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.


Lamari White

“…the more I look at my collages, the more they represent an aspect of my life in every way.




Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Hello, I am 18 years old from North Highlands, California. My childhood was not rough but still financially we struggled. My hobbies are fashion, art and music. I prefer to create advertisement pages like magazines, ads, etc.


How much experience do you have with collage?

My experience with collages is novice at most, in my Graphic Design class when learning to use photoshop we’re required to recreate collages and create one using at least 15 items.


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 sourced my publications at Barnes & Noble. The types of magazines and prints I looked for were skateboarding magazines, Fashion magazines and Print books. I chose these materials since they tend to have logos or photo angles that are typically out of the ordinary. It also represents the free spirit I attempt to represent.


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 didn’t really have a goal in the beginning with my creative process. I wanted to let my mind and emotions guide my art. After creating the first three designs I noticed a pattern and began to run with it.


How did your background and life experiences inform your collages?

 I feel that the background and life experiences of somebody is important as not everyone’s the same and has gone through the same things as the person next to them. It is what is going to make their work original and oriented around their interests and experiences.


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?

I was sitting alone, down at my kitchen table and just listening to music. Mainly at night since I wanted to have my imagination run wild after a long day, it helps me recall all the events of the day and express them.  I created my collages and they were able to represent the aspects of life I am either looking for or have already. This definitely had an effect on my artwork.


Scissors or X-Acto?

I prefer the use of X-Acto knives since it provides a straight clean cut. Only issue is that there is a slight learning curve when you start so you don’t dull out your blade quickly.


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

An issue that occurred was the sizing of images and having to learn how to resize an image without ruining the quality of the image.  I have now persevered past that obstacle.


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

I understand that the more I look at my collages, the more they represent an aspect of my life in every way. From the color palette to how certain pages were structured represented a trait I wanted to express to the audience.


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

Yes, I feel that I was influenced by Covid-19 as it taught us that we are able to take control of our lives back and not be stuck in this work environment working for someone else. Ultimately with this field of work I can go down either path quite honestly but I feel that working for someone else to gain experience before starting my own will benefit me in the long run.