The final release of Euan Roberts' 'I'm OK' print has been highly anticipated and received overwhelmingly positive reviews and responses across social media platforms. We were lucky enough to sit down with Euan to talk about this wonderful piece.artrepublic: How have people responded to your new piece?
Euan: The response to the print ‘I’m OK – Midnight Edition’ has been hugely positive. For this edition, I teamed with my good friend and incredible screen printer Joe Vass who is a true magician and artisan when it comes to printing. We wanted to create a print that set a really high standard in terms of my work and I’m so happy with how it’s turned out. People who have seen the print in the flesh have been commenting on the depth of colour and how the water really shimmers in the light.
artrepublic: Is mental health something that’s been present in your own life?
Euan: Sure. I think that mental health is something that affects everyone and making art has definitely been a way for me to maintain my own mental wellbeing. From my first ‘I’m OK’ print I had so many people message me saying that the image had given them strength and that they could relate to the sentiment. As an artist, this is a hugely honouring and gratifying effect to have.
I guess the optimistic and playful nature of my work is my way of trying to reinforce my own inner-strength, as sort of visual mantras. For so long I worried and stressed about creating art to the point where it was virtually impossible to commit to making a picture. Now it flows so naturally and with such joy and I don’t feel so precious, I just learnt to have fun with it ☺.
I feel wider attitudes towards mental health and mental illness is gradually changing for the better. Society is becoming more sensitive to the fact that it’s ok to not feel ok and people are becoming more open to sharing their thoughts and seeing this vulnerability and openness as a signifier of great strength rather than weakness.
artrepublic: How did you feel while producing this piece?
Euan: I don’t really feel much while I’m making art. When I’m truly in the zone and have achieved a flow state. I think in our increasingly screen-led virtual existence it’s so important to do things that take us away from the constant thought/reaction process we’re used to. I think these beautiful flow states can be achieved not just through making art but cooking, running, sport, yoga, meditation etc. Find something you love doing and during which you forget everything, then try and do it and find this state as much as possible would be my advice.
artrepublic: What was the response you were aiming for?
Euan: It would be unauthentic to say I don’t aim to please people with my art. I understand that what I make might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I just want my creativity to invoke a feeling in the viewer. If my art can cause people to smile and feel happy, even if just for a second before returning them to their everyday existence, feeling little lighter, then I’ve done my job.
Euan: The original idea came to me very quickly. Last summer I was working on a number of collages on paper, each was made really quick while I was working in my garden. This piece just fell together really. I would ask my girlfriend each day after work how she was, and she would answer ‘I’m OK’ with this really distinct intonation. Almost like “Oooohhhh-Kay”. Anyway, from that initial response she would often then go to elaborate on how she was actually feeling and explain to me the various complexities of her day good or bad. I’m pretty sure that subconsciously this piece is a self-portrait. I’m from Brighton and love being by the sea, so no doubt that is the setting, however, unfortunately, I doubt you’d ever see so many stars in the sky in that part of the country. I was talking to my friend the other day and we were discussing how you never really see the full bounty of stars in the night sky unless you’re on holiday, so maybe I’m actually in a glorious warm ocean on a beautifully clear night…
artrepublic: Are there any other artists you admire?
Euan: The list is so long and continually being added to. I really admire people who make art because they have to. Those people whose evaluation of their work is from an internal source rather than external. The artist’s who will spend their last £10 on a tube of paint and stand inches away from their favourite paintings examining the surface. Art nerds like me basically!
Euan: I want to continue to create prints that can be seen as uplifting and energising. The plan is to keep putting art out there whether it's by print releases or shows. I just want my work to be seen in real life as much as possible.
Euan is releasing the standard midnight edition as well as 7 hand-finished pieces, varying in colour. Don't miss out!