Briefly describe the work you do.
I am currently exploring the ephemeral nature of thought and how that translates to creating the worlds that we perceive and relate to through the medium of painting. The concept of translating the ephemeral nature of thought to a visual form, where the spoken words are silenced and the art imagery is tuned into the invisible forms of engagement, where emotions are aroused and intuition is channeled. Where the conventional forms of communication are suspended in favor of the unspoken through the seen. All works are open to the personal perceptions of the viewer for each is impacted through their own processes of personal and impersonal thought.
Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.
As early as I can remember I was always creating whether that was drawing, painting, making clothes, doing embroidery, making my own gift-wrap and cards. And I was lucky enough to be around parents who fostered that need without curtailing it. The desire to create has always been there and never left and really I do not recognise it as something other than an integral part of who I am. It has never been something I am able to leave alone and not engage in and I can’t honestly say it has ever felt like a choice, it has always felt more like an inevitable need, like taking a breath.
The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I love being in my studio and view it as a place where I can partake in creating that which resides in my minds eye. It is the place I get to experiment and try out new ideas and go through the cyclical process of trying to solve the many problems that arise when creating a piece of art. I can have music playing in the background or be listening to a podcast and am relatively undisturbed whilst there. I may sketch a little outside of the studio but the vast majority of my work is conceived and completed there.
What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
There are so many hidden roles that come to the surface once you begin. You need to be the artist creating new ideas and executing them, problem solving, marketing them and yourself through social media and pitching to blogs, magazines and galleries. You have to be a bookkeeper and keep on top of expenses and inventory. Ordering materials and scheduling imagined and actual deadlines. Forecasting what the time ahead may require.
When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?
I predominantly spend the first half of the week, so Monday to Wednesday painting. I am definitely more of a day person than a night owl. The rest of the week is spent on editing images, posting work, responding to emails and sending submissions. The weekend is spent ruminating over new ideas and sketching out what future projects could be. I
How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?
It has changed quite a lot. Five years ago, I was also working in schools as a creative practitioner incorporating art into the curriculum. I also created carnival costumes. I felt more that I was in a creative field but not necessarily doing that which I most wanted to do. Now I am painting full time and that has been true for the past year and a half and so my work has progressed in a different way because of the time I have lent to it. Previously my work was tight and on a smaller scale using pen and ink and the computer. Now it is on a larger scale and I am using paint, pastels and ink.
How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?
My family and friends have always been accepting of the work I do and are supportive of it. I am a prolific reader and am hugely inspired and influenced by many of the books I read and a lot of them are related to areas of the mind and the duality of a material and spiritual world. I collect quotes from philosophers and authors and they can be the starting points for new works. I am also very grateful for the communication that is enabled through social media and blogs as a way to connect with other artists and creative and share our experiences. And of course I have artists both new and old that are inspirational such as Lucian Freud, Lola Donoghue, Maria Kalman and Mark Rothko to name a few.
Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests?
There has never in my mind been anything that I wanted to do other than be an artist and in one way or another that has always been something I was and still am pursuing. I have done other work but always with art somewhere in the picture.
I am a self – taught artist working under the name of Illustrating Rain. I graduated with a BA in Sociology & Black and S.Asian Studies. I have worked as a creative practitioner within schools, created carnival costumes, and was the visual artist for the book titled “The Future We Choose”. I have previously exhibited works throughout London and have had numerous features in online and magazine publications. Currently living and working in the East of England.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.