1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I was born in New Orleans, moved to Aberdeen when I was 9 months old and have moved around the UK ever since. Being born in New Orleans sounds quite interesting but, being a small baby when I moved away, I have no recollection of it. My parents could well be lying.
I have of course always created art since a child. I think everyone shares that in common right? But as I grew older, I noticed a lot of my friends were moving away from it and subsequently, watching me do it instead. My passion for making and drawing has only ever grown more obsessive every day. Even now as a 23-year-old man.
Having such a great relationship with my art teachers at school helped to kickstart my path into taking art more seriously than just art class and doodles. That relationship made for conversations that helped with driving me towards a foundation course. The foundation course in Art and Design was an intense year of experimentation. Many walks of art were explored, and I had a blast! My personal highlight being an exhibition of several paintings about the Reptilian Elite. Towards the end, I started to focus on my studies and practice. This is where I decided illustration was for me. I went on to study it at University where I found my strengths were humour, colour, social documentary and my overall personality being portrayed in the work. I graduated in summer 2019 and haven’t stopped making, drawing, playing and pursuing my dream job in illustration since.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My aesthetic is colourful, fun, daft, textured, characterful and full of my real-life influences (passions, interests and banal stuff I experience every day). I take some inspiration from 1930’s cartoons as well as architecture and 3D shape.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
My favourite medium is drawing on the iPad (through ProCreate). This allows me to make crisp, clean and compositionally correct images whilst still keeping the beauty of drawing by hand with a pencil. I use photoshop to clean up and finalize the image.
4. What is your artistic process like?
My artistic process is rather simple. I look around for something that makes me laugh, cringe, involves a subject I am interested in or something that immediately sparks an illustrative idea. Once I have the task at hand, there isn’t much planning or preliminary stage. I just begin drawing, doodling or mucking about. When I begin, I always have an end result in mind but like with a lot of things, this changes throughout the drawing and can often result in an entirely different image than initially thought. I ride the wave throughout the making process of the image.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I have always and will always be inspired by David Shrigley. Even though my work is getting further away from the likes of his, his use of dryness and humour is something I admire, resulting in a huge influence. In more general terms, my main inspirations are humour, 1930’s cartoons, subjects I am passionate about (films, video games, music) and 3D shape.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art means everything to me. It’s a dream career, it’s a hobby, it evokes emotion and is the thing I love consuming the most. Whenever I am having a tough day or even just a little bored, my go-to is drawing. It is the ideal form of escapism. I have told people with no artistic inclination to just draw or make something if they’re in a slump. In dafter terms, it’s made me look at everything with art initially in mind. My girlfriend gets annoyed at me for always asking ‘I wonder who made that and how much they got paid for it. I hope they got paid well etc.’. The most recent example was a Deliveroo poster.
7. Where did you study?
I completed my foundation course at Trowbridge College Wiltshire. I completed my BA Hons in Illustration at Birmingham City University. I enjoyed every second and got everything I wanted out of it.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to be working within the illustration field making work every day that I am proud of and enjoy making. I want people to look at my work and immediately know it was me that made it. I have big dreams and aspirations but if I can be making ends meet doing what I love, I will feel extremely fortunate.
9. What about in ten?
I hope to still be getting better and better at what I do every day. I want to still feel inspired and excited to make new work for people to enjoy.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I hope to make a living. I hope to make myself proud of the work I make. I hope to always have fun with it. I hope to astound, impress, humour. I hope to achieve a point where I have no doubt in myself that people will want to see my work and enjoy it for what it is.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
There are two. If I wanted to look all cool and adventurous, I would say Mussels. The other one is way more boring. Pizza. Just can’t be beaten right?
12. Favourite book?
Flanimals by Ricky Gervais. I don’t really read…..
13. Favourite genre of music?
Hip-Hop. Without a doubt.
14. What are your hobbies?
The main one is definitely playing video games. Always listening to music if I’m not doing that. Does going to the pub count as a hobby?
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I would be hopping from job to job until I found one that was nearly as enjoyable as doing this. Alternatively, a video game streamer. For some reason, I feel embarrassed saying it, but that’s another dream job…