Tyler Spangler: Inside the collagist's digital toolkit

Digital collagist Tyler Spangler shares his essential work tools — and work snacks.


I would describe my work as psychedelic, abstract, surreal, dada, and pop.

Who are you, and what do you make.

My name is Tyler Spangler and I am from Pacific Palisades, California. I am a surfer and designer who studied psychology and graphic design. I make digital collages and illustrations. I was drawn to design because I always envied the graphics from the surf culture, punk/metal music, and video games. I thought how amazing it would be to be a part of that community and contribute to it. I would describe my work as psychedelic, abstract, surreal, dada, and pop. Since I spill into a ton of different styles I created my own description: A grape flavored Popsicle dipped in salt water and placed on a rock to melt.

What do you keep on hand while you work?

I have to be alone, listening to music with headphones, and snacking on something. I have tried working in different studios and I hate it. I feel the pressure of the people around me and it distracts me. I love to eat candy and fruit while working. My favorite candy is anything gummy and I love apples. My computer desk is situated in the kitchen which is basically our living room since I live in 250sq ft. half trailer on the beach. My desk is also next to a window that views to the ocean, which I love.

Your style is heavily rooted in the idea of collage and merging on seemingly different aesthetics — who’s an artist you’d love to collaborate with?

I don’t follow too many artists but if I could choose a couple, living or dead, I would choose: Kurt Schwitters, Wolfgang Weingart, Ozzie Wright, or El Lissitzky.

With several books and zines behind you, what’s the value of transforming digital art into IRL art?

I love translating it. I love making digital art because of how spontaneous it is. I prefer digital art because of this. However, I love seeing my work printed out and placed into the environment. There is something magical about creating something on a screen then seeing it outside.

Ask yourself a question and answer it.

Was Electric Wizard the best band you’ve ever seen live? Yes, they are the greatest band in the world and my ears still hurt.