I used to have a daydream that I would very much like to become a sign painter when I got older because of my love of typography and arts & crafts. The idea of having my own little studio where I could work studiously while listening to music has always appealed to me. I have, however, found myself wanting to mover further and further away from any sort of design that deals purely with making money or selling product. I've dabbled with painting in the past producing a series of modular canvases based around letterforms that I'd created for my graphic design work. Last year, inspired by dazzle camouflage and the encouragement of those close to me, I spent a great deal of my time painting and produced over twenty canvases. It's probably fair to say that I'm at my most fulfilled creatively when I'm away from the computer screen and focused on a painting. I love the whole process of methodically creating a fully realised work.
If I had to give a term to my work then I would most probably call it "geometric abstraction". I've always felt something of a kinship with graphic artists such as Josef Albers, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich. I would much prefer to call my work "painting" rather than "art", "graphic art" at best. I've met a few artists in my life and I would never consider myself to be one of them. Someone asked me recently where my ideas come from and all I could say in response was "I have absolutely no idea!" When inspiration strikes out of nowhere I have a pretty intense need to act on that spark of inspiration immediately. I enjoy the process of taking time over a painting that was born in a flash of inspiration and being very methodical in bringing an idea to completion. Painting, for me, acts as some sort of discipline or creating my own moral integrity in a post-religious world.
Art has always been reactionary and that is what has continued to move it forward. It has been that way for hundreds of years; a slow evolutionary process from the Renaissance to so called Modern art. Most of the major changes in art have happened as a reaction to despising what other people have done and in a sense it's born from negative or reactionary instinct. If rock 'n' roll is the sound of revenge, then art could well be a portrayal of hate. My work is a reaction to everything figurative in art. I see no point in trying to recreate what nature does a lot better every second of the every day. My painting is an exercise in what it means to be minimal, and getting to the very essence of an idea. I attempt to use as limited a colour palette as possible and try to use as few motifs as I can. I don't mind using one million brush strokes in order to achieve this just so long as the purity of the initial idea is kept. Abstraction is fine as it allows people to draw their own conclusions about the work.
It's certainly interesting to me how people respond to works on canvas as opposed to printed matter or digital media. There is something very organic about the tradition of paint that people tend to respond to. There is, without question, a huge difference in the feeling of authenticity while working with paint rather than pixels, but I don't believe it more legitimate to work with paint necessarily, it just always takes people time to believe in the persuasiveness of new media.
Everything that I see and do inspires my work whether it looks like it, or not. My work is as much a reaction to everything that I don't want to be as much as it is a celebration of what I do believe in. This produces my own aesthetic, either consciously or unconsciously.
Pain is what defines human existence. When people reach adolescence, or adulthood, they have to balance their pain in a way of their own choosing, whether through religion, drugs, sex, a career, relationship or creative pursuit... Nature is mostly indifferent to our suffering, so it is down to how well we cope with that which defines the kind of person we aspire to be and what we in turn bring to this world. Either killing pain, or dealing with pain through discipline are the two choices that we have as a species. You can, of course, choose to do both in equal degrees (which may well be a good option and reflects Hemmingway's maxim "Write drunk; edit sober"), but morally our choice is either to produce darkness or light with our existence.
My creativity is my way of dealing with whatever my own pain may be. It provides my own flickering light. Some people might consider this escapist, and perhaps it is in a way, but I have always considered my work the antithesis of escapism. For example, I never listen to music as a way of "chiling out" or "switching off". Rather, I listen to music as a way of turning myself on to the world around me and using it as a source of inspiration. I feel the same way about art and design. I like to be surrounded by beauty, and to produce beautiful things, in order to bring more light into my life.
My most recent works (pictured here) continue my exploration of geometric abstraction.