Interview: Aaron Beebe

First, a few basic questions – so who are you, what are you doing, where are you coming from?

I am Aaron Beebe or ABC (Aaron Beebe Collage). I grew up mostly in Va Beach, Virginia, and was creatively influenced by skate and surf culture. Before joining the military at age 27, I dropped out of graphic design school after one semester and worked in various screen printing shops doing art layouts. I find it hard to stick with just one medium or art form. Currently, along with analog collage, I have been working in digital formats, screen printing, and painting. Also, I have a passion for graphic design, so I started {th ink}, a publication that allows me to be a curator, art director, and publisher.

Why collaging? What is it that inspires you to cut and paste?

I served in the United States Coast Guard for the past 20 years and didn’t really start collaging until late 2013. Since I worked extreme hours, sometimes at sea, and had to move every few years, I never really had a studio or worked on creative projects for that matter. Collaging allowed me to create small pieces with limited resources. But it was the discovery of “Index-A” by Charles Wilkin that initially inspired me to cut and paste!

How would you describe your style? And how quickly you found your ”style”?

From my brief formal training and work within the screen printing industry in my early years, my style was immediately what I call a structured mess.

When you begin to work a new piece, do you have a clear vision of what you are going to do or where to start?

I usually envision most of the composition after spotting an image or color that intrigues me, and the rest tends to flow haphazardly.

Do you have favorite source materials, or do you like the challenge of working with something new?

At first I never really branched out on the materials I used. I focused on mid-twentieth century images. But that was limiting my output and started to feel repetitive. Recently, I have kept more of an open mind. Working with a broader range of resources provides new perspectives and options.

How long does it take to make a collage, and do you work on several at a time?

I usually don’t spend much time creating a collage, and finish in one session. I guess I always need a sense of completion, so I never work on more than one piece at a time.

What emotions do you think your artworks transmit for the viewer?

What I always say when asked is that I create things that are aesthetically pleasing to me. If someone else gets something out of it, that’s great and I like to hear their interpretations.

How easy or hard is it to finish your works? Do you ever get burnt out on a piece, and what do you do to keep working and being productive?

When it comes to doing collage, I find it easy to finish for the most part. A lot of times I start with an image or color and it just kind of evolves into a composition. I recently retired from the military, and have more time for creative projects, but I believe I won’t ever get burnt out or stop being productive.

What is the most inspirational artwork you’ve ever seen? What makes it stand out?

That is a tough one since there is so much awesome work out there! Especially being exposed to it on a daily basis through binary media. My true inspirational artist is Robert Rauschenberg, but recently I discovered the work of Micosch Holland. They both create the beautiful messes that I tend to love, with a splash of graphic design.

If you should describe your art with one word, what would it be?


Aaron Beebe around the internet:

Instagram: @aaronbeebecollage
Think publication: