Mooncrab’s Visual World is the Absurd Paradise You’ve Been Waiting to Explore UK-based artist Emma Rodriguez – aka Mooncrab – has made a point of showing that old images can still lead to new visual languages. Her work is informed by digital collage, for which she carefully selects an assembly of unlikely partners, tweaking them to perfection. In Emma’s artworks, natural landscapes intertwine with vintage and retro everyday objects; moons, planets and suns inhabit infinitely deep skies. The artist reminds us of the obsession with nature all of us share. History and nature fold into one another in a dance of symbolism, pop and the absurd. Emma has come into prominence on Instagram, where she has a healthy following that encourages her to create, curate, and repeat. We met the artist for some real-world chat about what her work means to her, and how she came up with the name Mooncrab. THE PLUS: First off, can you tell us a bit about the process behind the images you make? What’s the concept? Emma Rodriguez: I like to use every day images and themes in my work and use them as a centrepiece. I also create my work as a means of escape. My work is based around creating environments that are surreal and other worldly – I hope to take the viewer there. TP: You work seems to go through phases of different colour pairings, for example, orange with blue, teal with orange, pink with teal. What’s your approach to colour? ER: The colours used tend to go with the theme I am creating. For example, more vintage approaches will use warmer tones, and more spacey themes might have colder darker tones. I also like to play around with colour to experiment with the feel it gives off. If I like it I will continue to use it. TP: What’s surrealism all about for you? ER: For me, it’s the opposite of real life and the every day. Things you wouldn’t see or hear or smell on a normal day. Would you look out of your window and see a massive megaphone in the sky? Probably not. I like how surrealism can just be almost anything that isn’t the usual. TP: Tell us about your name, Mooncrab! There seem to be lots of moons in your work… but where are the crabs? ER: I think I have always been somewhat inspired by the art used in spiritual and mythical senses, like horoscopes and tarot for example. So the name came from combining my love of space and the work I was inspired by when I first started making collage. TP: Collage has become popular in the Instagram age – where do you see it going? ER: I have seen a massive growth in collage artists in social media, which is great. For me I hope more people will fall in love with collage work and want to own pieces for their own home. I don’t think we see it enough in the real world, in galleries, shops etc. It’s such a fun type of art, and it doesn’t have to be taken seriously at all and it would be fantastic if there was a wider appreciation for it.