I was always interested in painting – even as a kid. I was one of those odd, kinda girly, kinda awkward kids that would fake sick for soccer practice but was like, enrolled in pottery classes and making Tiffany lamps at 11 years old. I mean, in the end it worked out for me but I was a private kid. I had a little playroom as a child and would just spend all day drawing and painting and playing with LEGO. I think it makes sense that as an adult, I’m basically doing the same thing. Realistically, it wasn’t until I was in high school that I had a seminal two years with a teacher who pushed me to pursue my art further. Prior to that I had always considered art as a hobby… I mean, I come from a family of academics; you just didn’t go into university for painting…the thought that I might pursue a Fine Arts degree was pretty frowned upon at first. My parents’ friends would ask me what I was taking in university and then there would be this awkward conversational limbo when I had to clarify that I was taking ‘Fine Arts’ and not ‘Finance’. Its just always been the most defining characteristic about me. I’ve often said that without art, I’m nobody. I’m a non-person. Talk about co-dependency!
2) What and whom inspires you?
3) How have you grown personally and creatively over these ten years, and how do the ten images selected for this exhibition, reflect that period?
4) ‘Black Dionysus’ is a particulary striking piece. One of your earlier pieces, and much darker than more recent works. Tell us about that work?
5) I first became acquainted with your work, when it was featured in the Harvey Nichols windows. I assumed that it was the colours that had originally caught my attention, but later I came to realise that it had in fact been the portraits eyes. Are the eyes “windows to the souls” of your subjects?
6) Your works often portray an almost savage level of raw emotion, laying bare the layers and complexity, of each subject. How do you so successfully achieve the transference of the emotional connection, that you clearly establish with your subjects?
7) Love, loss, life, pain and emotion are all words that your work conjures for the viewer. I an age where many men are now coming to grips with their mental health, do you intentionally reflect this important issue in your work?
8) You stated that often “you didn’t have faith in yourself” how did you overcome that?
9) To all those “kids from the praries” out there with pots of paint, what advice would you impart?