I was asked a very interesting question the other day on my Tumblr page. Sitting in my studio I contemplated Maddy's take on my art….

"I was wondering if you used all your own images or just altered ones you find. I always feel guilty using someone's images to create a print but is this something that many designers do? It would be great to hear from you :)"

Good question. As a collage artist I'm always thinking about this, conceptually and literally. At what point does a 17th century etching of a flower become mine when I juxtapose it into my work? At what point is it plagiarism or copywrite infringement? I've heard the cliche "It's not where you take it from but where you take it to" But that's not quite true either. I'm very careful and deeply respectful of where I source my collage reference because I know it would be weird for someone to use my drawing in their work without permission.

I live by these golden rules; if I've altered an image 70% then it's okay, I never use practising artists work, if I've paid or asked for it, then it's okay, if it's out of copywriter then it's okay. Anything else I draw or paint and scan into my collages.

Ultimately, collage art is about surrealism, juxtaposition and mash-up which is just not achievable without a combination of found images. I wonder what Max Ernst or Peter Blake would to say about it?


"Venice Suite" by Peter Blake 2009

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