Dealing in Relationships: The Collage Work of John Washington

03_holding_all_the_cards_©_john_washington Holding All The Cards © John Washington

“Essentially this set of images came about whilst remembering a time in my life where I worked with some fabulous colleagues in the police force. We played cards before every shift and at lunchtime and it wasn’t until later on, post career, that I realised just how much the ubiquitous deck of cards stood as a metaphor, not only the unpredictability of the role of police officer, but life in general. The titles are derived from the many idioms we used whilst playing.”

John Washington is a former police officer in London and Manchester, UK. A career change led him back to art and graphic design. He currently works in a studio at home in Greater Manchester.

You can enjoy more of his work here, and at Instagram.

Big Deal © John Washington





Don’t Blag Me © John Washington





Turn It Over © John Washington




Stacked Against Me © John Washington





My Fate © John Washington





Deal Again © John Washington


About his process

“I work exclusively on an 12.7 inch ipad using numerous apps – most notably ‘procreate’ which is usually used by concept artists. The app is not perfect, but I now prefer using this over photoshop. I hunt down vintage images from car boot sales and charity shops and firstly scan selected images at high resolution before carefully storing them in folders on three mirrored hard drives. At the time of writing I have cornered the market in buying vintage knitting patterns!

I work intuitively and almost never pre-plan the outcome of my collages. This is not to say that I no longer research my interest, but rather, that I simply allow my experience of life to come forward and as such it’s difficult to explain in much the same way as songwriters are often unable to articulate how a great song was constructed.

I’m aware that whilst my images are digital they have an analog aesthetic. I began simulating the ‘aged look’ long before the availability of plug ins and phone apps and I conducted academic research in this long standing trend. Nowadays, I no longer think about analog simulation as I work; it is just ‘my style’ and helps me realise the creative ideas.”