When did you start drawing? How has it developed?
Ever since I remember I have always drawn, when I was a kid I used to get in from school sit down and just draw nonstop. I suppose it progressed in to painting, in particular with oils. The past few years I have not been so prolific because I have focused a lot of attention on the music, but this year I’m looking to focus on producing more artworks. Particularly with the success of the LAVA exhibition I feel like I have an opportunity to really push the art again.
You’re well known for your portraits of Deep Medi artists – how do you go about drawing them?
Usually Mala or Kris from Deep Medi will send me through a photograph of the artist, I always ask for a good well lit frontal photograph. It helps massively if I have met the artist but obviously with international signings thats not always possible. I start off sketching the features and try and get the eyes right I feel if I can crack the eyes everything falls in to place. After I have a sketch that I’m happy with I’ll close the sketch book and leave it for a few hours maybe a day or two. I think this distance from the subject whether it be a beat or a portrait allows me to gain a good sense of how effective it is. If I’m happy with it I trace the image with acetate and a pen and then scan it on to the computer. After that it gets sent off to Mala and the artist, only when everyone is happy with it does it get Okayed.
Do you have a favourite Deep Medi head?
I was really pleased with the Geiom and VIVEK heads, but also the Poax, Quest and Goth Trad ones have to be up there. It’s always great when you get positive feedback from the artists and that kind of makes them favourites for me also.
Has anyone been particularly difficult to draw?
Yes, I spent ages on Miss Beatz. I really struggled with her also my first release on Medi I had to do a self portrait. I really found that a bit of a challenge and I’m still really not happy with it! But on my latest Medi release I had the opportunity to rectify it and drew a brand new portrait which I am more pleased with.
Do you draw other subjects or does most of your work centre around portraits?
I do a lot of portraits – I especially enjoy painting and drawing women, there is something satisfying in achieving a likeness or hopefully something less tangible but intrinsic about the subject. But I also like to paint psychological dramas with elements of magical realism. I’m starting a new project at the moment encapsulating the music more, its such a big part of my life at the moment it feels only natural to use it as subject matter.
Which visual artists do you look to or reference?
I’m not very cool with my taste, I’m a bit conservative with my art to be honest. I like old masters like Titian and Hans Holbein, also I’m a big fan of William Blake, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. More “recent” artists I like are Gauguin, Stanley Spencer and Paula Rego. I like art with vision and obsession.