Ransom notes have been notoriously known as a tool kidnappers used to communicate their demands. These demands were made by using newspaper and magazine cut outs of various letters, in order to create untraceable ‘handwriting’.
Instead of writing dreadful life-changing orders, I began creating symbiotic juxtaposition with heart-warming notes made for birthdays, Valentines days and even Mother’s days. There is an initial shock while reading the message, even worse when it arrives unannounced through the post and there isn’t someone who prepares you for it. The reactions were priceless to observe.
Which started as half-joke and a way to save time on making greetings cards, became so much more than I could imagine. A quest of intimately understanding the possibilities of layout and feel for the font. Here follows a tale of how Happily Ever Sin ransom love notes were born.
First encounters with montage
The beginning rooted in my course of foundation year in art. Where I had my first taste of montaging together pictures for the graphic module. The aim was to create a book cover for your autobiography. I had always been a type of strange and felt it had to be reflected in my book cover. I played with printing out images and sticking them in my hair. I stitched latvian symbols on my face to under-line my fierce love for the mythical and photoshopped black eyes to shock the viewer.
During the photography class, I explored the possibilities of darkroom film development. The subject was also very somber and included knives, scissors and grotesque shapes I asked my models to carry out. A wooden book was created, making it easier to include different textures, like the fabric.
Vincet Que Se Vincet
The Graphics module in higher education consisted of creating an image using one of the three object photos provided. I chose an old-school potato masher.
There is a long winded story explaining the idea behind the finished piece. The falling people in yellow and brown, the ominous quote in Latin ‘VINCET QUE SE VINCET’ and the elusive landscape images inside of the potato masher and the big black hole in the center tie in to represent the way of life.
The human figures are all falling through the sky or life. Some fall through good, bright places and some fall into the dark and dingy. Some people are yellow and some people are brown. The thought was that good and bad people fall into heaven or hell for their experience. Some miss this opportunity for change and disappear into The Abyss – the black hole, a place we all end up eventually. ‘VINCET QUE SE VINCET’ stands for ‘she who conquers herself, conquers it all’.
Many months passed and the strong urge to make more montage pieces became harder to resist. These pieces were created using images found in the magazines. Pleasure was observed from having a tactile interaction with the images. Carefully cutting around them with scissors and a scalpel. They were arranged first and image taken in as a whole before the definitive stroke of glue had been applied. These pieces were created to add to my creative portfolio for studies in France.
While at my french exchange programme, I was asked in french to create a series of digital images using a range of other images. Bearing in mind the harmony between the shadows, hues and perspective to make it as realistic as possible.
DIY Montage Continued
The pull towards the art of montage grew stronger. These further images were created to help deal with my post education mental state. They acted as a creative outlet for the pent up thoughts that were hard to explain at the time. Looking at them now, there isn’t a story that could be told, they are just random image compositions of an unhinged creative mind
The greeting cards
Fast forward to the time when things got better and then worse for the better – Valentines day for a freshly single person.
I felt hurt, but chose to come back to love by creating Valentine’s Day cards for my single girlfriends.
Hand-made greeting cards have always been my way of expressing my appreciation for my closest and dearest. Usually the process involved penciling in the desired text with a lavish font and then making it permanent with a pen. The task was ardenous and not enjoyable due to the repetition, the length of time required and the potential of it all being ruined even when steps of precaution have been taken.
At the time, I began collecting more and more words out of magazines for my montages. The collection was big enough for me to string coherent sentences. This is the moment the light bulb went on and the decision to use these letters in the cards appeared. The images were used as supplementary decorative elements at the front and the inside of the card.