How did you get started doing what you do?
Watching cartoons on MTV.
What’s your inspiration?
The Wallace Collection and their café.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Usually about a week. I find it hard concentrating on details and so to get to a point where I can’t work on it any further which I guess is a good way to move on to the next drawing.
How have others reacted to your work?
There’s a certain pleasure in looking at contemporary artwork and checking its faults, suggesting how it could be improved or why it’s even in an art gallery. I would simply like for someone to walk past one of my pieces, give it a double-take and wonder “what an odd little drawing.”
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Take more time and care with each drawing, and make sure you take a good photo of it before you sell it.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
On how to deal with making bad art, which for me is often: “When making art, forget you are making art. Think that you are making something with some disposable materials. Maybe you’re making something you and maybe others will enjoy. Or maybe you’re just doing something nice to pass the time.”
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Learn your art history – you need to know about the past before you can make anything good in the future. Work harder than you think you need to work – everyone else is making art, you can’t just be the best in your class, school or studio; never think you work is too good to be criticized otherwise you’ll never develop – it’s not the best thing ever just because you made it; and finally – draw, draw, draw and draw!
What are your thoughts on art school?
They’re good fun but don’t go and make work that features things leaning on walls, rocks, flickering lightbulbs, or spider plants. Go and develop skills, techniques, craft, and aesthetics.
What’s your dream project?
An animation based on Niclas Lafrensen’s miniature ‘The Mysterious Swing’ or maybe a little wordless graphic novel.
When drawing the Deluge series, I was thinking of the animals as sculptures. Some of these drawings I think would cross over quite well into sculpture, and might look cool placed in a public park or heath, in particular ‘Whale in a Tree’ or ‘Two Monkeys with a Narwhal’.
How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
Better education on the arts, art history and traditional skills.
Check out Sam Branton’s website.