(Reblog from my old blogpost)
Inspiration can come from anywhere, whether it being a single chord from a song, a flower emerging through the snow or a simple phrase you hear in passing. It can be as simple as A, B, C but also as difficult as the hardest equation you can imagine. As Pablo Picasso once said,
but it has to find you working’
When I first started drawing, way way back when I was tiny, my inspiration came from my family. I remember watching my mum draw these amazing portraits of people using all sorts of materials from pencils to oil. They were and still are beautiful and captured the character of the people within them. I would also see the artwork on my grandparents walls of a stunning plane in a grey and blue sky, which my grandma had painted. Capturing each shade of colour and detail within the image.
My Grandad had a completely different style and I remember sitting down for ages as i discovered his caricatures/ cartoons within the pages of his sketchbooks. Or how him and my grandma used to call them ‘the funnies’.
Next came the comics, the main one being ‘The Beano’. One of the longest British comics going and always my favourite. I loved Dennis and Gnasher, The Bash Street Kids and The Numskulls. I remember spending time re-drawing these lovable characters and even started writing and drawing my own little short strips including a little guide on how to be the perfect menace.
When I became a teen I found that music and graphic design was invading my head allowing me to take a closer look at band artwork and caricatures (after getting our family caricatures done at alton towers)and band artwork, but it wasn’t until i reached college that i found magazines such as ‘Juxtapoz‘ and ‘3×3‘ which delved into ‘lowbrow’ art. This type of art allowed the gritty, rude and outrageous images to wow the public and I loved it!!! Greg Craola Simkins was one of the first to grab my attention with his artwork ‘Night Knight’ alongside his poem:
‘I’m Scared when the bunnies are plotting in silence
Those damn little bunnies are going to cause violence.
They’ll sneak out of the garden and go to the place,
where bad bunnies go to bring them disgrace.
Through the leaves and ivy they’ll cover their tracks,
and hide all their footprints, lest some-one attacks.
They want only one thing, it’s true you will see,
because bunnies don’t eat trix, they eat you and me!
I’m scared of the stomach ache that will occur
down deep in the bunny, all covered in fur,
I’m scared when I burst out, there won’t be much left,
but a big pile of bunny and a big bunny mess’
I loved how gruesome the imagery and writing was and how open the boundaries were. What am I saying?? There are no boundaries! In the lowbrow world, the world is your oyster. I started to follow artists like Alex Pardee, Yuko Shimizu (who i have lately come back to as she designs the beautiful covers of one of my favourite comics ‘The Unwritten‘) and Tara McPherson, plus many more.
Since University my inspiration still comes from all sorts of avenues. My main inspiration is found through the ‘Suicide Girls‘ and alternative models. After picking up my first suicide girl magazine I was hooked. The photography and poses gave the images and artistic flair and showed the womanly figure in all it’s glory. And how much more fun is it to draw curves! I followed my pursuit with ‘Bizarre Magazine‘ and then “Front‘. I liked the Kick ass look! Not the conventional big boobed, fake tanned barbie dolls. They were boring! These ladies were exciting and conveyed a ‘Tank Girl’ (we don’t care what you think) type of attitude which made them fun to draw and inspiring. I find myself wanting to be like these women, as they are proud to be who they are and show their personalities through their own art. Whether it be modelling, photography, art or the tattoos and experiences they have. It’s something that i admire and respect. Alongside these and the ‘Tank Girl‘ comics and artists such as ‘David Mack‘, ‘Dave McKean‘ and ‘Lora Zombie‘ plus the earlier mentioned artists have brought my artwork to where it is now.
Lowbrow art will always be my calling, it’s risqué, fun and the only place where you can draw horror villains as semi nude girls. I definitely prefer this movement.
I do apologise as I’ve completely rambled on about my own work and inspiration. I would love to hear yours. What inspires you? What gets those cogs turning and those thoughts flowing? Whose your favourite artist or musician and why? I’d love to hear from you and get that creativity and inspiration spread. Now to leave you with a little quote from one of my favourite classic films.
‘We are the Music Makers….
We are the Dreamers of Dreams’