What's your background?
As a young child, I always enjoyed drawing, which my parents encouraged, and I would spend hours looking through books for photos of horses to draw.
I took art at school but wasn’t the most studious of students, failing to take the advice of my teachers, something that I now regret as I didn’t take my art any further once I left school and accidentally took a 15 year break from it.
I returned to drawing a few years ago and had to learn everything from scratch, though I do feel like I’ve learnt more in these last few years than I did at school, probably because I’ve more patience now I’m older.
The skills I’ve gained have mostly come through observation, looking at other artists and their work, wondering how they’ve achieved certain effects and just trying things out. I enjoy learning new techniques from other artists and by trying things out, making mistakes when drawing.
Creating art will remain as a hobby for me, as I fit drawing in around having a family & a full-time job.
What's your medium of choice when you're creating art?
I’ve tried drawing digitally but I much prefer working with pencil and paper. I enjoy trying to capture an expression with graphite, having an idea and seeing it go off in a different direction to my initial thought. There’s also so much that I’ve yet to learn with graphite & coloured pencils on paper, that I usually only try out different media when I get frustrated or stuck in a rut.
How did you build your creative habit?
Since returning back to drawing, I’ve been in the habit of drawing every day, even if it’s only 10 minutes. I feel like I’ve accomplished something productive. Drawing every day has also been a good way for me to unwind when there’s been a lot of stress.
That’s not to say that drawing every day suits everyone though. There are times when I don’t draw and it’s okay to have days off. I come back to drawing feeing like I’ve had a bit of a rest when I’ve given myself time off.
Another thing that I do is carry around my travel kit. It’s just the basic tools and a small pad of paper. So when I’m out and about and I get the chance, I’ll usually do some drawing over a cup of coffee.
When you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get out of it?
When I get stuck in a rut, that’s when I try out new media, like watercolours. Trying new media, working out how I can use it, what effects it creates, can help inspire me with what I want to draw next.
Doodling is another way of trying to divert my focus away from doing the same thing. As I mostly draw portraits, doodling shapes and patterns helps me to not get stuck in that comfy rut. I usually learn something from doodling, even if it’s just a different way of mark making or I’ve drawn something that would be good to add to a drawing.
Which of your recent Sktchy artworks most expresses who you are now as an artist?
I think the drawing where I put an octopus on the head of a lovely lady sums me up as what kind of artist I am at the moment. It was a drawing that started well but then I made mistakes (as I always do) and instead of ditching the drawing, I thought about it and used my imagination to try and salvage it. I’ve learnt that each drawing is practice for the next one and that I need to use my imagination a bit more.