jerry Uelsmann, he worked in Photomontage – using multiple negatives in the darkroom to create surreal masterpieces.
Some of my other favorites are: Eugenia Loli, Jesse Treece, Hugo Barros, Jay Riggio, Ben Giles, David Delruelle, Justin Angelos, Larry Carlson, Michael Tunk, and many more.


Castle Logo: Is it hard to find resources to collect images from for your pieces?

Screenshot (59): I’m a collector. I’ve collected comic books, cds, dvds, and tons of other shit. I enjoy the collecting part of the collage process. Hunting through book stores, gathering old magazines at flea markets, grabbing new magazines where ever I can find them, even out of the recycling bin. It’s not hard to find if you know where to look.

Bus Driver

Castle Logo: Name a few things you love to do outside of work.

Screenshot (59): I’m a big fan of live music. I try to go to as many concerts as I can and feed off of that energy. If you follow my Tumblr you’ll notice that every time I post a new piece of art, I’ll also include a song that relates to it in some way.

Movies of My Dreams

Castle Logo: Any advice/tips?

Screenshot (59): My advice would be to set goals for yourself and to work hard. For a collage artist, it really helps to stay organized.

Also to get on Society 6, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instragram, Etsy, Facebook, and every other site.

Society 6: http://society6.com/turckart
Tumblr:  http://johnturck.tumblr.com/
Printalloverme:  http://printallover.me/collections/turck-collage
Instagram:  http://instagram.com/turckcollage/
Blog: http://turckart.blogspot.com/

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