Hey, You’re Cool! Dewey Saunders
The creator of throwback collages for some of your favorite images
Dewey Saunders is a name you may not know yet, but you should. Born and raised in Florida, he’s always had a eye for art, from sponge painting to photography. Now he’s known for eclectic collage masterpieces with an eye for detail that combines real life with a surreal wonderland. Dewey has been hand-making pieces for your favorite artists’ albums, his works are splashed across music videos and The Fader has featured his art. Below, he gives us a peek at how he creates his one of a kind piece and what he has up his sleeve next!
Tell us about Dewey! Who are you and where are you from? When did you start being a visual artist?
My name is Dewey Bryan Saunders. I was born and raised in Boynton Beach, South Florida. I started being a visual artist as a little kid like everybody else. I still have a sponge print I made when I was 6 called “Fun City” that looks like a very primitive Stonehenge. I didn’t take art classes in high school but I always shot 35mm film photos and had an eye for design. My dad always painted and my mom’s mother was deep into the arts and photography and she eventually encouraged me to go Tyler School of Art. I got a portfolio together in junior college for a year and then went to art school to study Graphic Design & Illustration.
Your art is so intricate and nostalgic, explain how you create and find inspiration?
I am currently in a pretty heavy collage phase that has been in the works for years. My collection of collage materials is pretty vast. Without giving away all of my sources, I dig into vintage magazines like old National Geographics and Playboys. That is where the nostalgic feel comes from, these old dusty books and magazines. The approach differs project to project, but music is always a driving force in creation especially if I am working on album art. My process starts with flipping through these old publications with a theme in mind, cutting out images and making little piles of clippings while scanning everything I find. Lots of my work is all analog and hand made cut paper collage, but for clients it needs be digitized and able to edited. Inspiration for me comes from all around me, and lately, my focus has been to shift my perspective slightly and look at things differently. If I can work with fresh eyes and see images from a different angle it helps to compose a more unique image. The intricacy comes from my desire to tell a story through the images, and there is also a hazy hallucinatory effect in my work that comes off as a mellow dream world. I am looking for a magical realism, and collage is the perfect medium for me to create these bizarre psychedelic environments.
Your resume is pretty impressive, creating for artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, Chronixx and Anderson Paak. Who would you like to work with in the future?
It’s an interesting thing that most of the clientele have reached out to me. I’m usually a little too busy to do proper self-promotion, but things have worked out in a really organic way where each project kind of leads into another one. The Chronixx team reached out to me via a previous client and things kind of just are snowballing right now. If I could choose, I would love to do artwork for Flying Lotus or Hiatus Kaiyote. I really would love to do more work for all of my previous clients too, now that the relationship has been established. I love doing more than one thing for a client and providing an all over aesthetic.
You visually create a world of wonder, what’s real life like to Dewey?
I think art is a reflection of real life and that a sense of wonder is something that defines what I do and how I live. Honestly, I feel like I live through my art and when I am creating is when I truly feel connected. I love riding my bike around the city, skateboarding, hanging out in the studio with the squad, going on nature adventures and traveling—but making art for me is the ultimate activity and the highest purpose.
What’s next for Dewey Saunders?
Basically just grinding out and wrapping up all of these projects I have in the works. The key for me is gradual progression, working on larger campaigns for artists and pushing my skill sets and abilities. I love to create art exhibitions and would like to dip into the fine art gallery world and work on large scale installations. One of my goals is to create a really popping online storefront of affordable original pieces. I also want to form a sort of collage club for people to meet up, swap pieces and make zines. I might call it “Cut Loose Collage Club.” There’s a bunch of shows coming up: Subtle Studies, a split show with Bethany Casperite, opening in August 4th at Ritual Ritual, Philadelphia. Also Coffee Wave 3 with a close collaborator and boss DJ Ed Christof opens October 6th at W/N W/N in Philadelphia.