Richard, good to get you here for a Q&A. Tell us a little about yourself?
Thanks, it’s great to be here for Q & A! I’m an artist, living and working in Brighton. I studied Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art, Animation in Southampton and then began working as a freelance illustrator. I moved to Brighton about 3 years ago where I decided to create some artwork for my own enjoyment and, after getting a lot of positive feedback, I released my first print editions. I was amazed at the great response to these and things have kind of snowballed since then, creating lots of new work and with galleries in Brighton and London taking in original paintings and prints of my art.
We love your take on Brighton landmarks? What inspired you to start this series?
The ‘Beasts of Brighton’ collection is the first series of pieces I did. Moving to Brighton, I felt inspired by the city and wanted to try to capture the creative spirit by re-imagining the people and places in my own way.
Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
Each Brighton landmark starts with a very rough idea in my head and then I take photos and make some quick sketches. I then draw out the shape of the building in detail, before letting my imagination run wild, turning parts into grotesque creatures or whatever strange beasts comes to mind! I like to put historical references in the mix as well, for example in the ‘Minions of the Pavilion’ piece, I turned the onion-shaped domes into obese, feasting women to reflect the over-indulgence and sordid parties that went on in the Prince Regent’s day!
Dog Beasts Friends is a personal favourite of mine, what did you enjoy most about making this piece? What sort of feedback have you had from it?
I had lots of fun looking at pictures of different dogs and deciding which breed would fit best with which human stereotype! People always laugh and everyone has their favourite pair, I think mine is the Scotty dog with Scotsman and haggis.
Do you have any advice for those who would like to begin making art as a commercial endeavor?
It’s very early days in my career as an artist but my friend gave me some good advice, which was not to focus on the commercial side. Make sure you love and are excited about the pieces you’re working on. That’s when the little special something transfers from you to your canvas and people will be able to see it in your work.