Our Artist Interview for this purposeful month of September is with Joe Holbrook. Joe offers an insight into his multi discipline practice, a commentary on youth culture, and we are so excited to see this young talent move from London to our home town of Blackpool, where he will open his own studio creating a co-working space for local artists ,creative events and workshops.
Q: Can you tell us about your Artistic background/education?
Like most artist I have always been creative for as long as I can remember and excelled throughout school as far as the arts are concerned. I really started my journey to where I am now at about 16 where I found graffiti culture and met all my peers. I completed a foundation but chose not to continue with further education and focused on my surroundings to inspire and drive me to create. I realised around the same time that most things can be studied and taught online or on short courses if you want to learn new skills, I still actively search for courses to add strings to my bow, the next will be working with glass I hope.
Q. You are a multi discipline artist, working in oils, spray paint, charcoal plus sculpting and making jewellery, How did you develop your style and does it run through all your work or do you change styles depending on the medium?
Yeah over time I have used a range of mediums and tried different styles of working but on reflection my work does always seem to have a dark undertone and this seems to have stayed pretty consistent through out my work along with a level of realism which gives some sort of signature. I feel like i have just completed a sort of journey learning about mediums and techniques over the past 10 years and now i am ready to start a body of work that I feel will be a solid reflection of my current capabilities and understanding of the mediums in my practice.
Q. Do you work in a studio or from home?
I like to work from a studio, I cant work from home as I can not handle the distractions, its nice to have a place with a purpose.
Q. Who are your Art Influencers? Inspirations?
Edouard Manet his paintings in the flesh are so beautifully painted they leave you breathless and teary eyed. Keith Coventry as he is one of the strongest rounded artist who uses which ever medium he feels best to portray his idea and that is inspiring.
Q. What helps get you in "the zone’ to create your work, music? out in nature? quiet?
New surroundings, nothing inspires me more then new scenery. It gives me new energy! As far as music goes I seem to get most paint on canvas listening to depressing folk music like Johnny Flynn.
Q. Do you keep a sketchbook? How often do you use it and do you travel with it?
I am terrible when it comes to sketch books I get them do 2 pages of rough sketches then discard/loose them, I'm more of a post stick note, or loose A4 piece of paper man, stacking them in the corner of my studio to forget about until a year later when I have a flash back franticly rummage through them to finish what I started.
Q.Where does a piece of work begin for you? Can you describe your process?
Usually through a personal experience or story I have witnessed that resonates with me to the point I feel it dutiful to re tell. I then either re-create it as a visual sculpture or work from a photo I have taken in the moment or recreated to then paint or draw my representation of the moment.
Q. What technique do you prefer to use?
Oil paint on linen
Q. What are your most important artists tools?
Palette knifes, old rags, leaning stick and spray paint for large scale.
Q What are your favourite materials?
Good quality thick oils
Q. What are you currently working on?
I am currently setting up a new creative space in Lytham St Annes, where I have a new studio where I am working on a series of paintings on canvas and buildings to reflect what I see of my new surrounding area and the culture that accompanies it.
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