I was recently introduced to the awesome company Art Rookie, founded by Liz Bush ('Elizabeth Kate' silk prints) and Jody Prince (photographer and fashion stylist for X Factor & Little Mix et al). It's a unique online sales platform for UK artists and designers, applying their designs to beautiful products for the home.
Liz and Jodie's goal is to support British creatives on their road to commercial success!
I'm also thrilled to be their featured artist this week. Here's the interview:
Featured Artist: Artbyflynn
When did you first become interested in art?
I was obsessed with paper and pens from a very early age. My primary school teacher predicted I’d go to art school. I had a great imagination as a child, but wasn’t particularly sociable, so rather than role-playing with others, I responded to the world and communicated through art. I think that’s still true today.
How would you describe your design style?
My print designs and paintings are quite different. My design work was borne out of my sketches and doodles for paintings, which are layered acrylic, expressionist, Dufy inspired pieces. Whereas my print designs a quite contemporary and I try to keep them simple, using minimal colour. My drawing style was inspired by performance artist Shantell Martin who began her career “live” drawing in clubs in Japan: one black marker, music up, go with the flow. The process pours great energy into her pieces. I try to capture a similar flow of energy with a continuous line.
What inspires you?
Stories. After I graduated from art school, I changed my creative medium and pursued my other passion: writing. I worked in radio and in screenwriting for a number of years, indulging my curiosity and particular interest in history. A wonderful example of Georgian architecture will make me reach for my camera or sketchbook, but discovering an old photo of the building or its occupiers will get my imagination and creative juices flowing.
What is your favourite piece in your collection?
My Rio de Janeiro Doodle cushion. I think it encapsulates the essence of my design work that illustrates our connection to people and places. I love the single line flowing from the Redeemer statue, to the people, to the rest of the city. The cushion is beautiful! Who wouldn’t want to rest their head in Rio at the end of a long day?!
Is there any artistic talent in your family?
Both my brother and my dad are architects, so there’s lots of technical drawing skill. I guess that’s where I learned my appreciation for architecture too.
What is the journey you take to produce your work?
It always starts with the inspiration and the story. Hopefully I’ve taken a photograph of the subject myself, but that’s not always possible. I begin drawing on ipad, then transfer to Illustrator to clean it up or add colour. I like to work fast on these doodles, not be too precious about everything in order to capture the energy; just enjoy the flow of the pen/stylus around the shapes.
What made you want to be a part of Art Rookie?
My degree was in Surface Decoration so I’ve always envisaged my art being applied to products. It was something I’d planned to do “in the future”. Art Rookie was recommended to me by Lauramythompson and I was delighted. It was something I could action “now” and its wonderful to be able to offer this beautiful range of products to my customer base and also reach a wider audience with my work.
When you’re not creating masterpieces what do you enjoy doing?
Travelling! I adore exploring new places and discovering their stories.
Have you faced any struggles getting your work noticed?
There is so much talent out there, of course it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. But opportunities are plentiful right now, especially for creative entrepreneurs. We just need to be persistent, patient and not be afraid of hard work.
Where would we find you hanging out in the UK?
Usually in Tamworth Staffordshire, or nearby Birmingham, but Cleveleys (near Blackpool) is my second home as my parents live there and you’ll often find me cycling along the promenade!
What makes British talent different than elsewhere?
Pushing the boundaries and innovation is where true creativity lives. We’re not afraid to take risks, to try things and be weird sometimes! However, we also know how to be commercial and relevant. There’s authenticity in what we create, so it has universal appeal.
What are your plans for the rest of 2016?
Big trip to New York and San Francisco coming up ( so expect new doodles from there soon). I’d like to create some pattern doodles for fabric or interior design. I also have an itch to create some large scale paintings.
Shop Art Rookie is now Art Wow.