The Red Door Gallery would simply not be the same if it wasn't for the wonderful support of independent and emerging designers and artists dedicated to presenting original, inspirational and affordable artwork.
In amongst all of these talented folk is Paul Farrell. Paul's main body of work, the Tree series, is an example of his strong graphic style. Silhouettes are the epitome of graphic design and illustration, as they help visually communicate any object clearly by the simplest of methods. The variety and interesting outline of natural forms, in particular the tree, are emphasised by the use of the silhouette. Paul’s knowledge and research into colour is equally important and he has exercised this in his work.Based in Kent his collection of work continues to develop and expand with new projects for fashion and home wares and private and public commissions. Significantly, new metallic screen print collections, featuring birds in flight were created recently for his one-man show in London – ‘The Birds & the Trees’. He is represented at major art galleries and shops throughout the British Isles and abroad, including The Red Door Gallery.
So when Paul agreed to be our next interviewee for our blog designer/artist feature we were over the silvery moon! Thanks Paul!....
Q - Please describe what you do. What materials/techniques do you use?
A - I am an illustrator and apply my bold, graphic style to many different designed products. My main body of work is limited edition prints and greeting cards inspired by the image of the tree.
Most of my work is simply created using an Apple imac. The initial process combines numerous sketches, lists of ideas and collecting colours that compliment each other. My imagery and ideas are applied to a wide range of materials such as fabric, wood, vinyl and paper. Some applications are hand printed along with digital production.
A - I live in
Q - Describe your studio. Where is it? Do you work alone? How often do you go there?
A - I work from home, alone, so I am here all the time, unless I’m tripping to
Q - Have you always been a designer? What brought you to doing what you do now?
A - I have always been interested in art and design, in particular colour and the beauty of form, in particular those found in nature. I was a graphic designer, specialising in brand design, in
Q - Where did you train?
A - I completed an Arts Foundation course at Bristol Polytechnic in 1985 and went on to obtain a BA Honours degree in graphic design at Middlesex Polytechnic in north
A - Nature and the graphic arts are the main points of interest – the former is the subject matter and the latter is the basis for my style. Having been a brand designer I see everything as simple form, beauty and colour. Illustrating a subject as simply as possible and still communicating it’s identity, is key and the challenge.
Q - Is there anyone or any style that you’re influenced by?
A - Andy Warhol for his brave graphic interest, David Hockney for his use of colour and Gary Hume for his simplicity and modern day observations. But my style is not at unique, it is how you apply it and with what idea and subject, that helps it stand alone.
Q - What piece of machinery or tool could you not live without?
A - imac
Q - Besides the products you sell at The Red Door is there anything else that you make?
A - I have currently designed a series of pocket sketch books, decorative parcel tape, veneer bookmarks and further editions of screen prints for one-man shows in Bristol this coming September at Centrespace and The OXO Tower, London in January 2011.
Q - You recently took part in ‘The Poundshop’, a London based pop-up boutique selling excellent products for a pound. Can you tell us more about it and what you produced?
A - I was invited to sell hand made products by the ‘Poundshop’ team, which could only retail at £1.0. Additionally the item should have been economic to produce. I opted for postcards that were formerly cardboard boxes and packaging etc found about my home that I would usually recycle or throw away. Four designs of ‘calling cards’ that could be sent out i viting people to join in with an event - be it a picnic with friends or a Friday night cocktail. All designs were screen-printed.
A - An exclusive, limited edition series of tree prints for the Old Sweet Shop Gallery in Southfields, London. They have invited me to recolour/remix a select nine existing prints in candy colours promoted as ‘The Old Sweet Shop Mix’.
Q - What do you do when you’re not working? Can you switch off? How do you unwind?
A - It is difficult to switch off when you are involved in something that is your main interest. Your weeks are your weekends and bank holidays are all of the time. As a sole trader traveling, eating out and playing with my three beautiful nieces all help to distract me plus I have just bought a kayak, so hopefully that will get me out and off the subject.
Q - What’s your favourite pastime?
A - Cooking for family and friends.
Q - What do you like least about being a designer? Any occupational hazards?
A - There isn’t a lot I dislike but I guess if I had to choose one it would be preparing my tax assessment each year, it’s important but it keeps me from creating.
Q - What do you like the most about being a designer?
A - Receiving compliments from happy customers.
Q - What’s your favourite possession? This can be anything!
A - It would have to be a black and white photograph of my Mother taken in the 50s while she was on a picnic in the Peak District, near Matlock Derbyshire, with a huge sunny smile.
Q - What advice would you offer to other creative’s?
A - Do not let anything get in the way of an idea and its completion. All work finished helps develop a style and keeps you interested and everyone else, be they customers, retailers or simply followers of your work. Plus, if your work has commercial appeal, then a bigger portfolio of products will help you maintain a living and try to lead and not follow the pack or market.
Q - Who else’s work do you love? Any artists/makers/friends/galleries/websites you’d like to share.
All photography copyright Paul Farrell 2010. Photographs top to bottom: Paul Farrell painting The Old Sweet Shop gallery mural in London, 'Last Stand' Kelston Hill in Bath Print, The Birds & The Trees Exhibition, Foil-blocked Printed Bird Cards, A Murder of Crows Vinyl Decal, Field Notes, Recycled Travel Mugs, Christmas Card, Carrier Pigeon Tote Bag, Tree Badge Set, Bird Badge Set, Parcel Tape, The Poundshop, Calling Cards, 'Pigeon Grey' Print, Limited Tree Prints featured in May 2010's issue of Living Etc.