We first came across Daniel Lint’s work on Instagram last May. A mutual friend of ours shared a moving image dedicated to George Floyd in the wake of his unjust murder at the hands of law enforcement. We began looking through his artwork, intrigued by his unique approach towards creating artwork through collage-based assembly. What drew us to his pieces were their strangely organic nature: Daniel’s amorphous shapes always look like they are in motion, stretching, striving, moving forward, reaching outward, almost as if alive. We reached out to say hello and express our appreciation for work, and were fortunate enough to be able to collaborate on three original collages for our SS21 season.
Our initial inclination was to take photos of our fabric swatches and samples and send them over to Daniel for him to cut, manipulate and stretch into his trademark shapes, but then decided to actually have him build the collages using our final SS21 lookbook images that were shot by Ray Spears. We felt this would be a fun way to tease the collection using the actual images from the lookbook that we’ll be debuting in the coming days by presenting clothing in a different way than what most of us are accustomed to. We loved the output so much that we featured it on the cover of our SS21 lookbook newsprint. What makes these collages special to us are the fact that they’re built off chopped-up images of our clothes on a model, so in a way they lend further life to the shapes when one imagines that there’s a person inside the formless mass striving outwards. In the coming weeks, we’ll also be printing this collage out on postcards and including them in webstore orders while supplies last.
We took some time last week to do a short Q&A with Daniel to introduce his work and his process in greater depth. We hope that you enjoy getting to know him better.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Daniel Lint. I’m a graphic designer and collage artist currently based on Maui, HI.
Tell us a bit about your journey and how you were able to develop your aesthetic.
From a young age I was always into art, skateboarding, and music. Shortly after high school I got my first Macbook with the Adobe Suite and I started teaching myself. When I learned that design was something I wanted to pursue further, I enrolled in a design program back home in Seattle. I realized that school was never my strong point and dropped out after the first year to work at an advertising agency for a bit. After that short agency stint, I’ve just been freelancing and building everything up over the years with work ranging from brand identity and marketing assets for print & digital spaces to posters, flyers, album covers and more.
My collage work came a bit later on, starting about 6-7 years ago. Working on a computer as much as I do, burnout tends to happen fairly often so collage was a nice way to get away from the screen and to work with an analog medium and let the ideas out as I saw them. It allows me a lot more freedom than a majority of my client projects, which is crucial to my creativity.
What inspires your collage work?
Life & growth. With these "thought-forms" I create, they're not really communicating anything specific other than a visual representation of my life and growth in that particular moment. For me the process of sitting down, going through clippings, arranging and bringing new life to them reminds me a lot about how we get up and try to make the best of every day with the cards we're dealt. This is how I feel the process and medium of collage has remained fresh to me because the possibilities are endless.
Texture and movement seem to be central themes to your collages — how do you capture that sense of fluidity and depth? Is it instinctual or more calculated?
Indeed! Those are main themes, and I would say it's a little bit of both instinct and calculated. Motion & fluidity are important to me because those are main factors of life and growth; without those two things you'll remain stagnant. The importance of that in my work is to find a way to take separate elements and compose them into a solid, fluid object that takes on a new life of its own and can be perceived in many ways depending on the viewer.
You’ve done album covers for the NBA’s best rapper (Dame D.O.L.L.A) and a personal favorite of mine, Khrysis of the Justus League. How did work for the music industry become a part of your practice?
Music has always been a big part of my life, specifically hiphop/rap. Designing in the music industry is something i've always wanted to do and over time it's just naturally led to working with the artists I do; there wasn't really a pinpoint event that led to it that I can remember. If anything, I can credit the power of social media and the internet. Damian's covers came about last year out of the blue; I do work with his cousin Brookfield Duece (artist & A&R of Front Page Music) and he had reached out to see if I was interested and that's how those projects came about. As far as working with Khrysis, that relationship goes back a few years ago when I made a series of memes of him and we started working from then on haha. I’ve developed a relationship with the majority of the artists I work with and we're continuously building, which leads to more eyes on my work - which results in more projects.
As far as my approach, I let the music lead the way for the art direction. I usually listen to the project a bunch of times, bounce ideas and concepts with the artists for the artwork and then just jump in on it. Every project is different so I’m just making sure the aesthetic, tone, and storytelling is consistent with the music.
Can you describe your process on how you build these collages? Is this done entirely digitally or is there an analog nature to it, even if in the planning stages?
The process depends on the project but a majority of the collages I toss up on IG are all cut and pasted by hand and scanned in from found imagery. I'll go to used bookstores and find publications with images i'm looking for in particular or something I might use in the future that will go in the archives. Usually I’ll spend a good amount of time just clipping out pieces from those throughout the week and if a certain clipping intrigues me, i'll start messing with it and assemble something. The projects I do digitally are client projects where time doesn't allow for me to hunt for material. Essentially it's the same process but executed on the computer and I have the internet to look for clippings rather than books or magazines.
What were you trying to achieve in your work highlighting our SS21 collection?
When it came down to making these pieces, my approach was to follow the lead of the color palette of the collection and find a balance to compose the work that gives an interesting perspective of the collection seeing it clipped and arranged in a new way; in other words, taking away the context of how you would normally see it.