First the basic introduction – Can you tell me who are you, what are you doing, where are you coming from?
I’m Tim Manthey, aka Cloud Nectar. I create a surrealist collage, painting, and photomontage art by hand. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and have lived in and around Seattle my whole life. Though I have been constantly creating art since childhood, collage has been my medium since 2009.
Why collages? What is it that inspires you to do them?
Creating a collage is pure enjoyment and at best a spiritual practice; a journey of discovery. It’s all about the process itself as the driving force. The art pieces that emerge from that passion are just the remaining evidence of the journey. I will keep going with it as it keeps intriguing me. The moment it doesn’t I will stop and shift towards another medium.
Your works are generally very trippy and vibrant, I could even say psychedelic – how do you see you your style/visual language?
The art that inspires and excites me is very psychedelic in nature and creating art that looks and feels that way is a tool to wonder about deeper reality. I kind of can’t help but to let my visions go there. I also think the trippiness is in a way the “dressing” to present some narratives that lie in the subconscious. Art digs those narratives out of me.
In your works, which speaks to you more, shapes or colors?
Shapes and colors mingle and dance together in their own language, It’s so fun to witness how. I’m sure there is science behind that dynamic.
How long does it take to make a collage, and do you work on several at a time?
There have been pieces I have spent over six months creating and some that have come together in 30 minutes.
What are your favorite source materials? How do you find them? Do you spend a lot of time while looking for them?
My favorite source materials are vintage photography books. The weirder the better. I find these at thrift stores and sometimes dumpsters. Many have been gifted to me lately, also. I always enjoy finding these treasures, sometimes even folding a few pages in a book before I buy it.
“I’m very fortunate to have a medium that intrigues me like this!”
How do you work and approach your subject?
With moving hands and curious eyes. Like a visual jazz session. I start with images from books that inspire me. Beautiful colored backgrounds sometimes flipped upside down, evocative subjects, faces, objects cut out with the scissors. I stir it all up on my desk. Sometimes three to four projects at once. It’s very similar to cooking. And the dish always lands a bit different than I anticipate. I’m very fortunate to have a medium that intrigues me like this!
When you begin to work on a new piece, do you have a clear vision of what you are going to do or where to start? How much your works ”live”/change from the original vision?
I learned to only hold a general sense of how I want the piece to finish. Too much attempt to control it robs the joy; the discovery. One of my methods is to just play with color combinations and keep my hands moving until it starts to sing and “say” something mysterious or ask a mysterious question. Most every piece changes from the original vision but feels like a true expression. I like that.
What has been your proudest moment with your art?
Album covers have always been my biggest inspiration, so when bands have contacted me to create album art, it’s filled me with the most joy and pride. I have now created over 20 pieces that have been used for album art and a few that have been put on vinyl. The experience of holding those covers in my hands has been an amazing gift. Just last week I had an album sent to me that I designed the cover for; a Seattle band called ‘Dirty Dirty’. Along those lines, creating some of the largest analog collage murals has been very exciting and I hope to do more large scale projects.
If you should describe your art with one word, what would it be?
Cloud Nectar around the internet