a)My name is Carl Juan Albutt and I illustrate under the nom de plume of CarlitoJuanito
q) Where do you live and work?
a)I live in a small town not far from Manchester and I work in my front bedroom or sometimes the back bedroom J
q)What is your creative process like?
a)It depends upon what I’m working on. I’m influenced by things that happen in my life.
Could be a song, situation, conversation or character I meet. I’ll generally doodle about it until I see something I like. I’ll then expand upon that. Either printing it by hand or just drawing it out. I tend to create the separate parts of the image, umm, separately lol. When I’m happy with that I load them into the computer and mess around with them some more. It’s a system that works for me. I’m much happier with scissors, paper, card, paint and glue than with creating everything digitally. I’ve tried creating everything digitally but I found it frustrating. It wasn’t hands on enough for me and the images looked too clean, if you know what I mean. I’m happy with serendipitous mistakes as some of them lead to better work or other ideas.
q)What is your favorite medium?
a)Print..especially the way I print, which is very haphazard as I don’t really know what I’m doing lol. I don’t want to know either as, again, some of the mistakes come out better than I planned….or worse. J
q)What is your current favorite subject?
a)Russian Soviet era history. Which led on to checking out Soviet era childrens art and animation. Most of it is beautiful and inspirational. You should check out the animation “hedgehog in the fog” by Yuri Norstein. It can be seen on YouTube it’s just incredible and wonderful. The fog sequences are amazing for their time. Here is the link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCsJZV7aCdY
q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a)Again, that depends upon what I’m working on. Some take weeks while others take hours. I do know that if you labour too much over a work, or think too much about it, you can kill it though so I’m wary of that. God bless the step back option in Photoshop.
q)What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
a)The last piece of work is always my biggest accomplishment, although I was chosen as one of only one hundred artists world-wide to take part in an exhibition in Hong Kong recently. That was pretty cool, even though I didn’t get to see it lol.
q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?
a)Dubuffet I mentioned, Kippenburger, Ferdinand Cheval, Antoni Gaudi, A.R.Penck, George Baselitz, Robert Rauschenberg, R.B.Kitaj, Cy Twombly, Alexander Innes, Paul Geraghty, Philip Guston, Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, George Grosz, Ralph Steadman, Karel Appel, Walter Sickert….the list is endless really.
q)Can we buy your art anywhere?
a)Yes, you can buy it direct from me. My website has a link to my Etny shop where you can buy t shirts and prints and assorted ephemera that will enhance your life.J
q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t??
a)Well, a lot of the time ignorance is bliss so, no. Although if you want to know how it’s possible to control your emotions, i.e. be happy all the time, then email me and I’ll point you in the right direction J
q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
a)The best advice I ever had was just to keep at it. Your Art will constantly evolve without you being aware of it. Practise makes perfect, literally. Also, you gotta be your own dog. No one on the planet can draw/paint/create like you so why copy someone else? If you don’t think you have a style, you will. It will develop on it’s own as you meander along your artistic path. Also, immerse yourself in Art history, it’ll pay dividends both for your Artistic outlook and for your brains J
q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
a)Music. Also, I review my work quite often. As I said earlier, your art is constantly evolving with or without you being aware of it. When I look back at a piece of work I thought was great but now I see ,compared with more recent work, it’s just mediocre, it makes me wonder what I’ll come up with six months down the line. It’s exciting!
q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?
a)Colourful, kooky, odd, and more than worthy of a quick peek.
Also, a lot of people have said it’s quite dark. I don’t really aim for that, it just sometimes kinda happens. I think it stems from living in Russia in 2001 through the worst winter since 1943 lol. THAT was certainly dark!
q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
a)I studied Fine Art at John Moores Uni in Liverpool. The place that threw John Lennon out but now has a blue plaque that says he studied there lol.
I’m not sure how much Uni influenced me though. I went to work abroad soon after leaving Uni. I lived in China and Russia for a couple of years and I think the experiences I had along the way influenced me much more than anything Uni taught me. If you are talking technical skills then I think, again, that’s just down to practise.
q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
a)Photoshop. It still amazes me….The internet too.
q)Who are your influences?
a)Lately I’ve been influenced by a little book I picked up about Folk art over the centuries. Ancient Peruvian, Bolivian, African Art and the like. This has led to the creation of a few of my more recent pieces. Also, while at Uni, through reading up on Dubuffet, I discovered Outsider Art. Along with childrens Art I think it has a kind of wonderful purety that is hard to capture when you have been schooled in the ”rules” of Art (which never made sense to me). It has nothing to prove and is never derivetive. The only way I seem to be able to capture it is if I draw with my eyes closed lol.
Also the Soviet era animations are a great influence.
q)What inspires you to create?
a)Seeing great art. I want to rush home and start drawing. Great music makes me want to create too.
I also post work on several forums as it’s nice to receive feedback. When I have made someone smile it makes my day. I recommend this to anyone starting out. A nice word or two can fuel you for days and makes you more confident that you’re doing the right thing