When my super talented kin Mati Rose McDonough asked to interview me for her colorful e-course, Daring Adventures in Collage, I said YEAH! It prompted me to consider my connections to collage and the currents running through all my work.

I didn’t discover collage formally until art history class at RISD, but had made cut paper cards as a child. This is my first published illustration, incorporating a scrap of Dick and Jane text to reference an educational crisis in teaching, August of 1980!

illustration by Jamie Hogan for the Boston Phoenix, 1980.

illustration by Jamie Hogan for the Boston Phoenix, 1980.

My first eight years of freelance illustration in Boston brought opportunities for collage added to drawing, but by the time I landed in San Francisco, I was working almost exclusively in collage.


All before the Internet, I kept large clipping files, making comp collages on my studio copier in black and white to FAX to the client. When I got approval on my idea, I’d head to a nearby Kinko’s and get color copies to bring home for cutting and pasting. Those were the days!

This was for an essay in the Los Angeles Times by Harry Shearer, spoofing the release of the Nixon tapes in 1991. The Kinko’s guy let me unravel some lousy mix tape right on the color copier for this one. At home, I cut out just enough spaces to let Nixon’s grin show.


I did a LOT of editorial illustration using collage for about 10 years, through our move from San Franscisco to Maine in 1992. Moving to an island made the trips to Kinko’s in Portland more time-consuming. When we bought a scanner, I could work entirely in my pajamas from home. For about 18 months, I did a monthly illustration for Attache Magazine’s column, The Brief, by Daniel Gross. The clean layout really enhanced a bold, uncluttered collage. I love ephemera, old envelope interiors, and embellishments on currency.


For this one, I asked my mother if she had any S & H green stamps still around. No, but her neighbor next door did! Daniel’s essays drew insightful parallels from the past to contemporary culture, making my retro finds into a literally cutting-edge visual solution.


One fond favorite was this article about Hallmark. I love greeting cards of all kinds; making cards for family as a child surely set the stage for my illustrative career. I often wonder if I worked at Hallmark in another life.


This was my last illustration for Attache in 2002. Coincidentally, about intellectual property.


By then, the bloom was off the rose for my editorial illustration. It’s a tricky thing to repurpose parts of other works. Photoshop had debuted, with other illustrators making seamless layers of complex imagery, all digitally. I missed drawing. I had a toddler and piles of kids’ books always in my lap. In 2002, I took a Continuing Studies course at Maine College of Art, a Picture Book Intensive for an entire week. (Still offered this summer!)

I returned to drawing, but still with cut paper edges and touches of collage, like in this title page for Seven Days of Daisy.


This led to getting published in the children’s book field, hooray! Art director Whitney Leader-Picone at Charlesbridge Publishing encouraged my collage tendencies in illustrations for Nest, Nook, and Cranny by Susan Blackaby. Look, envelope interiors in the grassy fronds.


Meanwhile, I still make birthday cards for friends and family using collage.This one’s for Kim, photographer, designer, and gardener.


I made this card for Mati awhile back, enclosing an old snapshot of her infant self with her parents, my cousins Wanda and Brian McDonough.


It’s a circle of cosmic kismet to be included as a Magic Maker in her Daring Adventures in Collage! I’ve had a winding road with scissors and glue, for sure. For the first week’s project, students were asked to create a Critter Collage. Here’s my frilly owl. In a nod to Nest, Nook & Cranny, I included a wee hermit crab from that book.


The saying “what goes around comes around” totally applies in collage. Hold onto those maps, envelopes, ticket stubs, old wrapping paper, valentines, even homework! You never know what surprises await. I dare you!

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