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A Day In The Life Of Heath Kane

  • 5 min read

Heath Kane is a designer and artist based in the UK who has always been interested in the subject of art overlapping design. Inspired by his design background, and his love for urban art, he creates simple, iconic and memorable art prints, always trying to distil subtle, yet subversive themes. Here, we spend a day in the life of Heath Kane, from mornings catching up on Instagram in bed to late nights in the studio. 


MY ALARM GOES OFF…

My life hasn’t been terribly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. My mornings are pretty routine – I wake typically around 6.30/7am and remain in bed for half an hour checking up on any notifications, but specifically catching up on Instagram from the day before (I try and spend less time on social media these days). Once I am up, I typically give my kids a shake and get them ready for school. By 8am I am either exercising or going for a run. By 9.30am I’m showered and ready to start the day …


HOW I STARTED LIFE AS AN ARTIST…

From an early age anything that involved art was the thing I was most passionate about. If I could have only chosen one thing to study at school it would have been art. 

My very first job - and biggest aspiration while growing up – was to become an animator. I studied quite hard to become an animator; life drawing courses, studying evenings at college, etc. Everything was going fine until I got my first job and decided it wasn’t the career path I wanted. 

The career path I chose instead was design. For the next 20 plus years I was immersed in a successful career in design - working around the world for some the largest advertising, branding and digital agencies.

I got back into art slightly by accident about 5 years ago when I moved out of London having moved to a larger house with lots of open wall space. My wife convinced me to create some artwork for our house. The rest is history …

 

MY TYPICAL DAY…

I’m sure there are a lot of people (including my family) who think I lounge around all day. The reality is I’m probably busier now than I was when I ran my own creative agency. The biggest difference is I don’t have the stress of clients breathing down my neck 24/7. 

I’m quite disciplined about how I utilise my time. My average day starts with doing emails and catching up on admin stuff. I’ll often head over to the studio (about 2 mins away from home) for the remainder of the day – either screen printing or painting depending on what I’m working on (sometimes both).

Before lockdown I would take time out for lunch or coffee – sometimes meeting up with friends. 

I’m home typically around 4/5pm where I’ll catch up with my family; cook dinner and hang out. I go back to work in the office (where I am now) and work through all the stuff that I have to do on a computer. This often results in not going to bed until midnight.


MY MOST MEMORABLE ARTISTIC MOMENT…

I’ve had a number of memorable artistic moments. This week I was approached by Penguin Books who wish to commission me to do artwork for a selection of book covers for my favourite author, George Orwell. I am really excited about that, especially being able to do the cover for a special edition of Animal Farm and 1984.

That aside, I guess one of the more memorable moments was when I first got started. It was at the time when I had the idea and artwork created for ‘Rich Enough to be Batman’, but had not yet produced it. I called around and got quotes from screen printers to help me bring it to life. The truth is when I first got started I had no interest in selling artwork, I simply wanted to create a one off piece that I could hang in my own house. So when I was calling around getting quotes I was hoping someone would help me with producing a single one off piece, and the minimum order was around 10 or 15 prints. Obviously that wasn’t the answer I wanted to hear. So I had the dilemma of having lots of unwanted prints. It was my wife who suggested I try and sell them. And that’s what I did.

So my first memorable moment was taking the ‘spare’ prints to a gallery in Covent Garden who kindly took them in. To my surprise, a week later when I came by the gallery one of my prints was framed and hanging at the front of the window. 

It was one of the moments where you have no one but yourself to share the moment with. Needless to say it was very special and memorable.

 

THE WORST PART OF BEING AN ARTIST…

Nothing really! I hate making costly mistakes, but that’s part of the process at times. I think my biggest hate at the moment is standing in long f#@*ing lines at the post office due to the current situation.


THE BEST PART OF BEING AN ARTIST…

I’m grateful for everything. I really am. It still bewilders me that people like my work.

I guess the best thing about being an artist is I don’t give a fuck! Ever since the beginning I go by the simple rule that I only create artwork to please myself. I don’t go out of my way to please anyone else, so it’s a lovely surprise when people latch on to what you create and appreciate it. 


AFTER I CLOSE MY STUDIO DOOR AT THE END OF THE DAY…

I’m a bit of a workaholic. If I’m not working on my own stuff, I’ll be working on ACE Club, which I co-founded. And if I’m not doing either of those things I’ll probably be working on something else. I guess I just like working.

But of course once in a while I like to escape hang out for friends at the pub*, watch movies … 

*I don’t drink much these days. I’ve become dull and healthy!!!


IF I WASN’T AN ARTIST, I WOULD BE...


I have a good friend who I used to work with years back who changed careers and pursued a career as a photographer. I remember just envying his lifestyle, thinking I’d love to leave the world of design (where I was previously), and pursue a career where I could travel around the world without the pressures of doing ‘business trips’.


Ironically, now that I am travelling around the world exhibiting my art and having fun, that same friend seems to now envy my lifestyle.

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