Interview: Marko

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

My name is Marko (Mark Wheatley) I am originally from Manchester but moved to the south of England to study printmaking at Brighton Polytechnic and then illustration at the Royal College of Art. I now have studio/ home in Sussex by the sea. I have been making collages for over 25 years and about 7 years ago I started to self publish my own zines and printed editions under the imprint Joy Doom Manifesto.

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

I do a lot of zine fairs and try to produce 4 or 5 publications a year. I am currently working on a new zine called “Neo Magic”. I like making zines because you can play with layout, construction and print production; photocopy, risograph, screen printing, I love the DIY aspect of it. It is also a good way of getting your work seen.

What kind of things do influence your work?

I have a passion for printed matter generally, books, posters, flyers, magazines, packaging, board games… How the ink sits on the paper, the type of paper and card stock, mis-registration of colour even the smell of ink on paper. These are the things that inspire me to work with collage, paper and printmaking.

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)

A lot of my collage materials come from my collection bought at charity shops or donations from friends and family.  Using collage seems a natural extension to the way I think and live, I like to improvise with the materials around me and I usually start a piece of work by exploring colour, shape and form. Sometimes this process is very quick but sometimes I can live with a piece of work for a week, 6 months or even years before it is chopped up and  reused. What I like about collage is the way imagery, colour and form can be in a constant state of flux. This way you never really get a creative block because you can always cannibalise your own work!

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

I recently came across Shinro Ohtake’s scrap books, they are pretty mad! I do have a fondness for early and mid 20th century modernism, at the moment I am into Jean Arp’s organic abstract forms. My advice to a beginner is look at lots of stuff, produce good work and be yourself. When I am not doing art I enjoy watching films going for walks, cycling and having a beer.

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

My wife is my biggest fan and critic. My teenage kids put up with it I suppose, they have grown up with it as it fill every room in the house!

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

I read that one of Baldessari’s favourite sayings is “anything worth doing is worth doing badly”.

Does he have any other good advice?