Molly Scannell – collages between art and fashion

Molly Scannell makes mixed-media collages and makes art for Cartier, YouTube, Jungle Magazine and Adobe to name a few. Along with several gallery exhibitions around the world and a few private commissions.

Molly Scannell states that “realism is riddled with anxiety-induced pressure. I prefer collage.” 

“Realism is pressure-induced by anxiety, which is why I prefer collage”; could you please explain this sentence? Why is collage free from anxiety and negative feelings? What is so special about it?

This for me has always been where I began as an artist. Always perfecting my drawing skills. Understanding the relationship between the lightness and darkness, the exactness of it. The corodox if you will. It was like drawing myself into a box that got smaller and smaller. When I started doing collage, it was a flexing in mental strength, being inspired, taking something and putting it together before my thoughts actually reached my brain. There it was, glued permanently down. There is no pressure or anxiety in the perfection of the piece. It lives as it is, good or bad. 

Please, tell us more about your inspirations

My deepest inspirations are the ones most unexpected. Tiny stickers on sidewalks, the stencils & numbers spray painted on pavement for city work. Box trucks driving by with new brands and logos I’ve never seen. But I am constantly lit up by fashion and the interpretations of what fashion is or is not. Does a sock have to be a sock? NO! It can be a fancy headband with a shiny brooch bringing the toe and the tube of the sock together. I think Gucci does this reinvention of street style best. There is an idea and sense of limitlessness to what’s what in the world of fashion. It’s magic. I feel this quote deeply: “But I find that for myself, without exception, the more I deal with the work as something that is my own, as something that is personal, the more successful it is.” – Marian Bantjes. Don’t let others drive who you are and want to be. 

Let’s talk about material art; how would you describe it? What are the differences from digital art? Will you ever do something in digital art?

Material Art. What isn’t?! I started making collages analog style from old photos, magazines and colored paper. I soon started to wonder if my ‘style’ was translatable to the digital world, which I spent so much of my professional time in. Digital making is much for forgiving. It does a lot of the work for you and its very easy to ‘undo’. I started creating digital pieces in this new found style of mine which eventually led to working with big brands galleries.

What kind of different materials do you use for your works and why?

I use anything I think is interesting or beautiful (to me). Sometimes I scan collages or drawings of my own or a few special magazines. Ill often find myself searching archival free footage from the world libraries. Collaboration with other creatives is key as well. I like to think materials are limitless. It’s one of the very natural & true ways I can grow and learn. I’m currently printing my works on fabric and making them into clothing and playing with the idea of layering materials on top. I’ve also discovered railroad people. Tiny plastic models of humans. I’m painting them (sometimes) and placing them within my collages, so they have a juxtaposition feeling of belonging or not belonging at all. Subtle 3-D, double take. 

Your collages bring together fashion and art. In your opinion, in what way does art go hand in hand with fashion (and vice versa)?

Fashion is art. Art is fashion. As said by Diana Vreeland: “The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.” Creativity is not confined to a discipline, it’s a state of being, thinking & making.

How do you normally approach your projects? What attracts you the most?

Energy is usually fuelling me to make. Although sometimes I am exhausted but completely desperate for my own headspace and I usually find that through a run within trees or making with colors and pictures. It may be collaging, drawing, experimenting…whatever. It’s this general sense and over all feeling of complete and total freedom. I crave it and most absolutely need it.


Check out Molly’s work here!


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