In his Reith lectures Grayson Perry called artists “Pilgrims on the Road to Meaning”. At New Blood Art we wanted to gain insight into our artists personal roads to meaning so we asked them 3 questions.
The moment when you are at a party (for example) and someone asks: ‘What do you do?’ You say, ‘I’m an artist.’ Can you remember when that moment first happened for you and tell us about it?
When it comes to the “big question”, I never use the word “artist” or, if I do, I usually grin and say “I’m an insane artist”… I mean, what’s an “artist” in people’s imagery? Someone who goes around with a basque on his head and holes in his shoes, or someone who sticks chairs to a ceiling claiming that’s a work of art against poverty.
No, please, I’m not part of it, so I rather be self-ironic, even when talking with colleagues, because the institutionalised conception of today’s “art” and “artist” is something I really loathe.
If one looks around, what he sees is a cacophony of people trying to follow the trend of the moment and copying each other, with no depth, no knowledge of the craft, the “metier”, and of the Masters; what they do is just being plain as the bacon on your plate… but I’m digressing.
Do you have any rituals or routines to help the creative process?
Definitely. I wake up early in the morning, and after the usual shower/breakfast/coffee routine I always do the same thing: put on some music, and start reading a book or browse through art books and catalogues of artists I like.
This works both as a motivation and an energy bomb to me, and ideas and images begin to emerge. Sometimes, If i like something, I quickly fix them on my sketchbook; but most of the times I just let them go and start working on what is on the table at the moment.
What was the best piece of advice you were given?
Once I was complaining with a fellow artist, one that I really admire and whose friendship makes me very proud, about not being able to work every day, not being always inspired or even in the mood to create. The advice he gave to me will stick to my soul forever; he said: “Just think about plants and trees; they do not give flowers or fruits every day, some of them do it barely once a year. But this does not mean that those flowers aren’t beautiful and those fruits tasteful”. Simple and effective.