Recently I was nominated by artist Daniil Belov for the Around the World Creative Blog Hop, a flashmob, connecting
artists around the world. Everyone who has been nominated should answer the four questions as I have done below, and to nominate three other artists to do the same.
What am I working on?
Since taking an online drawing course earlier this year I have begun working on a new project entitled Project #CDII, where I am documenting and celebrating the lives of people who have discovered, invented or innovated something that has changed the world in some way for the better.
My vision is that this body of work will be used to help educate and encourage children and students around the world to explore these people further and recognise the social and cultural impact that they had on our world.
Hopefully this will ultimately inspire them into finding new ways to change our world for the better themselves.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My work is telling the story of individuals through a montage of imagery drawn in graphite and charcoal. As you can see from my example of Bletchley Park codebreaker Bill Tutte here, every work of art is like a puzzle which invites the viewer to unpick the clues to uncover the story behind my chosen subject.
One exciting aspect about my work is that it crosses all boundaries, can be easily understood by anyone, from any background, speaking any language, as long as they’re willing to spend just a little time to work out the story I’m telling through my work.
Why do I create what I do?
Having been a public speaker and radio show host I really do enjoy telling stories, particularly ones that inspire people. I also love a good mystery, and get great satisfaction from solving puzzles. When I came up with the idea of Project #CDII I realised that this would give me the perfect opportunity to do satisfy all of these desires, would be educational, inspirational to others, and a lot more besides.
How does my creative process work?
It starts with my followers on social media. They have been suggesting and voting for subjects (People) for me to draw. There follows a simple selection process, and once I have chosen a subject my research into their lives begins in earnest. I spend a lot of time researching my subjects on the Internet, in libraries, museums, specialist publications, and also by emailing, or going and talking to people who have in-depth knowledge about my chosen subject. Once I have a summary of their background documented, I then work out the key aspects that “bullet-point” their story. I then search for, or create imagery that will help me best convey their story. I create my initial draft on my computer using Photoshop, and I use a digital projector to project it onto the wall at full size as I create it, to can get a better understanding for how the finished piece will feel when viewed in real life.
This was probably the most difficult question for me because there are many awesome artists who I follow, and who I admire. However, I had to pick three that I would be pretty sure would take the time to write and share a blog post about what they do. So to that end, I would like to nominate following three artists, and encourage you all to look at their wonderful paintings:
- Cindy Wider – A highly accomplished artist, also my art tutor (teaching me to draw) and is a huge source of inspiration and encouragement
- David Bellamy – In my opinion one of the UK’s greatest landscape watercolourists, whose paintings literally take my breath away
- Jean Haines – Has in my opinion the most unique technique, and freshest approach to painting in watercolour I’ve ever seen, and is a massive inspiration, not only to me, but also to her many thousands of fans and followers