Wednesday was World Art Day, also the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci. Since I’m at my happiest when stood in the garden in my dressing gown at 8am, splattering a canvas clamped in a Black & Decker (and yes the neighbour did spy me through the hedge recently), it feels fitting to talk about art and creativity.
I once turned my back on the palette and rooms that oozed white spirit fumes, simply because I was caught in an academic world and told art would never make me money. When at university however, modules in The History of Persuasion and Language & Power drew my attention to advertising. I was hooked. And I wanted to be creative in my career. It wasn’t long before I’d done MA Advertising & Design and got a foot in the door of the industry. Seven years later and here I’m at GRIN, Graphic Designer and Illustrator. Win!
A couple of years ago, things got messy again. In that, I brought palettes and paints back into my life. Yet the way I now work has completely changed. Typically, my fine art would be an intricate drawing or an oil landscape. I saw and interpreted. And when at school, I never understood the kids who produced more abstract pieces. That’a not art. They can’t paint. That’s what I once thought. Now the joke’s on me. I love painting with feeling and I’m so inspired by the likes of American artist, Jackson Pollock. Here’s his painting, Alchemy.
Pollock created the drip technique where he would walk around a canvas on the ground and pour commercial paint onto it with a stick. He said, “When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing. It is only after a sort of ‘get acquainted’ period that I see what I have been about.”
Since October, I’ve done over 30 canvases and here are a few.
A kid could have done it you say? Maybe. But whatever you think, I believe all forms of art should be celebrated, and especially not taken out of the national curriculum as recently suggested. Art allows people to express themselves, communicate and be inspired. Maybe it’s what will lead the next kid through our agency door one day. And it can make you money, and more importantly, it can make you happy. And if you’re thinking, I can’t draw or paint, well, many designers can’t, and who’s to say you can’t? That’s the art of art. It’s everything.