Scrap Book: Collages by Charles Wilkin

Ten years ago graphic designer Charles Wilkin began making collages from found photographs, pages out of old catalogs and magazines, and random scraps of text. In them he has found a professional application for personal expression. Most of the commercial pieces Wilkin does—ads for Capitol Records, book covers for Grove/Atlantic, hangtags for Express jeans—are also open-ended artworks that stir unexpected associations and emotions.

Wilkin’s process is spontaneous; he doesn’t like to do sketches ahead of time. “I get so wound up about having it be that happy accident,” he says, “which is better for the client in the end.” If the process unfolds in a loose enough way, he maintains, the final product will not only convey the concept and look the clients wants, but it will also have what Wilkin calls “added value”: a more subconscious message that he says “will allow the viewer to connect with the piece on a more emotional level, which I think is much more influential than the superficial message.”

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