On leaving school I worked for the family business, learning a trade as a bricklayer in rural Somerset. While it wasn’t the most stimulating of work, it did reflect my interest in craftsmanship and making things with my hands. In 1994 aged 21 my adventure in the world of art started in earnest as I made the decision to return to college and pursue a passion for drawing and painting.
A couple of years later I found myself living in Brighton embarking on my honours degree in fine art painting. Graduating in 1999 without much more than the desire to carry on making images I worked towards a solo show of pictures. By this point in my life, I had received several hours of tattooing. The shop I was getting tattooed at were looking for a part-time receptionist, and as an artist, I jumped at the chance to be around other creative people. Not long after I was able to try tattooing and had commenced on a successful career, in that time I’ve had two books published of my sketches alongside contributing to several group books, organised two charity auctions, one of which raised over £12,000 for Cancer Research UK, and had multiple magazine features. It’s fair to say tattooing was kind to me.
In the June of 2017 and my son had begun to show a keen interest in art. One day he asked if we could do a still life. As I sat down to draw alongside him, my mind wondered. I started to daydream about the artists that had influenced me in my early days. Rothko, Turner, and Richter to name a few. Over the next month, the compulsions to paint became hard to suppress, and I began working on small oil pastels which I could comfortably fit around other commitments. After making somewhere around 60 of them, I decided it was time to launch myself into working on canvas. Painting is now an essential ritual for me, and I find the time to paint or draw for my own research and pleasure every day.
I’m eternally grateful to have worked in creative fields for most of my adult life, and I’m very much looking forward to experiencing the remaining journey.