lunedì 22 dicembre 2008

Interview with Hanna Melin

q) What is your name and what do you do?
a)Hanna Melin, Illustrator
q)When did you really get into art? 
a)I think around 5, doing cross stitching with my grandmother and ugly
christmas decorations with my mum. Drawing was my favourite thing.
q)How did you come to the realization that you should try your luck at
a)art on a more serious level? 
I went to England 1998 to do a one year foundation course in Art, didn’t
even knew that you could be an illustrator. I thought you had to do
childrens books if you were one.
The more I studied the more I thougth it was the thing for me
. All my friends at the course applied to do University, BA Illustration.
Didn’t know you could do that! So kind of did it cause every one else did
it. Loved it. After my BA, I went on to do a MA, master of art.
q)How did you discover the particular style that you have? 
a)It just comes out of my hands. When I draw, even if I try not to, it
always looks like "me". Sometimes I try other styles, but it still comes
back to looking like "me'. So don’t know really.
q)How would you describe your style? 
a)Humour. I like drawing people, I think I am good at observing, and then
draw peoples faces and gestures.
q)Who or what influences your art? 
a)Supermarkets, cafes, Oxford Street. I like ugly people a lot, people
with funny dress sense.
Product designers, like Hella Jongerius, I love. Also ceramic I find
q)How often do you create a new piece? 
a)Twice a week.
q)What kind of success have you had with your art? 
a)I can pay my bills, I think thats my biggest success...
With my Illustration, I did an animation advertise for the Halifax, the
bank. that was pretty major.With my ceramics, I have been featured a lot
in magazines lately, Living etc, the Independent, World of interiors.
thats always nice.
q)What would be the ultimate goal for you and your art? 
a)I would love to get a manufacure for my ceramics, so I don’t have to do all
the work!!
q)What do you see as an accomplishment in the way of art? 
a)To remember that you don’t get paid in money for doing this, you get paid
in freedom and satisfaction with life.
q)What kind of message, if any, do you try to convey through your art? 
a)Let’s not be serious.
q)Sum up your art in one word. 
q)Any additional comments? 
a)It’s hard work being an artist, but its great when it works!
q)…your contacts… 

sabato 13 dicembre 2008

Interview with Cristina Alvarez

q) What is your name and what do you do?
a) My name is Cristina Alvarez, but everybody knows me as Cris la
Notte. I work as graphic desinger for a fashion brand in Madrid. I do
urban art.
q)When did you really get into art?
a)I couldn't say when,... I've been all my life drawing since I was
little, but well, I suppose it should be when I started my degree in the
art school.
q)How did you come to the realization that you should try your luck at
art on a more serious level?
a) When you do something and you like it you have to show it. It doesn’t
care in what level, you can start drawing in the streets, or doing
little exhibitions, and if you are lucky and the people like it the rest
of the projects just came to you.
q)How did you discover the particular style that you have?
a) It is part of an evolution. Day by day I can’t see that changes, but
when I look to my old scketchbooks I can realize this evolution.
With the past of the time I add new textures, colour palets, techniques
that helps to this evolution in the style. Anyway art is a living thing.
q)How would you describe your style?
a) Urban art
q)Who or what influences your art?
a) Everything around me. My city, my friends, the countryside,
everywhere where I've been or everyone I meet.
q)How often do you create a new piece?
a) Depends of the mood that I have and the free time I can get out of
q)What kind of success have you had with your art?
a) First of all personal  success, and in the professional side I did my
own t-shirt collection wich has been sold in cities like Madrid,
Barcelona, Milan, Luxembourg, Richmond (USA), and I don’t stop to do
diferent projects with lots of interesting artists of everywhere and my
solo exhibitions.
q)What would be the ultimate goal for you and your art?
a)To keep doing what I like with no external influences of commerciality.
q)What do you see as an accomplishment in the way of art?
a) When somebody feel the necessity of acquire one of your pieces or
another artist calls you to work with them.
q)What kind of message, if any, do you try to convey through your art?
a) There is not a real message, I show what I have inside my
subconscious mind. I like to represent my friends or my life with the
characters I create... all of then are inspired in how I see the people
that I know.
q)Sum up your art in one word.
q)...your contacts...
a)  Cris la Notte


lunedì 1 dicembre 2008

Interview with Dane Patterson

q) What is your name and what do you do?

a) My name is Dane Patterson. I’m an artist, and I live and work in New York City. My work takes on a variety of mediums ranging from highly rendered graphite drawings and painting to pieces utilizing audio recording.

q) When did you really get into art?

a) I became interested in art through my father who is also an artist. I grew up watching him make art and was surrounded by his work. I started drawing and making artwork at a very young age.

q) How did you come to the realization that you should try your luck at art on a more serious level?

a) I suppose I realized I wanted to become a professional artist because I have enjoyed making and looking at artwork from a very young age, and it helped that I had very positive feedback from my friends, my family, and my teachers.

q) How did you discover the particular style that you have?

a) My current work is dominated by photorealistic drawings. As an undergraduate I worked with mezzotint printmaking, and I began to appreciate photorealism in a variety of mediums. I have also applied this method to paintings, but I feel most strongly connected with drawing as a medium.

q) How would you describe your style?

a) That’s hard to say. Much of my work is photorealist, so I suppose that’s my predominant style. It tends to be a very tedious and obsessive method. Much of my other work is in opposition to the tedium of this style. I also make collages and sound pieces which are more free form and quick. I have always felt that this is an important balance to maintain.

q) Who or what influences your art?

a) My work is influenced by my immediate environment. The people, places, objects, and images that I see every day have the strongest influence over my work. I’m very interested in conceptual art, and I try to see as much contemporary art as I can.

q) How often do you create a new piece?

a) I generally work on a few drawings at once, and I try to work in the studio every day. My drawings can take quite a long time to complete. I am working now on a group of large scale drawings, and they take around one month to complete. Some pieces I finish in a day.

q) What kind of success have you had with your art?

a) During my second year as a graduate student, I showed some drawings at The Proposition, a gallery in New York City, and shortly thereafter, I had my first solo show there in 2005. They continue to represent me, and my second solo show took place there in 2007. Recently, I have begun showing with Galerie Bertrand & Gruner in Geneva, Switzerland.

q) What would be the ultimate goal for you and your art?

a) My foremost goal is to stay excited by my work, and I would ultimately like to be financially self sufficient as an artist.

q) What do you see as an accomplishment in the way of art?

a) Making a piece that I really enjoy and appreciate that I continue to appreciate years after its completion.

q) What kind of message, if any, do you try to convey through your art?

a) Each piece has a different message. I don’t have an overarching intention in my work.

q) Sum up your art in one word.
a) I don’t have an answer for that question.

q) Any additional comments?

a) No thanks.

q)…your contacts…

a) The Proposition Gallery
559 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011
T: 212-242-0035
F: 212-242-0203

Galerie Bertrand & Gruner
16, rue du Simplon
1207 Geneva - Switzerland
tel. +41 22 700 51 51
fax +41 22 700 56 77

My website:

martedì 25 novembre 2008

Interview with Mikey Brain

q) What is your name and what do you do?

a)My name is Mikey Brain, I am a Social Work student and an Artist.

q)When did you really get into art?

a)I loved art from an early age, it was my favoutite subject at junior school and enjoyed painting and using crayons as a young boy. I began to graffiti when I was a teenager. By the time I started Art at A-level; some of my friends got arrested so I stopped Graffiti and settled into painting in studio - and have done so ever since.

q)How did you come to the realization that you should try your luck at art on a more serious level?

a)I didn't. I painted over the last 10 years (since finishing education) for joy and as a hobby. I managed to find studio space's cheap enough or at times painted in my garage. A few years ago friends began to buy my work and hyped the work up for me. My work was advertised by word of mouth and due to my friends being in the night clubbing industry, my work started selling to people from different cities across the UK. It has recently gained the interest of galleries, fanzines/local zines and websites. I suppose you could say that I am begining to realize now that I should try my luck on a more serious level!

q)How did you discover the particular style that you have?

a)Partly by accident! My old style involved painting easels, in an abstract style, contorted and strange. I liked the canvass to be textured so I had canvases prepped on the floor - which I used to throw any excess paint at. I began to see images in what I had thrown and decided to attempt a new approach at painting. At the same time my illustrations were always figurative, usually ugly and had vivid sexual undertones. Faces made out of sexual organs and such. I combined the raw uglyness of my illustration work and the random unplaned technique i had aquired and I have been tweaking this style ever since.

q)How would you describe your style?

a)Crude, spontaneous yet at times specific. I like to blur the line between random and planned work.

q)Who or what influences your art?

a)I see the world like a giant Rorscharch test - I like finding imagery in anything and everything. I am inspired by the usual things like death, sex, mortality, morbidity and socio-political climates. I am heavily interested in fractual geometry and non euclid shapes and forms (like the structure of snow flakes and the random beauty of a spiral of smoke). I am greatly interested in painters, particulary 20th century artists. Painters that have influenced me greatly are Ralph Steadman, Francis Bacon, Jean-michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Jenny Savile, Maggie Hambling, Jackson Pollock. Recent post graffiti artist such as Space invader, Shepard Fairey (obey) and Banksy I find inspiring. I love most modern art too and enjoy installations such as the work of Mauricio Cattelan.

q)How often do you create a new piece?

a)I paint 3-4 times a week and paint various paintings simutainiously. I usually complete about 2-3 a week. I sketch most evenings I can or in any spare time.

q)What kind of success have you had with your art?

a)I have sold almost everything I have painted since late 2005 - I have been given a lot of praise personaly since then. I have had exhibitions and have a residency in a vibrant bar/club in Birmingham called the Rainbow. I have appeared in Things magazine and have online exhibition space at In january I am going to have my first solo exhibition In Harrogate, Yorkshire, In a tribal arts gallery ( I would like to think I am at the begining of my journey in terms of success

q)What would be the ultimate goal for you and your art?

a)I am a Social Work student and have a Socialist outlook on life. I wouldnt like my work to rise unproportionatly in value. I believe art can be for the everyman - not just the priveledged few. For example, all music is accessable - at a similiar price, however art deemed 'great' by the few who have a say in the art world is un-obtainable. I would like to be able to paint, exhibit and sell my images for a long and productive time. I also have ideas that involve utalising a large gallery space, and that incorparate painting and installation -and are perhaps not as marketable. I do not have the time or resources to utalise these ideas, but hope to do so in the near future.

q)What do you see as an accomplishment in the way of art?

a)Personaly I am never completley satisfied with my results, so I believe an accomplishment to be when a majority of viewers have a good reaction to a piece or set of work. I also like it when I realise my intentions.

q)What kind of message, if any, do you try to convey through your art?

a)For the most part, It is that human behaviour is not that different from a virus. We spread and multiply destroying everything in our paths from eco-systems to different species and each other. We have an egotistical view that, as the top of the food chain we have a natural right to power. We use the Earth as a host and our cities spread accross the landscapes like scabs. Now, that said - I am a happy-go-lucky guy and try to live my life as fun as possible. I enjoy human persuits, Art and the wonders of mankind and all we have achieved . I would like to eventually settle with a family. This is exactly what makes me part of the virus. So in my work I try to convey a duality between what I see to be dark in humanity with a humorous element that reflects my optimistic side.

q)Sum up your art in one word.


q)Any additional comments?

a)Work available for commission or purchase. thank you for your time - x

q)…your contacts…


domenica 16 novembre 2008

Interview with Patrick Gildersleeves

q) What is your name and what do you do?

a)I am Patrick Gildersleeves and I am an illustrator and artist.

q)When did you really get into art?

a)As long as I can remember really. I used to love drawing cartoons when I was a kid. I drew pictures of cowboys shooting each other, football matches, dragons and crazy looking birds. When I look at those old pictures, I feel a bit jealous of the freedom and madness that was so easy and natural when I was a child.

q)How did you come to the realization that you should try your luck at art on a more serious level?

a)I had a dream one night where I was alone on a mountain top, overlooking the water meadows near my old home. A crow landed at my feet and said "You are ready to soar in the world of art". When I woke up the next morning, I knew.

q)How did you discover the particular style that you have?

a)Many hours of drawing, choosing the bits that I liked and getting rid of the poo parts. It is still developing, but now more parts seem good to me than before.

q)How would you describe your style?

a)Quiet, neat, fun, nice, good.

q)Who or what influences your art?

a)There are many comtemporary creatives who I really admire. I particularly like Misaki Kawai, Marcel Dzama and films by Studio Ghibli. I am very much inspired by Inuit art, drawings and paintings from the Far East, South American clothing and African masks.

q)How often do you create a new piece?

a)It all depends on how busy I am and how inspired I am feeling. I guess I create a new piece that I really am happy with about once every two weeks. Obviously this process is sped up a great deal if I have a deadline to work to.

q)What kind of success have you had with your art?

a)I have exhibited in group shows in many places, including London, Hong Kong, Berlin, Ottawa. I had my first solo show in Amsterdam earlier on this year. That was very exciting and a little bit frightening. I've also been doing some illustrations for a few magazines (plan B, MILK, The One & Only Zine) too.

q)What would be the ultimate goal for you and your art?

a)I would like to be able to earn a living from just doing my artwork. I would also love to make some seriously big pictures and illustrate a book or two.

q)What do you see as an accomplishment in the way of art?

a)Creating something that makes you feel something perhaps. Whether that be happy, sad, amused, awed, impressed, pleased, pissed off, etc.

q)What kind of message, if any, do you try to convey through your art?

a)I'd be lying if I said I was trying to convey a message...sorry!

q)Sum up your art in one word.


q)…your contacts…


sabato 15 novembre 2008

Interview with Nikki Pinder

q)What is your name?

a)Nicola Jane Pinder

q)Where do you live and work?

a)I live in a small town in Cheshire, England and I work mainly in my studio at home. However, I do love to work in lots of different types of places and I find drawing in cafes and whilst on train journeys particularly inspiring. I think it’s because you can see so many different faces, sceneries and experience so much from sitting in one place. I find that when I work outdoors people often start talking to me and ask what I’m drawing or what I’m working on. I really enjoy this interaction with inquisitive people and you can have some really interesting conversations with people you have never met before.

q)What is your creative process like?

a)My creative process involves lots of research, brainstorming, sketching of visual ideas, careful selection of materials, drawing, painting, and then construction of finished artwork by either digital collage, 2D collage on paper, artwork on canvas, 3D collage, or sculpture. I don’t have a strict pattern in the way I work as I love to experiment and for every piece of artwork I create, I adopt slightly different methods for working though ideas depending on what it is I’m trying to create at the end. I am very thorough in my research and I’m known for being a perfectionist in my work, but I love what I do, so for each project I want to make it the best piece of work I have ever created.

q)What is your favourite medium?

a)My favourite mediums are inks for drawing and painting, and I also love to draw freehand with Indian inks and dipping pens. However, I’m very experimental in what materials I use so I often incorporate old music paper, envelopes, newspapers, acrylics, fabrics, and anything I can find to create a new effect or finish. In the past I’ve experimented with anything from crushed charcoal and brick dust to leaves and old twigs. I think nature is a great source for materials as by walking through a forest or park you can usually find something, which could be turned into a tool for drawing, or physically incorporated into your work. You don’t always have to go to an art shop to find materials when being creative, so there are ways to avoid spending lots of money. Also, I think that it’s important to think outside the box and experiment with materials as if you start to work with something other people haven’t thought of using then it can make an element of your working process unique to you. It could even turn out to be the detail, which defines your style or process.

I love to create artwork on different surfaces, which can include 2D and 3D formats. For the past two years I’ve also been creating art in the form of handmade badges, brooches, magic buttons, miniature canvases, stickers, magnets, Nightowl Secret gift packs, and a small magazine I’ve called Nightowl. These have been sold and displayed in various shops and galleries around the UK so far including; the Magma Bookshops in Manchester and London, Junky Clothes on Brick Lane in London, The Old Sweet Shop in Sheffield, The Urbis Exhibition Centre in Manchester, and The Islington Arts Factory in London. I’m currently working on lots of new handmade products such as ‘The Melancholy and Infinitely Gloomy’ gift packs which I‘ve just finished, and all the new items will be stocked in several shops and galleries soon.

q)What is your current favourite subject?

a)I have always loved antiques and antique shops, so historical pieces of machinery and strange eccentric contraptions interests me. I love anything wacky and bizarre, so walking into dusty old antique and bookshops will always enable me to find something interesting and mysterious. I find them completely inspiring, but I think some people think I am mad because I can spend hours and hours looking around them and still never get bored. One of my dreams is to open a gallery which displays a mixture of art, handmade objects, and antiques, and a Wunderkammer of everything bizarre, surreal and inspiring. It will be a cabinet of curiosities for the curious minds and for people to walk into a world of complete madness and surreality.

I’m currently also very interested in poetry and reading song lyrics and trying to work out what the lyricist was trying to convey by writing them. I also love watching films and recently I’ve been watching a lot of period dramas and films as I love studying the styles of different eras, such as the clothes worn and the architectural styles and interior décor. I also adore photography and take photographs whenever I can.

q)How long does it take for you to finish a piece?

a)The time it can take to complete a piece of work varies depending on the medium and what type of project I’m working on. A piece of work can take anything from a few hours to several months to complete depending on how big the project is and how much work I have at the time as I’m always working on several projects at any given time.

q)What have been your biggest accomplishments so far?

a)My biggest accomplishments so far include having three solo exhibitions, selling my handmade artwork and products in various shops and galleries, having a range of t-shirts and bags sold in River Island stores, being nominated for an Art Foundation Scholarship last summer, and I have just been commissioned to design textile and wallpaper designs for a company in New York. I’m also very proud that I managed to complete my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s award when I was 17, so I was given the opportunity to go to Buckingham Palace to receive my award and meet some interesting people (despite it raining all day). I don’t remember seeing any cucumber sandwiches though.

q)Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)There are so many artists I love it’s hard to recall them all, but here are a few people who inspire me: Tim Burton, Neil Gaiman, Terry Gilliam, Amanda Palmer, Dave McKean, Trent Reznor, Bjork, Marilyn Manson, Tom Robbins, and David Lynch.

I’m not quite sure where the boundaries of ‘contemporary’ lie, so here are some artists I love who might not fall into that bracket: Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, Lewis Carroll, Eric Carle, Dr. Seuss, Edward Lear, Salvador Dali, William Morris, Barbara Hepworth, Roald Dahl Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Pablo Picasso, Hannah Hoch, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Georges Braque, and Eadweard Muybridge.

q)Can we buy your art anywhere?

a)Yes you can by pieces of my artwork from my current exhibition in Odd Bar in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. You can also buy pieces of artwork and handmade products from The Old Sweet Shop in Sheffield, Magma Bookshops in London and Manchester, and the Urbis Centre in Manchester. Very soon I will have artwork available to buy in several more shops and galleries which I will give details of as soon as they go on sale.

q)Anything that people should know about that we don’t?

a)If you freeze milk it turns bright orange, but if you defrost it goes back to white and apparently it’s still ok to drink.

q)What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

a)Don’t ever give up on your dream no matter what happens. Produce work which is true to you, and don’t be afraid to express yourself. Take criticism constructively, as it’s useful to listen to people’s opinions, but never let anything someone says stop you from pursuing what you have set out to achieve. Work hard and keep an open mind as some of the best opportunities will come out of unexpected situations and projects.

q)What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

a)Cups of tea, runs down the river as that helps me to think clearly about my ideas, and the feeling I get when I have achieved something I set out to complete. Also, friends inspire me when they tell me motivating things and pick up my spirits when I’ve felt low. Reading about other artists experiences is very inspiring too as you realise that everyone has ups and downs in life, and sometimes even the bad times make events in the future turn out better. I’ve learnt to keep an optimistic outlook on everything and not get disheartened when something seems like it’s gone wrong as you have to always look on the good side and see that mistakes and hard times are there to make you stronger and wiser.

q)How do you describe your work to those who are unfamiliar with it?

a)Two ounces of Surreal, five centimetres of experimental, thirty three millimeters of sleepless nights, four card board boxes full of old paper and bits and bobs, and a partridge in a pineapple tree for good measure.

q)What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

a)After high school I studied A-levels in art, design and technology and business studies. Then I completed an art foundation in Art College, and went to Nottingham Trent University for three years and studied an Illustration and Graphic Design course. Whilst at University I also worked freelance on several small projects I initiated, and I did some work experience with a Graphic Design company called Seismik. After graduating I set up my own company and started to work freelance. I would also say though that a lot of what I have learnt and utilize, I have taught myself.

q)Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?


q)Who are your influences?

a)Edward Scissorhands and the Ghostbusters.

q)What inspires you to create?

a)I have to create as it’s what I’ve always done and I have to do it otherwise my mind would explode.

q)Your contacts?

a)Umm? Wonder Woman and the Goonies.