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A picture of Elisa Bryant

Elisa Bryant

Visual artist

in artist, mac

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Elisa Bryant and I am a Melbourne-based visual artist. I am currently working on a series of digital collages with imagery taken from the 1960/70's era.

My collages figures are taken from magazines that are craft based, predominantly knitting and crochet. I source the magazines and pattern books from op shops (which feeds my op shopping addiction beautifully). I find the expressions of the models interesting, and the way that fashion photography was taken back in that era, it’s unlike anything you would see today.

The background images are taken from old books from the same era, mostly garden and flower books. I also love using baking books... cake decorating books are a favourite.

I like to make digital collages as opposed to analogue as I can create smooth edges. My background is in fine art printing and digital imaging, so I can use these skills to help refine my collages and make images that are more lifelike than standard cutout collages. I also like to leave the books and magazines intact - I couldn’t bare to cut up the books, they're so lovely.

What hardware do you use?

To scan the imagery I use the Epson V700 A4 flatbed scanner. My computer is a 27" iMac, and to calibrate I use an i1 Display Pro. It's really important that I balance the colours of these collages - the imagery I use is so old it's mostly discoloured, so colour management is important. I couldn't get a decent print unless I calibrated the monitor regularly.

And what software?

To scan I use the SilverFast software - it's basic, but delivers if you can tweak it correctly. To browse catalogues I use Adobe Bridge, and to collage I use Adobe Photoshop CC.

What would be your dream setup?

My dream setup would be what I used to use when I worked as a fine art printer, which was a custom built PC machine with a NEC monitor (any of them, I just want one please.) I was also lucky enough to use the Microtek 9800XL, which was incredible for art reproduction - this would mean that I could scan larger-scale artworks or imagery, and it's a higher-end scanner designed to scan artwork rather than documents.

If I was REALLY lucky I would add on an Epson P6070 24" fine art printer to the mix so I could start and finish my work without outsourcing.