PUTTING pieces of art into one masterpiece -- that’s how this rising Filipino digital collage artist, Michael Lorenzana, is known for.

His art is more than just dumping single photos or artworks and putting them together, it involves a process of careful curation and respect to balance thereby creating new narratives far from the raw materials.

“I love the idea of combining different photos with different meanings and making new narratives from it when you present them as one,” he said.

His affair with collage art started when he was still working as a freelance production creative. It was his creative habit when he has lesser project loads, something he does to feel productive.

“I’m also a photographer. Since I have a lot of photos from my travels before, I thought why not play with it and come up with something artistic. It is like making art from art,” he said, adding he found inspiration in pursuing collage art when he saw Coldplay’s “Up and Up” music video years back.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, and works for freelance creatives were down, Lorenzana focused more on collage art. He also saw its potential to earn from it through commissioned works for private individuals and companies.

“I am now doing it full time because this is where I found my voice and my own style. Before, in production, I was doing a lot of different things and I struggled to establish my own brand as an artist. In collage art, people started to notice me, so I decided why not give it a shot,” the 30-year-old artist underscored.

He added collage art continues to give him clearer direction and more discipline as to where his craft is leading him.

Balancing artistic core, marketing

Lorenzana shared that before, it was a challenge to market his works due to the innate protective characteristics of artists to their works.

“I was very protective and close-minded in commercializing my works but I realized it can be done for as long as you find the balance between protecting your artistry and generating income. Compartmentalizing your works is key,” he said.

For his personal works on collage arts, Lorenzana shared, he is more experimental.

“I don’t usually have a final vision of what the piece will look like when I start doing it. It will just emerge along the way, during the process of creation. That’s what I love about it. I got to play with the photos until I found them beautiful,” he said.

However, after doing several collage arts through the years, Lorenzana developed a skill of visualizing photos that could be a part of his next project.

“Sometimes, even the raw photos look not that good alone, I can turn it into something interesting when combined with other photos,” he said.

But for his commissioned works, Lorenzana emphasized that he always asks the client’s preference and makes sure the final piece is cohesive and balanced.

“I usually ask them to give me as many photos as possible to come up with better pieces. More photos means more flexibility and ideas that I can create,” he said.

Lorenzana also emphasized that being open to using the works and photos of others gives him more room for growth than just utilizing his own materials.

Keeping the artistic core

This young digital collage artist said in commercializing one’s work as an artist, keeping your artistic core is non-negotiable.

“Always prioritize your vision. There are people who will appreciate your works and there are those who will not. And that’s okay. But always stick to your core in order to be on track, never neglect your artistic core,” he said.

He also shared that in an age of social media, never let the non-constructive feedback of people define your worth and value as an artist.

At present, Lorenzana has worked with various photographers in the Philippines and has done commissioned works for companies, both big and small, that have helped him in pursuing his passion while earning.

Moving forward, Lorenzana - who is also a music enthusiast, hopes to work on album art covers for local and international artists. He also wishes to do editorial works for media organizations in the Philippines.

“I also aim to widen my reach and work with more artists, photographers, and brands to strengthen my portfolio and better my craft,” he said.

For commission works and/or collaborations, Lorenzana can be reached through his Instagram account @michaellorenzana. You can also check his works here: https://www.behance.net/mdblorenzac3db.