The Make Bank: Tackling Creative Poverty

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We are very excited to tell you about a new social project aimed at addressing some of the issues surrounding ‘creative poverty’ and young people’s access to art and design subjects and careers. The Make Bank has been set up by Kirsty Thomas, a former art and design teacher, and founder of creative studio Tom Pigeon. Kirsty’s research revealed that in recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of secondary pupils dropping out of creative subjects. She discovered that while some pupils were being advised that the creative industries did not offer a viable career path and that perhaps they should get a ‘proper job’, on other occasions it was because they simply didn’t have, or couldn’t afford the tools they needed to complete the course. This is where The Make Bank comes in.

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The Make Bank Founder Kirsty Thomas

By providing Art and Design Kits for disadvantaged pupils, The Make Bank can help students who want to pursue creative education. Working with schools across the country The Make Bank has created quality art and design kits devised to meet the needs of all young people aged over 13 following the National Curriculum in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. For pupils studying GCSE, A Level, National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications they have created five subject-specific kits, so whether it’s art, design, photography, textiles or ceramics the students have the right tools for the job! Any pupil can apply for a Make Bank Kit in partnership with their teacher and it will be sent directly to their school.

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Alongside the kits the project also works with industry professionals to share inspiring stories, creative journeys and career advice, nurturing, inspiring and encouraging creative talent in young people and helping them recognise the wealth of opportunity that exists within the creative industries. To raise money for the kits Kirsty has teamed up with some of UK’s most exciting artists, illustrators and designers on the Make Bank Print Project, some of who we know very well here at Of Cabbages and Kings. You can find these ones, The Language of Colour by Stuart Gardiner (below), in our shop too. However, if prints aren’t you’re thing and you would like to donate directly just follow this link

 

We love this project, however materials alone will not create a new and diverse generation of creatives. Young people need guidance, support, inspiration and knowledge to enable them to pursue a creative career. The Make Bank is calling on everyone within the creative industries and beyond to stand up and do something about Creative Poverty. This is our opportunity to create a thriving industry that is equal, diverse and fair.

Would you like to get involved?  Visit the The Make Bank

 

 

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An Interview with Jo Angell

Jo Angell is preparing for her upcoming show: ‘Awash’ here at Of Cabbages & Kings. Featuring new works from a recent series of prints and paintings; abstract pieces, reflecting the interplay of land meeting water. The inspiration has come from landscapes as diverse as the harbours of Iceland to a riverside Essex village. Her images break the world down into bold graphic shapes, and the melding of texture and colour often reflects the interaction between industrial materials and nature.We’ve asked her a few questions and she talks us through her inspiration and processes.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
All of them in combination! It really depends what I’m working on. With my digital prints I often create shapes, textures and line elements with paintbrush and pens using black ink. I then scan these into my computer and start to work in a digitally creative way, to add colour and layering. With my paintings I use acrylic paint on canvas or plywood. I’m experimenting a lot with paint at the moment, with different brush sizes, substrates and acrylic mediums.


How long have you been printing and painting for?
Following a long career as a graphic designer, I did an MA in Textile Futures at Central St Martins in 2006-2008. It was during this course that I got back into screen printing (actually for wallpaper designs) and become involved with the digital revolution for print on textiles. This progressed into creating all sorts of surface pattern products. One of these was a collection of greetings cards which Tate Modern bought for their shop. I started to think of these as graphic prints as they were popular. This got me hooked into making archival quality digital prints. I also won the opportunity to create some work in a new gallery and further experimented with a set of prints for this. I’ve always painted, but in the past few years I have more felt the desire to experiment with paint and create one off pieces. Acrylic paint has suited me as I love how quickly it dries, and how rapidly I can create layers and textures.

How do you start building up an image?
With some of my paintings I have become interested in a less structured process. This might involve sketching on the canvas and painting a first rough layer. Then I like to allow myself to be more free and respond with the colours and space in any way which takes my mood at that moment. I find this interesting as sometimes this fails, and sometimes something unexpected and fresh emerges.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Travelling and finding new places always inspires me. I take a lot of photos and having just looked at them, there’s a strong theme that I’m always drawn to remnants of bygone eras or worn remnants of industrial bits and pieces. The textures on worn metals, woods and rope. In the past few years, I have been lucky enough to spend time painting in an Essex riverside village called Wivenhoe where boat shapes, rusted chains, buoys and worn wood gives me inspiration aplenty! I’m really inspired by the post war artists who went to St Ives in Cornwall such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Patrick Heron, Peter Lanyon who sought to create abstract work about the feelings of immersion in a place rather than be representational, using different materials.

Do you find having a background in Graphic Design influences your work?
To me, design and my art are linked. It’s all about balance of form, space and colour. I heard a quote from the artist Ben Nicholson recently which really resonated ‘Abstraction should be a vision of order like good design.’

Your work has a very distinctive set off repeating forms. Do you find yourself drawn to certain shapes and colours to explore a theme?
Definitely! I think most people doodle the same thing when they doodle. Mine tend to feature curves, reflections and rotations of these shapes which could be related to my textile design and pattern making background.

What’s your favourite takeaway?
Is this a foodie question?!
If it is, I love Thai vegetarian curry from Tootoomoo!

To see more of Jo’s work check out Jo Angell’s page on the OC&K site.

An Interview with Underway Studio

Ahead of their upcoming show: Printed Spaces: East London Edition at Of Cabbages and Kings (12 April – 5 June 2019 and kicking off with a Private View – 7pm – 9pm, 11 April 2019) we have asked them a few questions.

Underway Studio is a collective of four artists based in Brixton, London. They work collaboratively on screen printed works, with a strong graphic feel that often has an architectural theme. With ‘Printed Spaces: East London Edition’ they explore the architecture of London’s cultural spaces, featuring new prints with an East London focus.

Underway’s, Melissa North, Caitlin Parks, Anna Schmidt and Aiden Barefoot.
There are currently four members of Underway Studio, how did you meet?
We all studied on the same Illustration and Visual Communication degree, but across several years. After graduation, we set up our own studio space to continue working in screen print and it has evolved from there. Initially the studio was a space to pursue our individual practices, but we started to collaborate on a few prints and soon developed a strong collective voice. After having a few different homes across London, we are now based in Brixton where we produce our own work and teach workshops.

 

How do you work on an idea collectively?
For the past 6 months our work has predominately been focused on the architecture of London’s cultural spaces. We wanted to start this portfolio as both a celebration of the rich culture we have in this city and to showcase the architecture of these spaces, much of which has been re-purposed and developed over the years. When we start developing prints we take a lot of photos and collage these together to see which subjects have the most interesting aesthetic, passing designs between one another until they are ready to be taken into screen print.
What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital, print?
Screen printing and collage. We love the way that you can play with scale and overlaying different colours and textures to create a completely unique result.

 

Tell us about the production side of things and how you produce work as a collective.
We physically share the files and material of what we are working on together. Print designs are passed between the collective until they are finalised and ready to screen printed. As a result, the artworks have an impression from each member creating a unique aesthetic. 
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Where do your influences come from for your subject matter?
Much of our work is influenced by architecture, form, texture and colour. Using a physical print process means that our visual language is both playful and distinctive, embracing any happy accidents along the way.
You have a very distinctive, bold use of colour. Is the colour influenced by the subject matter or come from somewhere else?
Colour lends itself extremely well to screen print.  Overlaying layers and textures creates interesting results that inspire and drive our work. We experiment in the studio doing test prints and playing with different colour combinations and this often leads us to our final palette.

 

What are your favourite takeaways?
We are all massive foodies and will eat anything from pizza to ramen. Honest Burger in Brixton is a particular favourite of ours, but you can’t beat South London staple Morleys to get us through the long printing hours!

 

To see more work by Underway Studio take a look at our website here. If you do get a chance come by the shop and check out the show.

An Interview with Sarah Beaton

Ahead of her upcoming show IN + OUT at Of Cabbages and Kings, Sarah Beaton talks through the processes that go into creating her bold expressive brush strokes.

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Sarah Beaton’s Studio in Shoreditch

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

I love the bleeding of water and paint – watercolour is probably my favourite.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?

I have enjoyed painting and drawing from a very young age. My dad was an art teacher so art was always a celebrated skill to explore in my family.

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Brush stroke experiments with watercolour

Your pictures evoke landscapes. Do you start with that in mind or do you let the brushstrokes inspire you?

I am inspired by nature and find it to be my escape from the busy London life. I don’t usually have a particular image in mind. I enjoy being spontaneous and seeing what develops from the brushstrokes.

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To The Edge And Back by Sarah Beaton

Where did the idea for including the figures come from?

I was working in my studio listening to the Damian Rice album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy. On the album cover, there is a series of figures on a large wall with a ladder. I loved the illustrative nature of it and decided to try and make my own little images.

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A selection of brushes used to create various marks in Sarah’s work

You use a deep dark blue in your work, what drew you to that colour?

I love water and blue, for me, is the most calming of colours. It can be intense but also very tranquil. I enjoy the extremes of it.

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You are also a theatre designer, do the two influence each other?

I feel they cross fertilise. Designing for theatre is all about telling stories through a visual narrative. I work in scale all the time and I feel this feeds into my watercolours: finding stories and compositions within an abstract image.

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Each print is professionally scanned and printed onto Hahnemuhle German Etching 310 gsm

What is your favourite takeaway?

I love Thai food. So anything vegan and Thai is a winner.

You can see more of  Sarah’s work on our website or in the shop. Feel free to pop by on Tuesday 14th August from 7-9pm to meet her in person, view the work up on the walls and enjoy a glass.

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On The Crest of A Wave – Sarah Beaton

Georgia Bosson Studio Visit by George Cullen

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Georgia Bosson, a screen printer and textile artist based in South London shows me around her studio and talks about her inspiration and practice.  Her screen printed trays and patterned notebooks, as well as collaborative prints with Cecily Vessey are now available in Of Cabbages and Kings.

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Ideas and experiments are pinned up behind her desk.

How long has the Georgia Bosson Studio been running?

I started the studio in 2013 after being offered a place to trade at Crafty Fox Market with my first batch of products, mostly cushions and a rainbow of hand screen printed tea towels. Since then I have taken on a huge variety of projects from developing my own line of products, to designing an outdoor canopy for a gallery and everything else in between! I am currently working on some new ideas after a trip to Mexico last October and I have just a launched a website for Makers House, a show that I curate and which I have big plans for in the coming months!

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Georgia’s process starts with sketchbook drawings that are then converted into vector graphics and applied to film.

How did you become interested in pattern and screen printing?

I first screen printed whilst studying for my A-levels and always returned to it as a means of laying down colour and texture over a large surface before adding more intricate details during my Embroidery degree. I love the immediacy of the process and I really enjoy that there is a certain level of restriction within the design process especially when I am working through ideas with paper stencils.

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A stencil is applied to the screen and then the ink is pushed though.

You seem to be keen on the hands on process of making, how does that affect your practice?

More often than not I design through making, I’ll usually have a series of drawings in my sketchbook that I then convert into hand cut paper stencils to be screen printed. I then continue to develop these ideas often bouncing around between a variety of imagery and generating lots of samples before settling on a few key ideas that are really working. This allows me to be less constrained and enables happy accidents such as inadvertently overlapped colours to occur, which often end up in final designs! My screen printed work always feels like it has more energy than the digital work and I love the idea that almost everything I make is unique in some way.

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A screen printed tray base.

We have recently started stocking your trays and notebooks, where did the inspiration come from for the design and patterns on those?

The notebooks were inspired by the remnants from industrially die cut felt that I have been working with since starting my business. It is a weird and wonderful material that is the waste product from when felt washers are cut out, the aim was to capture the shapes created when the patterns are overlaid. All of the books were riso printed and bound in London and are a limited edition of fifty. The tray pattern designs came from a series of drawings exploring the textures and patterns on a typical British beach, and the trays themselves were inspired by the sea defences in the sea side town where I have spent every summer since I was one!

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Georgia mixes her own colours at the studio and applies them to fabric. This way she can adjust and tweak the shades for her desired look.

You have an interesting colour palette that runs through your work, are there certain colours you are drawn to?

I love colour in any form, one of the best bits about screen printing is taking the time to mix colours, I have hundreds of scraps of fabric that are covered in colour swatches from past projects – they are one of the best archives of my process and I can never bear to throw them away. At the moment I am working on a new colour pallet based on a trip to Mexico, so currently there are lots of pinks and oranges on the print table spiked with soft teals and greens.

I am always drawn to an acid/mustard yellow and you can’t go wrong with a beautiful slate grey. When settling on the colours for a design I always think about the use of the final object and where it sits in the home, I felt I was able to be much bolder with my trays as they won’t necessarily be on display at all times and will usually have something on them!

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Greenwich- From The Wolfe Statue by Georgia Bosson and Cecily Vessey

We also stock your collaborative prints the ‘Landmark Locations’ series, a collaboration with Cecily Vessey. How did the idea for these come about?

Cecily was my mentor for my first market and since meeting we have worked on various pop up events and projects together including a live collaborative mural of the View from Peckham, which was done over a weekend at Crafty Fox Market. After the success of the Peckham mural and print we decided to look at expanding our collaboration and ended up working on twelve prints that we funded on Kickstarter. Whilst there are no plans for any more collaborative prints we are currently working towards a 100 mile bike ride together so I am sure some fresh ideas will crop up during the many training hours!

Your trays will be perfect for for serving drinks at summer parties! Whats your favourite cocktail?

In the summer an Aperol Spritz – very specifically served in a big glass preferably somewhere hot and sunny. And in the winter you can’t beat an Old Fashioned!

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Here Comes A City

An Interview with Marc Gooderham

As the face of London changes seemingly overnight, local artist Marc Gooderham has made it his mission to capture these views of the city, the architecture of crumbling and faded grandeur, that are beginning to vanish before our eyes. In the run up to his exhibition Here Comes A City, opening February 8th 2018, we took the opportunity to ask Marc about his paintings and his project.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….

There are two. Naturally the paintbrush, but also the highly underrated yet extremely versatile piece of chalk!

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How long have you been painting and drawing? When did you start out?

As far back as I can remember. As a child I would sit and draw for hours. Still lifes, portraits, intricate buildings using pen and ink. The first piece of art I sold was to my art teacher at school. He kindly parted with £150 for a still life piece. As a kid, this was all very exciting. I tried not to let that first sale go to my head…honestly.

All your pieces come from real locations, mostly in London. What is it about the urban landscape that appeals to you?

I’ve always lived in London, so it’s a place I know and love. A place of intrigue and new experiences. It’s the contrast of old and new and glimmers of a forgotten time that really appeal to me.

Buildings with a fallen, crumbling exterior always hold an evocative beauty. Cities are a physical thing, they’re made up of lines and interesting forms, and the complexities of architecture and perspective can be challenging at times. But it’s all these things that make it the perfect subject to paint. Buildings command our attention. They’re our homes, places of work, places we admire and fall in love with. They help us navigate our way through life.

What is your process for working on a new piece? 

The only real way of getting to know a city is by walking it. Familiarising myself with the street level views. Making preparatory sketches and photographs. Revisiting a potential location at different times of day – sketch as much as possible! It has to have all the right components, which help make the final composition. Light and shade, suggestions of human life, a glow or reflection in a window, lights shimmering in the distance. These all give harmony and unity to a picture. Once these are in place, I begin work in the studio.

You are now working more with chalk pastels instead of painting, was there anything in particular that drew you to a new medium?

Working with charcoal and chalk pastels has been quite a liberating experience. I am still painting, producing large canvas pieces each month, again of the urban landscape.  I will always paint, however the pastel/charcoal lends itself to working quickly and more instinctively, 50% of the picture is created using my fingers.  There isn’t a lot of room for mistakes which adds to the excitement of this medium, speed is of the essence! It’s about capturing a certain feel or atmosphere and ultimately exercising the art of freehand drawing. It gives the artist a sketch – like fluidity.

Do find yourself returning to locations?

All of time. The locations are very familiar to me. Old haunts or places I have lived naturally become the subject of my work. The city is changing at such a rapid pace, there will always be a new discovery.

What is your favourite takeaway?

 Quite simply ‘Babur To Go.

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New Church Street Screen Print!

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As you may remember, back in June we ran a charity auction for The Abney Park Trust with John Gosler’s original art. Thanks to everyone’s support and efforts we were able to raise £260 for the charity. Don’t forget we still have a few of the cemetery maps and festival posters for sale if you’re interested in owning a bit of Stoke Newington history!

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While working with John on getting the auction together, we found another original in his collection. The piece was made in the same scraper board technique as the festival posters and featured a streetscape based upon the shops and buildings lining Stoke Newington Church Street. It was also done around the same time in the mid-90s to promote the Stoke Newington Midsummer Festival. We loved it so much we decided to reproduce it ourselves to sell in the shop!

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Since the scraper board left such a distinctive woodcut style texture, we wanted to pick up as much of that as possible and decided that a screen print would reproduce it best. We worked with Mark at Atom Gallery in Newington Green who printed them up for us, on  beautiful Southbank Smooth 310 gsm paper stock, hand pulling each one in a limited edition of 500. Each print is hand numbered and embossed with the Of Cabbages & Kings logo for authenticity.

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People frequently ask after locally themed prints, so we are delighted to be able to offer something drawn, made and printed right here, and exclusively available from Of Cabbages & Kings!

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MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia

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On July 6th 2017 we will be hosting the official launch of MESH Studio with Marcelina Amelia here at Of Cabbages and Kings in Stoke Newington. On the opening night there will be a special pop-up shop from 5:30-9pm and the exhibition will run from July 7th until the end of August. We spoke with Marcelina to find out a bit more about MESH and the idea behind the brand.

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MESH is a multidisciplinary art brand and design studio founded by artist Marcelina Amelia: Meshing shit up!

Marcelina has taken her artwork beyond the confines of the canvass and has applied it to affordable art objects and wearable art as well as limited edition prints, books and other artworks in a range of different media. Rather than focusing on product design, Marcelina often combines her image making with found household objects to create a series of one-offs within a theme.MESH_STUDIO_GICLEEPRINTS_POSTER_MARCELINAAMELIA.jpgThe Mission Statement:

“Our aim is to embody the term ‘Renaissance girl’, and as the name suggests, we love mixing different techniques and forms, like screen-printing, fashion, painting, ceramics, publications, illustration, politics and activism, because art shouldn’t have any boundaries. We hope that this fluid and meshy structure of the brand, will allow us to collaborate more and make a lot of exciting work and happenings.

MESH’s first collection is titled The Unsatisfied Girls Club and is inspired by the recent movement of strong and powerful women who aren’t afraid to walk tall and proud, manifesting their thoughts, fighting for their rights at the Women’s Marches and other activist happenings all around the world. 

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The Unsatisfied Girls Club is a movement of women wanting and deserving more. Women uplifting each other, and rolling their eyes at the old outdated, stereotypical ways, not being ashamed of their ‘girliness’, standing for themselves and each other, because being a women isn’t a weakness. Research shows that many women are conforming to outdated stereotypes and acting ‘like an alpha male’ to succeed at work – including dressing like a man and hiding ‘girlie’ emotions.”

You can also read our interview with Marcelina on the blog from a few years ago when she had her last exhibition us.

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Abney Park Trust Fundraiser

Do you remember the legendary Stoke Newington Midsummer Street Fair? How would you like to be the proud owner of the original artwork for the 1995 and 1996 Festival Posters?

Of Cabbages and Kings are very excited to announce an exhibition and charity auction of original framed art by John Gosler to benefit the Abney Park Trust here in Stoke Newington. We have two framed artworks up for grabs, which will be on display at the gallery alongside the original illustration for the map of Abney Park Cemetery, which you may recognise as it is still in use today. 

If you should miss out on the auction do not fret as there are a limited quantity of signed reproductions of the Abney Park map and signed 1994, 1995 and 1996 festival posters available for sale.

In keeping with the original spirit of the festival, our exhibition will run from Monday 12th June, culminating with an event and the end of the auction at 4pm in the shop on Sunday 18th June.

Final bids must be placed by 4pm on the Sunday and we’ll be announcing the winners the same day. To get everyone feeling nostalgic, we’ve got some old programmes to look through alongside other festival memorabilia, we’ll be playing some familiar tunes and serving up some homemade lemonade. See you there from 3pm!

Place your bids here!

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1996 Poster Artwork
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1995 Poster Artwork

John Gosler is a freelance illustrator and former Stokey local. In 1994 John was asked to contribute a poster for the new Stoke Newington Street Festival. He says: ‘It was so brilliant (the festival, that is) that I joined the committee and did the design and artwork the first three posters in 1994, 5 and 6′.

The Stoke Newington Festival began in June 1993 as a small one day celebration on Church Street. It was such a success that by the following year it had grown into a week long event culminating on the final Sunday when the street was closed. With it’s focus on art, music and the local community, it ran for several years from 1994 to the early 2000s. Several stages were erected along the street hosting local bands and the numerous cafes and restaurants had stalls on the road running right up to Clissold Park.

John’s original images for the posters were worked in scraper board, a card surface coated with china clay and then a layer of black ink. Tools are used to scrape off the ink, revealing the white surface beneath, producing an image that looks similar to a woodcut or engraving. He then applied the colour over that with an airbrush.

Abney Park Cemetery is one of the original ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries opened in the mid 1800s to service London’s booming population. It was founded on the principles of renowned non-conformist Isaac Watts and became the burial place of choice for religious dissenters and radical thinkers of the time. It has a non-denominational chapel at its heart that was open to all, regardless of religious beliefs. Another unusual feature of the cemetery is that it was set up as an arboretum, with a wide variety of trees and plants as part of its original design. This meant that when it was abandoned in the 1970s it became completely overgrown and developed a uniquely wild atmosphere. Today the cemetery is maintained as an urban wilderness and is home to a variety of wildlife, as well as operating as a public park. It has also been the setting for open air theatre events and was among the venues taking part in this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival, an event that has it’s roots in the original Midsummer Fair.

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All Postersf you have any old photos or other bits and pieces at home please do let us know as we are hoping to put together a festival archive. Contact Maureen Diffley at maureen.diffley1@gmail.com

Adam Bartlett – Painting and Process

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We are excited to announce our next exhibition with Adam Bartlett aka Tigers of the Universe. You may have seen his prints in the shop over the few months, and we’ll be looking forward to see what comes next! Adam will be exhibiting some original paintings alongside limited edition giclée prints. The show opens with a private view on Thursday April 13th from 6:30pm, we hope you can join us.

Adam creates his paintings by building up many layers of painted patterns to create beautiful decorative artworks.  We were able to grab Adam for a few questions to ask about his work and process.

What is your artistic weapon of choice? Pencil, pen, paintbrush, digital….
My weapon of choice is the trusty pencil, followed closely by the brush.

How long have you been painting for? When did you start out?.
It feels like I have always been drawing and painting, although previously I was a digital illustrator for 8 years. It’s only been the in last 3 years that I’ve started painting again.

You often use a combination of media in your paintings, such as acrylic, spray paint, emulsion and even enamel. How do these combinations influence your final pieces?
The various mediums are used in layers. Emulsion is the base and finally the enamel for fine details. It’s not a hard and fast process, but more something that i enjoy. Also the paints have their own strengths and combined have good contrast and character. I am often unsure of the paints influence regarding the final piece, but more often than not pleasantly surprised.

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Many of your pieces have jungle animals and lush landscapes. Are they inspired by travel or imaginary locations?
The animals and forests are pure fantasy. I long for a world covered in jungle and forests where the animals and birds can roam free. The natural world is so stunning and I want to capture this in my paintings.

You have also worked in fashion textiles and design, does this background influence your current work?
More and more I feel the influence of textiles creeping back into the paintings, not only with introducing texture again, but thinking about fabric designs etc. It’s exciting to come full circle and bring these various experiences together again, but with a fresh perspective.

Do find you that you come back to certain motifs, themes and colours over pieces?
Yes, I think its important to keep certain repetitive elements in your paintings. Sometimes I feel guilty about repeating things, as if I’m not pushing myself enough, in which case exploiting repetitiveness will suffice.

What is your favourite takeaway?
Mmm, fish n chips or shish kebab

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