All that being said I think getting good at any skill is mostly hard work – blood, sweat, tears and plenty of pencil shavings! If it was merely genetic I’d be able to draw with my left hand!
What do you call your style of art? I don’t have a specific style, I have worked in so many different styles and techniques over the years that it’s hard to find a common thread through all of it. If versatility is a style then maybe that’s it – versa-style-ity! Some of my favourite techniques are Pencil Drawing, Oil and Acrylic Painting, Photo Manipulation, Traditional Sculpture, Digital Painting, Digital Sculpting and Animation. Some of my favourite styles I work in are, Photo Realistic Painting, Pop Surrealism, Loose Digital, Speedpainting, Trompe l’oeil Graffiti/Murals, Classical Atelier Style Painting.
Regardless of the style what’s most important to me is getting across an idea. I love trying to match a style/technique to an idea I have.
3. Have you learned new techniques and developed your art over the years or are you still doing what you did before? I think I am always learning and changing, adding new techniques to my skill set. I get bored doing the same things so I am always eager to learn new techniques. I also feel like my techniques have changed as my opinion about art has changed, for example when I was younger I tried to copy photographs perfectly thinking that this showed skill , however now I know that this type of art is easier and what’s really impressive is getting something across with fewer more controlled strokes, I feel this will be a lifelong development. From working professionally in art I’ve learned techniques that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise sometimes being forced to learn a new technique can really help you develop as an artist. My need to constantly change and try a variety of techniques can be rewarding for me as an artist but it can make marketing my work difficult, as its hard to pinpoint exactly what I do.
6. What has been your most famous piece that you’ve created? Some of my work for Advertising/TV has been seen by a lot of people but it would be made as part of a team so it can be hard to say what ‘part’ I did. From my own work my most famous piece is the video I made of me flying around a house doing graffiti View Here and Here. It got picked up by numerous big pages online such as BoredPanda, LadBible and Viral Thread, cumulatively it has tens of millions of views. It’s nice to know that a little house outside New Ross has been seen all over the world by millions of people!It might be the most famous house in New Ross, maybe even more famous than the JFK Homestead!
7. Where do you find inspiration? I get inspiration from everywhere, books ,films, podcasts, nature and other artists. I’ve never had a problem with artist block and I always end up with way too many ideas. I keep my ideas in big Lever Arch folders and they’re filling up all the time. If I get to do even 1% of these ideas I’ll be doing well.
I’m a voracious collector of reference images – Taxidermy, Suits of armour, Landscapes, Jellyfish, Ships, you name it and I’ve got a folder for it.
I also have huge folders on my computer full of artists I find inspiring. There are literally hundreds of artists I like in these folders and I add to it all the time. There’s a diverse range of artists in the folders but I think a common thread among them is that their works are representational with good draughtsmanship skills.
I like loose virtuosic oil painter like Anders Zorn, Joaquin Sorolla and John Singer Sargent. Contemporary traditional painters such as Henrik Aa Uldalen, Benjamin Bjorklund and Jeremy Lipking. I’m a huge fan of the Pre-Raphelite Painters John William Waterhouse and Sir John Everett Millais. For landscape painting I’m inspired by the Hudson River school painters and Modern Matte painters like Dylan Cole and Erik Tiemens. I love the Chinese Pop Surrealist, James Jean and I have a number of his prints hanging on my walls. Another favourite is Alfonse Mucha and the Art Nouveau movement in general.
I also love to collect art books and primary reference/resource books for inspiration. I particularly like books with finished art. I don’t really like ‘How To’ art books, I much prefer to get inspired, then figure things out myself.
10. You recently created a stunning intricate illustration for Visit New Ross. I’d love to know the thought process behind it? The guys in Visit New Ross approached me looking for an illustration to represent New Ross for their shop. I really loved the work they were doing and the positivity they were bringing to the town so I wanted to create something really impressive to compliment the diversity they were showing. I wanted to illustrate multiple aspects of New Ross but in a new imaginative, interesting way. It was a lot of fun adding some elements for the tourists and some parts that only the locals would understand. I am currently updating that illustration and it will be released as a limited edition print in November 2019.
11. How long does it take to create a piece of work? In 2017 I started recording exactly how long pieces take, on average I’d say about 10-60hours, but it really depends on what it is – For example the Visit New Ross piece took approximately 260 hours. The question I’ve always wondered is ‘do you count the hours when you’re just thinking about what your going to draw?’
12. Finally, Do you showcase your work at exhibitions? Not yet but I’ve been threatening to do an exhibition for years. At the moment I showcase my work online, I have Instagram, Facebook, Behance, YouTube, an Online Shop and a portfolio website. I have a huge buildup of paintings in my studio at the moment though, so maybe it is time to get an exhibition together?…..