What’s your creative process like?
I don’t think I have a particular way of working to be honest. I work in both 2D illustration and 3D sculpture usually letting the idea dictate the process.
In 2009 you graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design, since then how have you adapted to life beyond the university environment?
Since graduating I feel much more free. I mean, there are not so many constraints regarding the work I produce, while at Uni there is always the pressure of ‘the Brief’ and getting ‘the Grade’. So it’s way easier not having this on my shoulders. Saying that, obviously I need to earn a living and maintain certain standards though, which comes down to self-discipline.
Art school can be a very intimidating and very nurturing place. How did Chelsea encourage you? Were there ever times when you felt deterred by graphics?
Yeah big time. But, I had been advised from a young age not to go to art college.. I was told by a very influential person in the design field that art college narrows peoples minds creatively and teaches them to think in the same way, i.e artists who don’t study art maintain more creative freedom because they have less boundaries. So with this in mind I’ve always tried to steer clear of becoming pigeon holed. Luckily my course at Chelsea didn’t tie me down and actually nurtured that creative freedom. I am deterred by the boundaries of graphics, which is why I like to switch up my processes sometimes. I get bored of graphics and create sculpture, then get bored of sculpture and go back to graphics. I get bored easily but i think that’s a good thing...
Where do you draw inspiration from when you’re working?
I'm inspired strongly by the natural world. I have always felt a strong sense of wellbeing when surrounded by forests or fields. I’m also inspired by the idea of freedom and creativity within spaces which probably stems partly from being a skateboarder.
When and how did you encounter the notion of forest embedded in your theme?
I continually use nature and wild animals as the backbone of all my work simply because I find them very interesting to work with. I like the innocence and instinct that animals have. I like how they are such a familiar part of nature and yet we can't communicate with them. Wild animals do their own thing and live inconspicuously, but are very much in touch with nature. Humans on the other hand, to me at least, have lost touch with nature. We have become somewhat detached from the essence of life, so I guess I use the forest theme as my outlet.
At the beginning of the year you collaborated with Dream Bags and Jaguar Shoes for a show called ‘FOREST’. Was the collaboration well received and what did you take from this experience?
Forest was my second solo show and I was really pleased with the result. Lots of people turned up to the PV and quite a few pieces sold. It was really exciting having that show at Jaguar Shoes, as so many great creatives have passed through there over the years. The walls are padded thick from all the previous wallpapers that have gone up. I think solo shows are really important because the pressure is that much higher. FOREST really pushed me to combine my sculpture and illustration together in a way that I had always been afraid to do before, so the experience was challenging for me. But I actually learnt a lot about my own work at the end.
Why do you feel it is important to depict your illustrations in life size?
My illustrations aren’t actually life size, but my sculpture is either life size or larger. The reason is that I like to relay an impression through the animals I create; usually one of strength or grandeur. Among Native Americans the grizzly bear is respected for having the most powerful animal spirit.. so a 3 foot grizzly bear wouldn’t quite cut it.
Your artwork reflects attention to detail through various mediums. Could you explain the relation and the significance of your subject matter?
I use mirror and artificial fur along with glossy enamels. I find human desire in material objects interesting. So for the Mirror Bear and the White Fur animals of Trophy Room I’m playing with the surface materials of the objects. Magpie Culture and False Glamour tends to interest me and combining these with discernible forms of nature helps structure my ideas.
How does the notion of futurism impact your artwork?
I don’t particularly agree with rejecting tradition so much, but ideas of humanity developing and taking over nature are represented in my sculptural work through the materials I use. As I said, I think we humans are becoming detached from the essence of our nature, and my work draws attention to wild animals in order to highlight this. After all, this is all we are.
A couple of years ago you took part in ‘DIY London Seen’ which was inspired by the American artists from ‘Beautiful Losers’. Does skateboarding still play an active role in influencing your artwork?
Beautiful Losers is a great film, Aaron Rose a really cool guy and I find all that early 90’s, late 80’s graphic art/design culture really inspiring. Honestly, skateboarding keeps me thinking creatively. At the same time it’s all blown up so much lately with skateboarding culture being so commercialised, which for me somewhat spoils the ‘underground’ beauty of it all. My creative process fits within a similar ethos to those depicted in the film, but at the end of the day I’m just doing what I do. Though I’d like to see my artwork develop more internationally, especially my sculpture; I’m working on a few more ideas for this summer.
What advice would you give someone who wants to make a career out of graphic design?
Get a good website together. Have confidence and persistence in what you do.
You’re Life’s Motto?
‘Now or Never’. But I’m not very good at it.
Finally who is your IDOL?