Cohort 52 is a platform for emerging voices from the Applied Art & Design program at Sierra College in Northern California. Cohort 52 is facilitated by Assistant Professor Vincent Pacheco.


Allison Izarnotegui Collazos

“…going beyond just showing my world, it was more about showing an essence of who I am .”




Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I am a 25-year-old girl that came to America about 9 years ago to experience something different in an exchange that made her life change completely after a year that make her imagine things and want a better future to the point that she decided that she could live in another country by herself not only for a year but for the year she study and well she was dreaming about a better future she got it stuck in that country by herself in the middle of a pandemic which made it very hard to keep being motivated and keep looking forward to something better but the pandemic and I didn’t in a good way she kept having those dreams to do something better and big with her future.


How much experience do you have with collage?

This was my first time experiencing and working with collage in an artistic form.


Collage artists tend to be picky when it comes to their source material. Can you talk about your approach for selecting your images and/or publications?

I picked for my source materials magazines that had different types of text so I could show a variety of  fonts and also adding ink for texture.


Were there any large themes you intended to explore or unpack before you began with this series of work? Did you stay on theme, or did things change as you began physically cutting and pasting images?

I had a theme and an idea in mind about what I wanted to achieve in the collages but something that I realized later was that all the collages were very repetitive. Being able to modify them in the final face to create a new collage with what I already had.


How did your background and life experiences inform your collages?

It became really personal for me because I wanted to show a little bit of myself, going beyond just showing my world, it was more about showing an essence of who I am with the implementation of words in the collages.


What was your environment and set-up like when making the work? Did you listen to music? Did you work in isolation, or were you surrounded by distraction? Do you think this influenced the work you made?

My environment was very set up for me to getting to a home feeling trying to channeling memories and moments in my life that determine who I am today and going to figure out  ideas to come up for the collages that show a part of myself playing music in Spanish my favorite music or having a show on the background while I looked through magazines trying to find the right words that will work for the collages or finding the different photos that were going to serve as the background for the clouds.


Scissors or X-Acto?

For a lot of the text portions that I had to cut I used scissors and decorative scissors to have that zig zag shape but I also used an X-Acto knife for the big silhouette.


Was there anything unexpected that emerged while creating your work? Any new epiphanies?

There were not that many unexpected things that emerged while I was doing the work for me. It was the opposite. I was really trying to figure out and nail down what was going to be the right element for the collage.


Looking at your work again, has your understanding of your collages changed over time? Has any hidden meaning emerged?

I feel that with the collages that had the base of that big silhouette to the pieces that I end up creating by modifying  them in Photoshop.It showed me what could have been or what I could have tried to achieve if I allowed myself to play a lot more with the papers. cut outs and different pieces.


Many artists are using the pandemic as a moment to pause and reflect. Do you think Covid-19 informed your work in any way? 

I think that Covid affected not only my work but my vision of what I wanted to transmit in things I created because for me the pandemic made me being 3 years away from my home and that really impacted my mind in different levels. So I think it did change me to create pieces not because they will look pretty or they will look good but to push me to talk about my life and the things that I’ve lived, my experiences and what it looks like for a young girl to be in a different country on her own and what that perspective is.