Me & my mission…
I was born in rural Essex near the coast, but left when I was 18 and now live in Cornwall, one of my ancestral homes. I grew up surrounded by fens, rivers, fields and the sea. I spent a lot of time outside as a kid, as from an early age I was extremely sensitive to my environment. I’ve always had a strong affinity with nature and that childlike, wanderlust part of me is still very present. There’s something in nature that provides a language for the mysterious, creative part of me that doesn’t quite understand spoken word. I interpret the world through my senses and for as long as I can remember I’ve experienced these really intense daydreams that I felt I had to get out somehow. Those dream-like visions are the basis of my illustrations; drawing them is the most natural form of expression for me and understanding myself and my world.
It also forms the basis of my character art; I love using the figure as a means of expressing emotions in an image. My ability to empathise with the environment in this way is down to my ability to empathise strongly with individuals, despite being highly introverted. When I read a story, I immediately empathise with the characters and begin to develop visualisations of their emotions in my head. My illustrations are highly expressive and interpretive of emotional undercurrents, particularly those present in narrative.
In terms of general interests, I’m quite ‘nerdy’ although I don’t like to define myself by that term. I love storytelling in general and especially enjoy stories in visual format – computer games and comics being among my favourite. I’m an avid folklorist and being in Britain means I’m never without it. I also love old buildings, history and mythology too. Art and Illustration for me are often parts of a larger spectrum of interconnected subjects. Symbolism, emotion, spirituality, philosophy and dreams are all mixed in there too, so I guess this is why my work is a bit more holistic. It’s possibly also why I prefer to work traditionally; I love digital art, but I find working with a tablet lacks the tactile element of traditional media – and for whatever reason that does make a difference to me where overall satisfaction is concerned.
I’m not sure if my ethos or ultimate goal is fully defined yet, but I think it is time to reconnect humans with nature. I think that art and literature offer a unique method of doing this. I hope my work helps to bring people into a greater awareness of that magical communion with nature that still lives inside of us, and resonates with them emotionally.
I studied Fine Art at South Essex College and then completed a degree in Illustration at Plymouth College of Art.
The early process is very similar to a dream in that I don’t analyse the images coming into my head too thoroughly; this allows my mind to express itself more freely and instinctively. For me this is the foundation of the creative process and it is accompanied by going through sketches, thumbnails and compositions until a general concept is refined to a solid draft.
Afterwards, I set about taking reference photos if needed and begin sketching the work out onto Bristol board. When this is complete, I trace over the image with a light brown watercolour pencil and erase the graphite line underneath. I then lightly render the basic tones with watercolour pencils. Once the image has started to take form, I add the base of the colours with water-based marker pens, and then add another layer with watercolour pencils to bring the colours out even more. Gradually the colour is built up in layers and then the details are drawn in with pencils. Occasionally inks, airbrushes and digital editing are involved, and the work is then refined.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to commission me. Details can be found under ‘Contact’ on the above menu.