Hi Jo. Thank you so much for all your wonderful submissions to the Artspace Gallery, and for taking the time to talk about you and your work.
Q – What is your background?
A – My background is in 3D art and Modelmaking. Special effects for film being my main focus at college.
Q – How did you get into art?
A- I always loved art. I would spend every free moment drawing and painting. I took all the arty subjects at school and still I can’t get enough!
Q – Where do you live and does living there influence your creative process or provide inspiration in another way?
A – I live in The Forest of Dean. I am inspired by the woods every day. I love nature, I love colour, I love finding hidden creatures in tree roots. I love finding interesting bugs and taking photographs of my discoveries. I am inspired by many places. I enjoy beautiful architecture. I love desolate coastlines. There are very few places that I am not inspired by in one way or another.
Q – What is your chosen subject and why?
A – This is always a difficult question for me. I work in such a mix of media that I cannot specify my subject. It is whatever I am working on at the time!
Q – What medium and materials do you work with? How did you decide on this medium?
A – Mixed media. I will work in coloured pencils and do detailed illustration work, or I will work on a huge scale with paints, plaster, clay, whatever it is I need to create the piece of the moment.
Q – Where do you get your inspiration from?
A – Often the Forest where I live, sometimes from other Artists. I am inspired by people, by their stories. I love film and the artwork associated with it.
Q – How would you describe your style? How has your style evolved over time, and what has influenced its development?
A – My style varies. My illustration work is tidy and detailed, my 3D work is often alienesque. My paintings can be bold brush strokes of finely honed images.
Q – What is your creative process?
A – If I am illustrating, I will map out the plan of what I intend to create, but usually it’s a very messy process. A rough sketch, or rough model shape that I continue to build on until it becomes the thing I see in my mind’s eye.
I will add things or take things away. I will step back and blur my eyes to see what needs to happen next. I look at my work in a mirror so I can see it from a whole new view point.
Q – What’s your studio like?
A – A room with a huge paint stained table, artwork on the walls and models on the shelves!
Q – Are there fellow artists who inspire you, who either work with the same media as you, or in other fields?
A – There certainly are! I work with an amazing group of people at Artspace. They have taught me so many new things. The fact I work with such a range of different Artists has enabled me to expand my knowledge of different media, from printmaking and photo transfer to animation and digital media!
Q – How do you know when a piece is finished and when it’s the right time to stop?
A – That’s a tricky one. With illustration I have a carefully planned out piece, so it is finished when I have completed every detail.
With my more creative work it will be finished when I can see that adding anymore would be too much.
Q – Is there an artwork you are most proud of? Why?
A – I once built a life size throne for The Pied Piper of Hamlyn that looked as if it was carved from stone. It had rats cast in plaster and made to look like gold. I was very proud of that.
I think the shear size of it was what I was so proud of. It really did look like solid stone despite being made from MDF and paper mache. It was also a challenge to build the initial framework.
Q – Are there any other art forms that you would like to try?
A – I would like to try resin casting. I would also love to be able to cast sculptures in bronze.
Q – What are you working on at the moment?
A – For myself, I am currently working on an A1 mixed media piece based on the current pandemic. It is very ‘angry’ to look at, but it has been very therapeutic.
For others, I am working on The Arts Awards and Drama sessions.