Author: Alicia Muir

Q&A with R-W Studio

R-W Studio, founded by Richard Wellend, explores music through image-making. Upon the release of his latest exclusive print 'Starman, Sprayed Star', we sat down with the artist to learn more about this brilliant Bowie-inspired print, as well as his creative practice and experience of collaborating with musicians. 

 Q&A with R-W Studio | Image

AR: When did you first start creating art?

I’ve always been interested in art in some form or another so don’t remember a specific time as such, and like most people from an early age, spent hours drawing or generally doodling to whatever was in my head at the time but never considered it any more than that. It was only when I went to secondary school that I focused on art classes and various other art-related lessons like ceramics and other mediums etc.

AR: Has music always been an important part of your life?

It has a big influence on me personally, in all aspects of creating self-initiated art or commissions, and in general sets the mood for whatever I‘m working on at the time and definitely helps the whole thought process.

Q&A with R-W Studio | Image
Rebel Rebel by R-W Studio
Q&A with R-W Studio | Image

AR: Do you have a favourite genre of music?

Not really as such, it really depends what I’m trying to achieve or the end goal I need to get to that I may play certain genres to get in that particular head space. There's no doubt that listening to a particular genre can definitely set the tone or influence what I’m doing.

AR: What is it like collaborating with musicians?

It’s great but it’s a privilege I don’t take for granted. It gives me a chance to ask questions directly about what and how they’ve created and what journey they’ve been on to get to a particular point or the idea behind it all. It's all very influential and ideally needed to get to the finished product.

Q&A with R-W Studio | Image
Starman 02 by R-W Studio

Q&A with R-W Studio | Image

AR: What is your artistic process?

Whether creating commissioned work or self-initiated it's usually the same. I make notes of key points to what I’m aiming to achieve in an image or design as it's easy to go down certain rabbit holes which can take you in a totally different direction than what's needed, so referring back notes usually keeps things on track. I then sketch out a rough layout or outline for composition purposes way before I jump on a computer, and depending on the subject matter, sometimes create the art physically - it all quite variable on the brief.

Q&A with R-W Studio | Image
Starman/Sprayed Star by R-W Studio
Q&A with R-W Studio | Image

AR: Can you tell us about your latest release, ‘Starman/ Sprayed Star’?

Bowie is one of those musicians who stood the test of time and pretty much did it all but also kept his artistic integrity. With ‘Starman / Sprayed Star’, the star motif was designed to symbolise Bowie, something that automatically reverted back to him but I also wanted to create a multi-coloured and layered image which reflected the different personas he created but with the motif still recognisable within it.

Q&A with R-W Studio | Image
Ziggy Stardust by R-W Studio
Q&A with R-W Studio | Image

AR: What inspired it and how did you make it?

Like all great musicians, he pushed certain boundaries and I admired that aspect but also didn’t ideally want to create an image with him physically in it, more to convey his multifaceted characters he created. I made various-sized stencils and thought a sprayed approach would have a more random finish and unfinished feel; these were then overlaid to get the desired colour combination.

AR: What can we expect from you in the future?

I recently did a couple of MLK collages as giclee prints that I aim to create sometime soon on oversized large linen canvases as screen prints along with possibly other music-related items but as my main work as a creative director takes up a large percentage of my time its tricky finding time to set aside and fit it all in.

Are you a music fan? Check our R-W Studio's full collection page to keep up to date with his latest releases and get your hands on this dazzling new print. 

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