Interview: Molly Bosley

1. Please, introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about you.

My name is Molly Bosley. I am currently living in a log cabin in Vermont. I recently adopted a puppy.

2. Recent, current or future projects you are involved in that you would like to share with us?

Aside from collaging I also do papercutting and have been working on my largest papercuts yet. This series will probably take me a long time to finish but I’m pretty excited about the project and hope to have something to show soon. I am currently featured on and prints of my collages and papercuts are for sale on the website. I have also been exhibiting locally in Vermont.

3. What kind of things do influence your work?

I have been collecting old photographs for years, which spur ideas for narratives in my work. Old Time Life and National Geographic really excite me too. I’m influenced by everyday occurrences which are often featured in those books. I use a lot of patterns from nature and tend to be attracted to urban decay. When I see perfectly rusted metal or stained subway walls I start to think of colors and texture that can be used in my artwork.


4. How is your normal process of collaging? (idea or commission, where do you get your materials or find your images, which is your cutting technique, best way you have found to paste, where do you work and how, and very important: what do you do with your scraps)

I have a large library of old books collected from yard sales and thrift stores. I pull out the best images from those books and lay out all of the paper on the floor before putting together the compositions. I find that working on many collages at once allows me to work freely and decide on the best combinations. I use an exacto knife and scissors to cut everything out and then use a combination of watered down glue and gel medium to adhere it to the surface.

I don’t come up with narratives for my collages beforehand but rather want the story to be interpreted by the viewer. I work in my studio in my home where I can lay everything out and leave it to come back to with fresh eyes. I like to be very organized and have folders and binders that are labeled depending on what type of paper is inside. I do have a scrap folder because you never know when you might need a nicely shaped scrap.

5. Which is your latest discovery in the collage world? What advice can you give to a collage beginner?

I am constantly surprised at the experimentation and have found new works by artists using non-traditional materials which really interests me. I am always wanting to push to the next level and incorporate textiles into my work and experiment with the parameters of the canvas. I really like working with Mylar lately because of its transparency and use with layering.

I often tell people who are just starting out to go with your intuition because most of collaging is about your gut feeling. I tell them to just put themselves out there and show what you’re making to other people. When I was starting out I found that the Flickr community was a great resource for feedback and inspiration.

6. What do say your friends/family about your collage work? And, what do you do when you are not working on art?

My family says my work is “cute” but that’s not really what I’m going for. I think it is difficult to talk about collage for some people because they don’t fully understand what goes into the work. Collage is not like painting or sculpture where you can see the time and skill put into it and I think a lot of people find it less impressive. More traditional art like paintings can be easier to digest or hang on your wall. My friends say they like my work and can talk more technically about it. I love collaging because it is the only work that I do that is not as process driven and more intuitive which is more fun while I’m doing it.

When I’m not working on art I’m usually teaching my dog new tricks and watching tv shows about aliens or ghosts.

7. Would you like to ask anything to John Baldessari? Shoot.

What is one tip you would give to a young artist about exhibiting artwork?