I first became involved in the world of art and creativity through Creative Directions at The Point in Doncaster. I have epilepsy and this lead to poor mental health so I tried art therapy and have never looked back!
Describe yourself in 5 sentences... " 1. My name is Rob and I grew up - and still live - in Doncaster.
2. I'm a huge comic book nerd and movie lover.
3. I try to promote mental health awareness through the art therapy I undertake for myself. "
What gets your creative juices flowing? / How does inspiration come to you? "I think I find loads of catalysts throughout my interests at the time. I own hyper-fixate on certain movies, games or books and that works towards providing inspiration for the pieces I complete. I also try and find an interesting shape or a random object and see where I can take it. For instance, I recently was donated an old station clock that I took apart and themed around Resident Evil Village."
Why do you create art? "After being diagnosed with epilepsy, my mental health went quite low. There were no real solutions and my doctor suggested going to Creative Directions at The Point art gallery. It was there that I started sketching which then led onto painting. I found it to be a great release, or a way of fighting back a time when my mental health may take another tip. It's a great tool and I have a lot to be grateful to Creative Directions for."
What has been the highlight of your career so far? " To be honest, I've only recently started to promote my work online so it's a great privilege to be able to showcase some of art in the D31 Gallery! The clock I spoke about earlier was commented on by Bekka Prewitt who played a character in the game, which was cool. I was also able to have one of my pieces featured in the Aliens 35th Celebration artbook from Titan Books. That was an amazing feeling."
What does your dream studio look like? "Well, my current studio is in my room so anywhere that was its own space really. I like a lot of industrial-type decor, so some sort of container unit, loads of pipes, a stack of wood to paint on and some acrylics and spray paints!"
Where would you like your art to take you? "I don't really know. For me, I create because it helps me feel better and it helps me get out of my own head. It's really therapeutic. If I could ever paint for a living, that would be amazing. When I was younger, I always liked the idea of drawing comic book covers - that would be incredible! But, if I'm honest, as long as it makes me feel happy and other people feel good about it too, I'm good."
How does your artwork relate to current issues in the world? "A lot of my artwork is based around the entertainment industry, particularly sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I think its really important to remember that our imaginations can take us to amazing places, particularly in tough times like they are now. If something I paint triggers a memory of someone's favourite childhood movie or superhero and it sends them to a place of nostalgia and hope, I think that's important. " Does art always have to have a deeper meaning? "I think art is a powerful to deliver a message and echoing the sentiment of the people, struggles and difficulties of the time. It stimulates emotion and can become a force that people rally behind. I also think that we can enjoy it for what it is but not take away the therapeutic nature and importance that the process of creation is - often more so than the end project." Who/what inspires you? Why? "There's a comic book artist called Jock. He's worked on a range of books and movies and his art is truly beautiful. He plays a lot with shadow and darkness, so the reader's imagination can do a lot of the work. He also did some amazing digital concept work for the movie, Ex Machina. I'm also a huge Alex Ross fan - he's a cover artist from the USA who is completely self-taught and his paintings are truly astounding."
What brings you joy? "My children, no brainer. Family time always wins over anything. They're three amazing people and I'm incredibly proud of them."
How would you like to be remembered? "As someone who at least tried." What would you say to your younger self? "There's more to life than drinking cider on the swings, mate!"
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