As one of our fastest selling artists, Copyright is an experimental artist always looking at new techniques to articulate his ideas and inspirations and explore the various media of printing. We learn more about his work and motivations in our Q&A...
What or who are the main inspirations behind your work?
I’m fascinated with mythology, in all its forms, Christianity, paganism, Greek deities, modern urban myths. That form of storytelling which can affect people to the bone, by developing some kind of human connection, and playing on the heart strings.
What’s your medium?
Usually mixed, I often start a year with a month of experimentation into new mediums, working out what works for me and what doesn’t, filtering out the bits I can use and scrapping the bits that don’t. Then I spend the rest of the year incorporating those new methods into my existing toolbox, so that way I’m always evolving. The bulk of my works are acrylic and spray-paint with stencil making, but often with gilding techniques, screen printing and other printing methods. But in the past I have experimented with laser etching, neon tubes, led lights, glow in the dark paint, stained glass, and wood carving within my works.
How do you approach the actual making of a piece?
I start with an idea, can be just a feeling, heartbreak, loss, etc, then I sketch out a facial expression which starts to convey that feeling, gradually building elements, symbols and icons within the image which turn the feeling into a little story, but often with deliberately ambiguous messages, so that the final story is one that will connect with the viewer, each person may see something different.
What are you currently working on?
Currently painting 3 versions of the same painting, presented with 3 unique treatments. Composition wise they almost identical, but the story each painting tells will be different. So I’m playing with storytelling really.
Does the impact of the viewer influence your work and if so how? Yeah as I explained before, it’s very much a part of my work, the paintings are engineered to be viewed in a way that engages the viewer. Playing with Iconography and symbols that can connect on different levels.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I love it when people have my works tattooed on themselves, that’s happened a bunch of times, it’s the ultimate compliment.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Describe your work in 5 words.
Bitter-sweet (is that 2 words?), romantic, heartbreak, sexy, colourful.
Describe an average day for you.
Get up at 8, drink coffee, start work 8.30 usually on computer, emails etc, start painting something, more emails, wrap up stuff to post out, trip to post office, trip to pickup more art supplies, maybe coffee whilst I’m out, back to painting or pulling prints, finish 9-10ish, watch cartoons.
What led you to become an artist?
It’s just something that I’ve always done.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
One of my earliest memories is a parrot on a unicycle on a tightrope.
What makes you angry?
Spending time compensating for other people’s mistakes. That and tardiness. Oh and I’m not so good with authority figures, I don’t like being told what to do.
When are you happiest?
When I’m able to fully be myself, which is pretty much all the time.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to and why.
I don’t think I can answer that, the honest truth is I just want to be myself. I have been compared to many artists in the past, the comparisons are flattering, but it’s really hard to be unique, and that’s more important to me than being compared to anyone else.
What’s your favourite or most inspirational place?
I spent some time doing an exhibition in Tokyo, that was just amazing. There’s inspiration everywhere, just a wild blend of the ultra modern and the traditional/ spiritual.
In another life (if you weren’t an artist) what would you be doing?
Something else hands-on, my grandfather was a carpenter, that would be nice. My other grandfather was a car mechanic for a while, that would be nice too.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Assumptions are the mother of all f**kups.