J.D. Renaud got his start as a mixed-media collage artist in an unlikely way.
“Truthfully, (I started making collage because of) a terrible job,” he says.
“About five years ago, I just needed another creative outlet. I was moving around a lot of things in my home, and I had a big roll of old posters that I’d had since high school … So I decided, well I’ve heard about decoupage and collage ... so I’ll just see what I can do. I just started cutting them up and trying different things.”
He says that making collages was unexpectedly peaceful.
“Where some people might find it tedious to be with a ruler and an X-Acto knife for hours and hours on end creating strips and realigning things and holding things down and being very precise, I find it incredibly relaxing,” he says.
“Just the activity, at first, was just really good for me.”
Renaud has now progressed far beyond those initial experiments. He does collage full-time, slicing and dicing anything made of paper into his art works.
He has also been working as a curator and educator. At the beginning of 2018, he curated a cartoon animation themed show at The Handsome Daughter. He has also been hosting an event at the bar that he calls Collage Dropout.
It’s “basically like a paint night but for collage,” he says.
“Everyone comes in, I provide everyone with all the materials they need, canvases, brushes, glue, posters, anything they could ever want and ... we hang out for three or four hours. I don’t give any instructions (for) what they have to make.”
What began as a response to a bad job has now become Renaud’s job.
“I wake up, have breakfast, and I’m at my table for eight hours a day,” he says.
“Whether or not I sell what I make at the end of that day or not, I don’t know, I just hope I will. But it’s my job, and I’m so thankful for that.”
J.D. Renaud’s work can be found online at theplaceholdershow.com.