Kirstie Adamson – Upcycled Magazine Collage Artist

As well as being a partner at EcoCreate, writing craft projects for this blog and interviewing other artists, I am a magazine collage artist. This week it’s my turn in the hot seat, these are my responses to our questions for makers on EcoCreate so if you’d like to know a little more about me ….

Where are you based?
I live in Little Eaton, Derbyshire, I have moved around a bit but returned to the village where I grew up when I had my children. I am currently working from home but I have had my application for a studio at Derby’s Banks Mill studios excepted and I am now waiting for a space to become available. This is a huge step for me and I am very excited to become part of such a lovely community, I have been an associate member for several years.

Do you run your business full time?
I am full time self employed working as a web developer and a partner at EcoCreate as well as my work as a collage artist.

How long have you been upcycling?
As long as I can remember! I have always loved art and crafts and I have always used reclaimed materials in my projects. I used to sew a lot especially patchwork, I love to crochet and I spend a lot of time crafting with my children all using unwanted fabrics, yarns and packaging. I made my first newspaper collage while at art college in 1994 and during my degree I specialised in reclaimed metal. Weaving with electrical wire, sewing and riveting together cans and I even made a guardian angel from barbed wire.

Did you attend college/university or are you self taught?
I spent two years at art college and then I completed a degree in Applied Arts at Derby University. I left university with a lot of knowledge and a broader understanding of the art world but I spent years after this developing my own style and technique.

What do you create?
Having spent years working on different crafts I felt I really needed to find a specialism and so I decided to focus on my upcycled magazine collages. I’d made two for a Trash Revamp exhibition, a networking group I founded with friends prior to EcoCreate, they both sold and I had fantastic feedback. I really enjoyed creating these and felt that there was a lot of room for growth and exploration. The commissions in particular have been very popular as are the eco friendly cards and prints.

What methods do you use?
My work is created entirely from ripped and cut magazines all on recycled board using not toxic adhesives. I am continually experimenting with techniques, surfaces and styles.

Which is your most popular creation?
The commissions are the most popular, the fact that the pieces are so personal I think is the main reason for this. I was so nervous of taking commissions on for years, I still get extremely anxious when it’s time to reveal a completed project.

Can you tell us about the first piece you created?
The piece I created at college was a still life of a box of jewellery, made entirely from newspapers. I think this may be lingering in an old art folder somewhere in a loft or garage, I keep meaning to dig it out. The two pieces I created for Trash Revamp were ‘Rainy Day’ & ‘Starry Night’. Starry night is still one of my most popular prints.

Do you have a favourite piece?
‘Birdie & Belle’ is of my sister and niece and ‘Over the wall’ is my son and niece and the end of my mums garden. I love these for very personal reasons, they were also some of the early pieces where I really began to find my own style.

Are you working on any new lines?
I have just caught up with my exhibition submissions and I am making my way down my commission list before I begin work on my next big project. I am hoping to create a series of fairytale themed pieces, one of which I will select to submit to the ‘Fairytales, Myths & Legends’ exhibition I am organising for EcoCreate in January 2016.

Which artists/makers inspire you?
When I was university Lois Walpole was a huge influence on my work especially her upcycled basketry. I am also a huge fan of Kirsty Elson’s driftwood scenes and Ian Berry’s stunning denim urbanscapes and portraits.

Do you have any advice/tips for aspiring artists/makers?
Focus, choosing a specialism and pushing myself to improve my skills in one area has been incredibly effective. Networking online and attending events have also been hugely beneficial for me.

Where can your work be seen and purchased?
My work can be seen on my main website where you can also find more information about my commissions.

The cards and prints can be purchased through my shop on EcoCreate

Originals works are currently on exhibition or awaiting submission results. Please contact me directly if you would like more information on a particular piece. Email:


About Kirstie Adamson

Kirstie Adamson is a magazine & junkmail collage artist. Co-Founder of EcoCreate art & craft network and a passionate revamp crafter!

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