When Logan Wilder (@wildervisuals) isn’t in class at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, he’s making collages out of the portraits he takes of local artists, musicians, and his friends. The 20-year-old New Hampshire native defines his art as “an explosion of colors and beautiful faces.” The Globe chatted with him about his innovative take on portraiture.
Q. Your art could be classified as portrait photography, but it’s also a lot more than that. You take your photos and make them into colorful collages. Does your creative process start with an initial idea for a collage or does it start with an initial idea for a portrait of somebody?
A. I never go into a photoshoot with an idea of what the collage is going to look like. Once I do the shoot, I take some time to look around online, or at magazines and other artists. I really like to hoard content. And from there I begin to take note of certain colors and backgrounds that I find interesting and I try to incorporate them into the final product. I definitely try to use various sources though, and I never really plan something out. It can be a little tough.
Q. When did you start making collages?
A. I’ve been using [Adobe Photoshop] since eighth grade. Once I got really familiar with it, I realized you can really do whatever you want with it. So, I started making tons of different kinds of digital designs, including collages. But I probably started editing my photography in that style about two summers ago, just as I started college.
Q. Further back on your Instagram there is also a lot of graphic design, do you still work on that?
A. Graphic design was a sort of stepping stone for me. When I started [college], I was very into the graphic design program that was offered. So, I’d sketch images of musicians I liked or make posters for campus events. But it gave me the chance to play with colors a lot, something that I’ve definitely kept up with.
Q. How important is color to your creative process?
A. To an extent, it’s all about color. I love seeing crazy colors and very saturated colors come together. Color is what bridges all of my work, because the forms I use are constantly changing. Right now, I’m working a lot with 3-D illustration, but color is still at the forefront.
Q. Is there any project that you’ve worked on that sticks out as a favorite?
A. I actually recently worked on a shoot and did a ton of designs for Ric Wilson, an up-and-coming rapper from Chicago. He was in town for a few days and I was lucky enough to work with him just as he’s started performing at music festivals like [Governors Ball] and Pitchfork. It was crazy to be able to work with someone like that, and he’s such a creative person. We killed that shoot.