Striving for Simplicity | An Interview with Adam Hale

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Following on from an idea conceived on his daily commute, UK-based collage artist and animator Adam Hale makes use of the abundant supply of free magazines and publications to create surreal collages – or ‘splices’ – that he shares on Instagram under the name The Daily Splice. These collages have led Hale to collaborate with Adidas, The New York Times and Ted Baker, among others.

After studying Graphic Design at the University for the Creative Arts, Hale began a marketing job in Central London. In 2015, he started to collect the free magazines that were available on his daily commute and began working on a design project in his spare time. Hale began experimenting with analogue collage, using images from magazine articles to create unique combinations and then sharing them on social media.

He sums up his style as succinct, and it’s clear to see how these carefully thought out compositions have created such a following.

Your Instagram name is The Daily Splice, why did you decide to use this name?

Thanks to the type of source-material I was utilizing, my artwork referenced imagery from current stories in the media and well-known campaigns from the fashion industry. I saw this as a direct reflection of, and reaction to the ‘big’ stories at the time, taking them out of context and splicing them with other elements to produce something interesting and original. I therefore used a title that mimicked that of a typical news outlet e.g. The Daily Mail.

Where do you take your inspiration from?

I take inspiration from beautiful design in general, not just the work of other artists but clever, functional design solutions in architecture, automotive and product design. I like the ‘as little design as possible’ approach set out by Dieter Rams and strive for simplicity in my own work.

What are you passionate about other than your art? And does this influence your work?

I love playing the guitar, acoustic and electric, but I’m not creative in the slightest when it comes to music. Instead, I opt for learning riffs note-for-note, quite the opposite to my collage process and I suppose it acts as a balance.

Your collages often combine elements of nature, is this important for you?

I like to create metaphors to depict what it is to be human and our relationship with the world around us. I use elements of nature a lot because they tend to offset the idea that humans are organic – when a flower or landscape is used alongside a glossy airbrushed portrait, it’s easy to see humans as manufactured.

You mainly work by hand; do you prefer this to digital methods?

As a student I almost exclusively worked digitally but became frustrated with the disconnect between artist and artwork. Now I prefer to see and handle my art as I’m creating it. Analogue collage has its limitations but these can lead down some unexpected paths.

What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on?

Adidas Originals stands out because it was one of the first commissions I received but also for the creative freedom I was given. I was sent a few source-images as a starting point and then I was left to my own devices. Another project I really enjoyed working on was a countdown-video for Samsung. The video is a montage of my actual creative process, and the resultant collage coming to life as an animation.

What do you feel is art’s role in society?

I believe art has many roles in society, from something as small as putting a smile on your face, to something as big as a politically charged alternate view of the world and what it could become. I feel a society that oppresses artistic freedom and the ability to view art will ultimately fail.

Do you have any big upcoming projects?

I’m currently working with a duo from the beauty & cosmetics field on the visuals for an entire book, and really enjoying the process.

We loved delving into Adam’s design process, and we’re sure you will too, so we suggest you check out more of his work on instagram here!

By: Isabelle James