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commission for a friend

There is nothing more gratifying than receiving support from your friends and family—support in your career, a big move, or any other major life decision that elicits some uncertainty.

This month, I have been working on a commission for a good friend of mine. His father is a retired emergency medicine physician and gifted his son several of his old textbooks from medical school and residency. My friend passed the books along to me and asked me to create a collage in the size and format of my choice.

I am always excited about doing these personal projects for the people I love, but I never know where to start. I do not do any preliminary sketching, so my initial process begins with looking through the source material, identifying, and with my exacto knife cutting out any item that looks inspiring to me. In this case that included diagrams, drawings, text, and/or any notes written directly in the margin. Then, I go through my massive collection of cut and colored papers and select items that work well aesthetically and conceptually with my primary subject.

During this process, I rediscovered old pages from medical textbooks from when this friend was in medical school in 2010. After completing their first year, Kyle, this friend, and some of their classmates had a large bon fire and burned their syllabi as a celebratory act. Well, that night I collected many of the burnt sheets and have been using them in my collages ever since. Adding these pages to his father’s collage gave the piece more personal value and visually bonded father and son by their mutual career choice.

So, here it is in its final form! I hope you like it!

Commission Title TBD, Cut paper on birch panel, 16 x 16
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