AR: Hi Euan! Thank you for talking to us today. First off, how would you describe yourself as an artist?
Euan: I make art with the intention of spreading feelings of joy.
AR: Your work often opens up a commentary about political and social issues, is this something that you have always wanted to include in your work?
Euan: I don’t specifically try to make a commentary, I think it happens naturally. I want my art to represent me, my thoughts and beliefs, without being prescriptive or dogmatic.
AR: Do you like to let people know your thoughts behind your work or would you rather let people decipher it for themselves?
Euan: It’s up to the viewer. If they ask me my thoughts I’m more than happy to say. However, my intentions can be very different from what the viewer gets. That’s the beauty of art.
AR: What was your main inspiration or motivation behind your latest release with us ‘All The Time in the World (And No One to Play With)’?
Euan: From a visual perspective, I liked the image of a T-Rex holding a basketball in it’s tiny arms. The piece is about the pandemic really, as it’s so hard to escape that issue. Depending on your situation, some people were afforded a lot of time during lockdown, of course it’s very dependent on individual circumstances. So this piece is about that big stretch of time and also the loneliness and isolation that came along with it. It certainly has some hope, the dinosaur longs for connection with others and the basketball represents this desire. Basketball is a team sport I grew up playing outside in summer, so it’s actually quite nostalgic for me.
It has a surreal, absurdist quality, with a prehistoric creature holding a synthetic human made object. Because my art exists in it’s own universe, I like to think the dinosaur finds some friends to play basketball with and has the time of its life. The dinosaurs also famously died out, so during a time when the human race is facing an existential threat in the form of a virus I was drawn to these long lost beasts who once inhabited the earth.
The buoyant and shining basketball reminds us that we’re here for a good time, not a long time, so to make the most of the game while there’s still left on the clock.
AR: Do you have a set routine when you go to make a new piece or are you purely driven on bursts of inspiration when they come to you?
Euan: I just draw and make paintings. I don’t wait for inspiration to come. Someone, I forget who, says “Inspiration will find you working”, so I just get going. The more time you spend in the studio the more you tinker with paintings, mix colours and generally trick yourself into working. I find if I order lots of canvases, they’ll sit there silently taunting me, so I have to show them who’s boss and get painting.
AR: Your style has a naïve quality to it. Is this a style you’ve always worked with or has it developed over time?
Euan: My style has certainly evolved over time but I’d say the themes are pretty similar. I don’t know if it’s naive, but I want to communicate as directly as possible with my art. I often attribute it to a punk ethos. Bands have made brilliant music using simple chords, honest lyrics and heart. They don’t hide behind fancy techniques and conceptual bullshit. I’m not so keen on art that makes people feel stupid or that requires an essay to understand.
I think I’ve grown as a colourist, I didn’t have to study in a book or anything, it’s more noticing colours all the time. Colours that go together in nature or just tones that are really cranked up appeal to me. As a student I used to only work in black and white, and can’t think of anything worse now.
I’ve always wanted to say something that is simultaneously amusing, profound and nonsensical in my art. I want people to see the joy I get from making the art in the results. If I can inspire someone to pick up a paintbrush, pencil or whatever and just make something themselves, then I feel I’ve done a good job. That is far more meaningful than just selling something.
AR: Where do you see your art going in the future?
Euan: Moving pictures, clothes, ceramics, paintings, prints, books, poetry, food, experiences, workshops and definitely not NFTs.
AR: And finally, what’s your next project?
Euan: This summer I want to get there as much as possible painting some murals. We’ve all been inside far too much in the last year, so I’m excited about leaving the studio and creating some public art for everyone to enjoy.
AR: Great! Thank you so much for offering your thoughts to us.
Euan: Thank you. I think everyone should make art. So if you’re not, START NOW!
To check out Euan Roberts' collection of artworks, click here.