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About Idris VeitchIdris Veitch’s route to becoming a full-time artist was far from traditional – and neither is his art. A chance meeting with a friend inspired him to pursue in a fashion design course at the ESMOD School of Fashion in Tokyo. It was during his graduation collection that he first began creating collage artworks, combining influences from the fashion world and the internet culture with
BACKGROUND INFORMATIONIdris Veitch’s route to becoming a full-time artist was far from traditional – and neither is his art. A chance meeting with a friend inspired him to pursue in a fashion design course at the ESMOD School of Fashion in Tokyo. It was during his graduation collection that he first began creating collage artworks, combining influences from the fashion world and the internet culture with cross-cultural elements of traditional Japanese and African art as a way to explore his own identity.
The vivid appearance of his art reflects Veitch’s broad range of influences. Drawing ideas and images from everything from West African masks to online blogs and 20th-Century Pop Art, Veitch distils centuries of human artistic experimentation in each artwork. The duality of the disparate cultures is reflected by the patchwork nature of the collage medium. The resulting digital works reflect Veitch’s distinct artistic vision, repurposing found imagery into entirely new creations.
Veitch’s juxtaposition of seemingly disparate elements invites the viewer to look deeply at each work, new details arising with every viewing. The array of imagery means each of his works is wildly individual, yet united by his signature affinity for bright colors, saturated textures and contrasting elements.
Finding inspiration in both personal experiences as well as wider societal issues, art, and his background is fashion design, Veitch channels his ideas through the medium of digital collage art. His keen eye for composition allows him to balance seemingly unrelated elements to create striking and moving cohesive artworks that depict fantastical scenes. This is encapsulated in his belief in art as a form of escapism.
VITABorn in Jamaica to a half-Jamaican, half-Nigerian family, Idris Veitch moved to Japan in 2013 to study fashion design at the ESMOD Fashion School in Tokyo. After graduating, he began to pursue art full time, using collage and digital painting as a means to channel his own ideas about identity and culture. His works have featured at exhibitions in Japan, Jamaica and the USA, and in private collections across the world. Veitch continues to innovate, and in recent years has expanded his portfolio to include motion graphics and NFT art. He lives and works in Kingston, Jamaica.
INTERVIEWPicasso once said, “you don’t make art, you find it.” Where do you find your art?
I think art can be found anywhere, as long as you keep an open mind to it.
From an idea to its materialization: how do you approach your work?
It starts with an idea that I want to see visually. I’ll start building from there. Sometimes I’ll open Photoshop to a blank canvas with no idea of what I would like to make. The interesting part lies in the beginning, when I play around with elements to see what fits together. Once I have a sense of how the piece is shaping up, I'll continue building until it feels ready.
What is your favorite book?
I don’t have one favorite book – instead, I like to collect art-related ones such as those on illustration, or fashion-related ones.
Which artist would you like to have coffee with and what would you discuss?
I would love to have a sit down with Romare Bearden and pick his brain on his art and process. His art never fails to take my breath away.
How did you get into art?
I started designing t-shirts during my senior year in college. I think I only sold four shirts in total to my friends. I tried multiple times to pick up drawing, but it never stuck.
It wasn’t until my graduation collection while attending fashion school in Tokyo that I discovered my love for collage. Being half-Nigerian with very little familiarity and knowledge of that side of my family, and living in Japan for over seven years, I began to question my identity and sense of belonging. During my research, I created two collage pieces that combined African Masks with ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese art made with woodblock prints and paintings. I got a great reaction after posting them online and was encouraged to continue making more of them. That eventually became the "African Masks X Ukiyoe" series.
Who are the people in your surroundings that influence you?
I am very much inspired by several collage artists I follow on Instagram. I love the fact that we’re able to connect all over the world on something that’s very important to us. We support and encourage each other.
Imagine you have a time machine. Where would you go?
This is a rather difficult one! I'd be curious to see when artworks such as ukiyo-e paintings or the carving of different African masks were being made.
Other than art, what are you most passionate about?
I really like to read as a way to detune and switch off my brain. I also enjoy sewing, so I’ll make garments or accessories for myself from time to time.
What are you working on right now?
I’m self-studying 3D art, specifically Blender. I’ve been interested in pursuing it for years in order to push my discipline to a higher level. With resources becoming more freely available and easier to access, I feel now is the time to dive in. I would also like to continue evolving my current collage work with motion graphics. In the near future, I would love to make short videos filled with characters and a story driven plot.