"I am a 21 year old aspiring painter from Yorkshire, working in oil and acrylic paint, and taking inspiration from all areas of my experience:
"Some of my work depicts real life, and some is more conceptual, using symbolic and surreal images to project my thoughts and ideas about life. Art helps me understand myself and my surroundings, and by sharing it I hope to offer the same effect for others, or at least trigger a pause from the stress of daily life. My current aim is to continue working on my craft, sell prints, and hopefully continue to build and grow throughout my life."
Q.What led you to start making art?
A: I can’t pin down an exact moment which led me to start making art but I think I used it as a form of escapism. It gave me a sense of self and purpose which I needed at the time. Before art I was obsessed with going out and with that came a lot of unhealthy life choices. I get the same euphoria with art but without all the lows that come with going out all the time. I started taking it seriously just before the pandemic and then suddenly I had more time and was able to paint more.
Q.Who are your favourite artists?
A: I have so many favourite artists and I'm constantly finding new ones which is another thing that keeps me inspired and motivated. Off the top of my head I love Rockwell, Beksinski, Fechin, Dore, and Michael Cheval. I have learnt and been influenced by all of them in different ways.
Q.When and where do you get your best ideas?
A: I get ideas at all different times and places. An idea could come from a conversation I've had, a life lesson I've learnt, or the way someone is sat for example. It could also come out of experimentation, sometimes drawing with no purpose can lead to an idea. The unplanned ideas are interesting and they then lead to planned ideas if that makes sense.
Q.What is important to you?
A: My family, friends and getting outside are all important to me. Art is a bit of an addiction to me and it's easy to get so wrapped up you lose sight of everything else around you. Although art as a lifestyle is awesome I think it's important to have balance and be able to separate art from life and not let passion dictate your relationships and wellbeing. People feeling included is also important to me and I think that's something I like about the art world. Art brings people together and gives you something to talk about with people you otherwise might not know or talk to. Freedom is also very important to me. I paint what I want and don't have to follow rules like you do in other areas of life.
Q.How do you get started?
A: Once I have an idea I usually take reference pictures to work from. I sketch out the ones I like and choose which I think will look best and add anything I think will work with my reference. It's a bit like a collage to start with and then I start painting. There's not much to my set up process to be honest. I sit on the floor at the moment either by my bed in the day or in front of a film with people in the evening. Wherever I am I bring the paint and canvas with me.
Q: What makes you happy?
A: In terms of art, the buzz of a finished piece I’m actually proud of makes me happy. It's a rare occurrence but when it happens it's one of the best feelings in the world. Art revelations also make me happy. You have some sort of realisation about a piece your half way through or a realisation about your practice in general and it gets you all hyped. In terms of life what makes me happy are the things I said were important to me. Family, friends, being outside. Laughing also makes me happy. Art can make you take life too seriously sometimes and your ego can have you, so I love laughing at stupid stuff and acting like a kid sometimes.
Q: If you could travel back one year (pre Covid), what would you tell yourself?
A: I’d tell myself to calm down. Don't force art when you are in a creative block and to stand up when painting because my back feels about 100 years old which is not good at the age of 21.
Q: What music do you listen to when making?
A: I listen to all kinds of music depending what mood I'm in. YouTube is my go to though for background noise to be honest. You can find tons of free audiobooks and podcasts on there. If I listen to music I usually end up dancing round like a freak instead of actually painting.
Q: What is the future of your artform?
A: I’m not sure how to answer this because I can’t predict the future but I think history repeats itself in art to some extent as time periods come back round and into fashion again. It will be interesting to see which one comes back next. I am excited to see how technology develops for artists. At the moment you can make digital work which looks just like oil paintings. I wonder if eventually you will be able to 3D print these with the textures of a real painting. That would be cool.
Q: What's next for you as an artist?
A: I have a few things I am thinking about. I want to try some large scale work with spray paint. I just want to keep experimenting. planning doesn't seem to work for me so I try to just take it as it comes and trust the process.