Every artist at Inkwell has a different story to tell and a variety of skills and interests. In our new regular feature ‘Meet the Artist’ we will find out more, discover who or what inspires them, their methods of working and how Inkwell and creativity can be a tool to their recovery.
Q. How long have you been drawing, painting or been creative?
“For most of my life. I started drawing and constructing things at a very young age and have always been interested in art. I loved Meccano and Lego as a child and particularly plasticine modelling. I am always scribbling and doodling ideas and random designs”
Q. Have you ever had any art training?
“Yes, I did Art O-Level at school and then went on to do A-level Art but I never finished it. Much later on, as a mature student I finished my Art Foundation at Jacob Kramer where I got a distinction. I specialised in Animation”
Gabriel’s Fall from Grace
Q. What are your favourite materials and what is your preferred art form?
“I am not shy of any material or medium really. I prefer materials that I can construct with. I like the challenges that sculpture presents to you and the aspect of having to re-create an idea, thought process or image as a whole 360 degree solid piece. Although I don’t mind 2d work, if I do paint I prefer acrylics for their speed of drying as I like to work fast, get things done and out of my head.
I am also working a lot with digital formats and film at the moment”
Atomic Mother’s Milk
Q. Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by the more unusual, off-beat and darker side of art and anything that makes me think without being too obvious or pretentious. I like art with dark humour and the juxtaposition of ideas and imagery, anything which has a playfully subversive nature. I like Futurism, Vorticism, Surrealism and Cubism.
I find it hard to pinpoint certain artists that inspire me, some may just have one piece or a section of a piece that fires my imagination, it’s all about puzzling the jumble of images and thoughts together to make it relevant to me. Although artists such as Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash, CRW Nevinson, David Nash, Picasso and Rene Magritte do stand out.
I am also inspired by folklore and mythology, Philosophy or the psyche. Films are a big inspiration too. All genres inspire me ( except romcoms!) such as Film Noir, Horror and Sci-Fi and imagery from early films especially German expressionism and animations. I admire directors such as Akira Kurosawa, Jan Svankmeyer, The Quay Brothers, the Bolex Brothers and Fritz Lang.”
A Distopian Lullaby
Q. Describe your style and method of working
“My style is quite scrappy, I tend to be very intricate but not at all delicate. That’s why I like Cubism and Futurism as it suits my heavy handed style. I work very fast and spontaneously, rarely revisiting a piece once it’s finished. I am very committed to my work whilst I am creating it, but once I have completed that image or idea that was in my head I dis-own it, as that feeling, concern or thought has been expressed and to a lesser extent resolved. I sometimes see my work like a ‘speech bubble’ that once it has been said it can then float away. I suppose the most interesting aspect of creating art is the way other people interpret it”
Caught in Shattered Reflection
Q. How does being creative help your well being?
“It helps me get a lot of thoughts out of my head and to construct things that are concerning me into a more tangible form. I find it hard to explain and express myself verbally so art helps me to clarify my thought processes and to explain things. It frustrates me that I cannot fully express myself verbally, unlike most people I know, my words get jumbled or taken slightly differently than I intended which sometimes leads to me making a drawing of what I actually was trying to explain. People tend to be only waiting for their turn to speak, or for their turn to say something cleverer than you. In a way, art provides me with a silent conduit for reflection and expression, it gives me an outlet to better express my feelings and ideas in a form that is less direct and clunky than the spoken word.”
Q. Has Inkwell helped you on your creative journey and aided you towards recovery?
Being at Inkwell and among other artists has boosted both my artistic confidence and my self confidence. It has not only given me a greater insight into myself and my state of wellbeing but it has also given me more understanding and empathy towards others. Inkwell has given me a sense of purpose, respect and belonging that has been missing for most my life. I find it very liberating being able to openly discuss thoughts, ideas and opinions in a safe and understanding enviroment with other creative individuals. I have also had the opportunity to explore things I would never have been able to do and have been given a second chance to be someone who I always wanted to be.