Interview: Oliver Lancaster Smith – Artist & Designer

Tell us about yourself, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do?
“Hello Jung Katz, my name is Oliver Lancaster Smith I am an Artist, Designer, Creative & Teacher. Born and raised in Yorkshire, Northern England after a few years working in China, India and Manchester I am back in Yorkshire again.

My daily work usually involves some artworking and lots of design and illustration, then apart from this day to day work I regularly teach workshops, do live murals, host events, write for my blog (Dirt Cheap Mag) and create work for exhibitions.”

How did you get started doing what you do?
“I guess from a love of all kinds of creative work and a desire to never join the rat race.”

What’s your inspiration?
“My friends and our experiences together, conversation, good music.”

What is art to you?
“Something which has an aesthetic value to an ‘audience’ (whether it is aesthetically pleasing or displeasing!)”

Oliver Lancaster SmithOliver Lancaster Smith
What does your typical day look like?
“Get up, drink very strong coffee to shake off the fact I went to bed at 4am, check my various email/social media platforms, then get stuck into some work until my girlfriend lets me know it is 10pm and I should probably have something to eat. I try to work on a few different projects each day, or if I have only one main one I try to break it up by doing some doodles or personal work for a brief period.”

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
“Just to get better and better, I am never happy with my work (or not for long). It’s a journey and I don’t think there is a tangible ‘aim’. I guess in basic terms – to be able to earn enough to live from my artwork.”

What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
“I know you’re working hard, but work harder.”

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
“Step back.”

Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
“Don’t watch the next person, just concentrate on your own work – this is very important.”

What are your thoughts on art school?
“In England – A very expensive waste of time. Though I had some good experiences, met some good friends and produced some good work, I think education is going downhill here. The government sees it more as a business it seems, and this shows.”

Oliver Lancaster Smith
What’s your dream project?
“I have many, I would like to be involved in projects based in Fashion, Architecture, Product design, Sculpture, Theatre, Events/Festivals, TV/Film, virtually any kind of creative industry I would love to work within.”

What art supplies do you use?
“Mainly black ink on white paper, and the Adobe creative suite. I think a good designer should be able to just use a pen and paper.
I have been involved with graffiti for approx 14 years and so spraypaint is always around my studio. Enamel paints are something I have been experimenting with recently and I love the effect.”

How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
“Any other artists that you would like to recommend for others to check out as well?
I love the work of Stephen Powers, Todd James, Matisse and Parra are a few of my favourites.”

Follow Oliver Lancaster on FacebookTwitter, and Gramfeed. Be sure to check out his art blog, Dirt Cheap Mag as well!

1 Comment


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s