Tell us an interesting story that occurred during art-making.
I have a beautiful and rather nosy Maine Coon Cat called Max. He likes to get involved in everything. When I was working on a commission for a client in Malaysia, I left the canvas on the floor, partially painted. When I came back into the room, Max was sitting on it staring at me! It’s not the first time he has done this. Thankfully no damage done…a few paw prints perhaps, now hidden deep underneath the surface of the finished piece, and an immediate bath required for Max! My client is a friend who knows Max, and she found the whole thing quite amusing.
Share an experience that helped to shape your perspective as an artist.
I don’t have any traditional training as a painter. I studied Graphic Design and attended the Building and Printing College in Glasgow, where I learned the technical aspects of print production and repro. Unlike most students who took a Foundation course before joining their Degree course, I did not experience life drawing classes or work with any sort of fluid free forms of expression. My work and training was very tight and measured, targeted at the world of advertising and print production. It was only later in life, around 4 years ago that I began to paint large canvases. In 2010, I started to work on smaller pen and ink illustrations which were inspired through meditation and the use of mantras, and 2 years later I gained the confidence to tackle something on a larger scale. The immense sense of freedom I felt when painting on this scale was both liberating and addictive. So it’s been a bit of a self-evolving process for me.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from a few areas – especially nature but also through meditation and the practice of seed sounds. I have been studying the teachings of Dr Baskaran Pillai for around 6 years now. Dr Pillai teaches a programme called Phonemic Intelligence, which is all about reconditioning the mind through meditation and focusing on certain ancient sounds. Over the years I have spent time in India and visited sacred sites where many of these sounds resonate strongly with the temples and statues within them. I have two distinct, connected styles of art. I call everything Mantra Art, as I always incorporate a mantra into a piece of work as I create it.
How do you keep up with what’s happening in the art community today?
I follow social media mainly, though I tend not to be overly influenced by what is going on in the art world. For me, I believe in order to maintain my authenticity as an artist, I need to go within and not be distracted by trying to force anything in order to fit with current trends. I became an artist for the love of it, not for the commercial value – any commercial success is a byproduct of my passion.
Words of wisdom, or a favourite quote you live by?
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney
It speaks for itself. I have had a number of fresh starts in life with regards to creativity. In 2007, I published a children’s picture book, with no training in any form of creative writing. The book won an award in the US and made sales all over Singapore. I also started a jewellery collection in 2009, out of nowhere, with absolutely no training at all and currently, I have a collection on sale in Japan, with another series almost ready to go to market.
What are you currently reading, watching listening to or looking at that inspires and fuels your love for art?
I listen to a lot of teachings on Cosmology, Quantum Physics and Neurology. The gap between science and spirituality is closing and there are many remarkable scientists and teachers endorsing this fact through their work. I listen to many voices in this field of study: Joe Dispenza, Greg Braden, Leonard Horowitz, the late Wayne Dyer, the list goes on but currently I am listening to a lot of clips from Nassim Haramein.
Because they all delve deep into the concepts of geometry in nature, the universal beauty in everything and the resonance and vibrations that are held within everything – this inspires my work.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Nothing. My art is open interpretation – my art is for the viewer. We each come from our own unique perspective in life. I have had my experience in the creation of it; a very trancelike and intense experience when I paint – I am lost in the moment of creation.
What’s the best advice you can give on how to be more creative?
I believe creativity is inherent within all of us. It is not to be measured. Be yourself.
What is your dream project?
I’d love to paint something 3D on a huge scale, like a sculpture. The bigger the better, I’d love the challenge and the experience of being lost in something vast. I have painted a large fibreglass dog, it was both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time.
What is in store for 2016?
I plan to keep evolving my work in painting and illustration through my meditation practice and through the inspiration I gain in many areas of life.
I’m a jewellery designer as well as an artist and I currently have a collection on sale in Japan. I work with silver and have learned a lot about the manufacturing process over the last few years. I plan to take elements from my art and adapt them into pieces of silver jewellery, so the two will be running in parallel.
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