How did you get started doing what you do?
I got started by making watercolours of things I saw in magazines, like shoes and perfume bottles, just as a bit of fun. Then I realized that they might actually be able to be used as illustrations, so I decided to make a portfolio website. The most daunting part was sending it out to people and trying to sell myself, because I don’t think that comes natural to most artists.
How would you describe your creative style?
I describe my style as contemporary watercolour illustration. This might sound a bit pretentious, but all I’m trying to say is that it’s not supposed to be too stuffy or traditional. If I say to people I am a watercolour artist, then they probably imagine washy landscapes, etc…
What’s your inspiration?
I take inspiration from popular culture and anything I just find to be fun and appealing. Sometimes it’s literally a case of walking around Tesco and thinking, “Those bananas look really yellow, I might have a go at painting some bananas when I get home and see if I can get them to look as yellow as they did in that moment.” (Bad analogy but you see what I mean?!)
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
The thing about watercolour is that you could do two paintings of the same thing- the first could take five minutes and the second, five hours. The five minute one could have more energy, life and vitality about it, but the five hour one could be appreciated for it’s beautiful detail and accuracy. So I think you have to just weigh up these factors and decide what you are trying convey in the painting. More often than not, I think it is better to work quicker.
How do you keep motivated?
I stay motivated by just constantly looking at the world and trying to reflect some of its beauty back in pictures. Occasionally, I look at the work of other Artists and Illustrators whom I admire, and ask myself if my work is as effective as their’s — then when the answer is no, this motivates me to start working (too much of this can be detrimental though!)
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I would say my surroundings have a massive impact on my work, because I only tend to want to make paintings of things that I have seen. It might be like fruit and flowers in reality, or it might also be photos of handbags in a magazine. Other artists like to depict imagined things but this doesn’t really appeal to me.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
I’d like my work to make people happy when they see it, and just cheer them up. Not much more than this really!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I really love the Andy Warhol quote: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” I honestly think this is the best advice I have heard and I still genuinely tell myself this all the time.
What are your thoughts on art school?
I really like art school and think that it’s a great time to just constantly try out new ideas and styles. You are basically free to do as you please for 3 years, so what is not to like about that? I do think that more could be done to prepare young artists for life after art school though.
What art supplies do you use?
I use Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolours. They are the cheaper ones, but for the way I paint they work really well.