Thursday, 10 July 2008

We are all about Seymour this week as we work on last minute bits and pieces for his solo show which opens next Friday 18th June. We thought it might be nice for you all to share in an interview with did with Seymour last month.

Q -The big question - who is Seymour?

A -I suppose Seymour is the grand title for a series of work that I produce. I see it as more of a style then just a pseudonym. Seymour is the creator of the fictitious world which contributes to the narrative of each piece.

Q - Do you start with an idea or story and build around this as you go or do you always have a clear idea about how a finished piece will look?

A -I start with an initial loose idea/concept but details within the theme change dramatically during the colouring stage of my process as I tend to get carried away. The ambiguity in my pieces allows the viewer to interpret their own meaning for the piece, yet deep down there is some definite and personal content.

Q -In your eyes, has your work changed much over the last few years?

A - Yeah, my work has actually changed a lot over the last few years. Maybe not so much changed but matured. The detail has become finer and more intricate. I am actually using more colour, which previously I have kept away from. I am also experimenting a lot with scale and the final presentation of my work.

Q - You must have a huge list of inspirations as an artist, want to share any?

A - My main inspiration is other peoples junk. I have always been fascinated with curios and things found in charity shops. I always look at things with the thought of what it could be turned into. I also have a fascination with anything and everything decorative and ornate. Another major inspiration for me is people and their many strange characteristics which I try and tie into my own characteristics and worlds they live.

Q -You originally studied graphic design; does this have any influence in what you are doing now?

A - Yeah, my work is more graphical and illustrative than a lot of fine art and I do think this has come from my design background. My process in creating my pieces is also very design like and structured and in most cases my final piece is a computer file and not a painted block canvas. In saying that, every piece I do is totally drawn by hand and the computer is only a used as a tool to colour and shade. I still have to manually choose my brush types, sizes, colours etc, so I am basically painting on screen.
My design background has also given me the skills to do all my own promotional work which love doing as I get to try lots of different print/production techniques that I would never be able to try with a client.

Q - We heard you recently dabbled with painting as a medium in a recent series of work for Strichnyn Gallery in Berlin. Is this something you are going to continue alongside your print work?

A - This was actually the first time I had painted anything with the intention of selling. I hadn't even picked up a brush since design school so I had to teach myself the basics and do two pieces in 3 weeks. It was definitely a great experience but so much harder than I thought. I would love to have another go at it in the near future if I had time on my hands however, I have worked really hard to create my own unique style within print which I think I will stick with for the time being. I did come out of the experience with a lot more respect for good painters.

Q - What appeals to you about working in print?

A - It's really just a great process. I like that the piece you create can be put onto so many different surfaces using different inks and techniques, from screen printing, giclee to block printing etc. Also print quality in the area of giclee has come a long way. I love seeing a piece printed for the first time as every time I'm blown away by the depth, richness and saturation of the colour.

Q - 'Seymour' and 'Love Fran' collaborated together for your 'My Name is Seymour' exhibition with Pop Up last year, any collaborations coming up in the future?

A - Yeah, we are actually working on a second series of customized toys which will be for my up and coming show at The Red Door Gallery in July. Love Fran makes the toy from start to finish with much love and perfection. She is a great artist to collaborate with. The last series of toys sold out before the show started so make sure you come and check them out at the opening.

Q - You also hold down a successful career as a chef, how do you juggle both labor intensive jobs?

A - I seem to have juggled the two for some time now and it seems to work out. I basically split my weeks in two, half for each job. I really like the balance I get from two such different activities. I think they compliment each other nicely and cheffing is as much of a creative outlet for me as my artwork is. I also think having two jobs makes me want to do each one even more, and not get bored as easily.

Q - What does the future hold for Seymour?

A - Hopefully all good things..... I have some goals. I'm still having fun exploring my own style and there is a lot I want to experiment with within print and painting. I am working on some cool installation based work for upcoming shows. Generally having fun, playing some guitar and of course in the near future, my first UK solo show at The Red Door.

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