When I saw the news that a Jeff Koons sculpture of an inflatable rabbit had sold at auction for $91 million, it got me thinking about what a colossal sum of money that is… and I wondered if a sell a drawing of it for $91 (approximately £71 at time of drawing). If my maths serve me right, that’s 0.0001% of the sculpture’s price… and I bet I spent longer making this drawing than Jeff Koons did making the sculpture…
Whilst exploring my futurist aesthetic a little more, and using sketches from Santorini and Cornwall, I found that I had put together a small collection of seascapes.
I finished 'Causeway' last year and it is one of my favourite paintings to date (in fact, I may not be able to part with it!).
'Caldera' is taken from one of sketches for the Santorini series, that I saved with the intention of making a painting from it one day.
'Harbour' and 'Cove' are both expansions of 'Causeway' based on sketches from Cornwall.
I recently spent a day destroying old paintings… a very satisfying day actually. There were a few reasons for this… I was just feeling in a particularly destructive mood so that it satisfied that need. I needed more room in the studio to make new work. I needed more ‘canvas’ (wood) to make new work on. And, finally, I just wasn’t happy with a series of paintings, some of which were finished, but most were unfinished. They just weren’t working for whatever reason. They were all abstract works, but based on sketches of everyday life over past couple of years. Some of these were similar in style to finished paintings that I am very happy with (and have actually sold!), but these were not working… at least, not as paintings. My thinking now, is that maybe these ideas would translate better as drawings. In a similar way to how comic books and graphic novels tell a story, these sketches are of everyday life and therefore, tell a story, so yeah… drawings. I’ll put it on the “to-do” list with all the other ideas…
You may, or may not, have noticed that I have been adding more of my artwork to the shop section of the website. In the past, I have mostly used third party websites to sell through, but as these websites change, so do the terms and conditions and the way they work in general. It seems like they’re relying more and more on the artists to bring the traffic to them and I think if I’m going to be responsible for that, I might as well just use my own website!
At the moment, I’ve started with the drawings and some of the more recent series paintings, but I’ll be adding everything over the coming weeks, and (more likely) months!
I’ve been very quiet on here, social media and pretty much everywhere lately. It’s difficult to know what to share when I’m not doing anything creative… Basically, since around September last year, all I’ve done is prepare for Christmas with Yeomans Car Art, print and post orders over Christmas, and now I’m in the middle of switching over my Yeomans Car Art website, which involves a lot of mind-numbing spreadsheet tapping and image uploading; none of this is really “instagram-ready”. So, as I say, it’s difficult to know what to share. The only creative work I’ve done during this time, has been commissions and often these are purchased as gifts so difficult to share images of these too.
The whole thing is rather frustrating, so last night I forced a pencil into my hand for the first time in an age and drew a portrait of my son.
It’s an ok drawing of a little boy… it’s not really my little boy though! Oh well… more practice needed.
So far this year, I’ve been spending a bit of time on some new car illustrations... With my car caricatures, it’s always been my take on an existing style and I tend to focus on what cars might sell, or what cars people ask me to do. I very rarely just draw a car because I want to.
With that in mind, I wanted to take a more personal approach with a new series of car art. The basic idea is to create my dream garage in drawing form... it’s very unlikely I’ll ever be able to create it in real life! That doesn’t mean to say it will all be exotic supercars! There will definitely be some affordable classics in there, and probably some that will seem out of place in a dream garage. I quite often will see a random car on eBay and think of what I might do with it, if it was mine (and money was no object!), so hopefully, I’ll add a few of those too.
As well as some customised classics (like the VW Van below), I might also create some of my own designs... that’s the wonderful thing about drawing... the only barrier is the imagination!
These Roadside Icons illustrations are available as prints from www.YeomansCarArt.co.uk
Creation of new paintings has been pretty sporadic of late, and not really with an overarching theme, but I still want to feature some of this work on my website, so I've created a gallery that includes them.
I'm exploring the abstract side of my work more and using the futurist style that was born from both the 'Rain' and 'Santorini' series. I've been reworking some of my previous paintings in this style, just to see how the different approach works with the same subjects; and with 'The Girl', I was playing with how little of a famous painting I can use whilst still being able to recognise it.
As well as reworking, I've also been creating new works inspired by some of my own design sketches and from existing architecture.
I feel that I am getting somewhere with this latest work and that it might the first steps in bringing everything together. At the same time, I'm trying not to think about a 'grand plan' too much and instead... just do it... I'm definitely guilty of overthinking what goes where and why I'm doing certain things, whether it fits in with that work... should I keep that separate?... should I leave that until I've finished this?... Basically, trying to edit and organise work before I've even created it. I think I should take a more "concept design" approach to my work... get all the ideas down first... work out what it means later.
If anyone is wondering why some of my VW's have gone from Redbubble... Volkswagen have become the latest company to have my artwork taken down.
There's still 11,000 other works on there with VW's on, but not mine.
Other companies that have done the same are... BMW and Mini, Ferrari, Honda, Jaguar, JCB, Lamborghini, Land Rover and Red Bull.
I believe the intention of Intellectual Property laws were to protect creativity, however, increasingly, big companies seem intent on using these laws to punish creativity. The same creativity that many of them will use in some way to promote and further their businesses.
I don't believe that anybody buys any of my artwork thinking they are getting official merchandise and I have never suggested that it is. I also don't believe that it does any harm to their brand image, if anything, having artists and illustrators from around the world creating artwork inspired by their products creates a culture, lifestyle and community which only enhances that brand.
Big companies will never stop this creativity and, in my opinion, they would only be hurting themselves if they did.
I have just finished around 15 new car sketches which i have been framing up, ready for sale on Artfinder.
Artfinder have now introduced a minimum price of £20 for artworks sold on the site, so I have had to change the pricing... before they were £10 each + £8 shipping... Now, each frame is priced at £20 and UK shipping is included in that.
I'll be adding them to Artfinder over the coming days... so keep checking back!
Hope you like them!
This work has been around in the form of various sketches for some time now, so I was pleased to finally get around to finalising the idea and beginning the painting. Although the title of the painting was inspired by a poem, the subject was originally inspired by a Linkin Park song called 'Bleed It Out' and so the news of Chester Bennington's death whilst I was creating the painting, made it all the more poignant.
I have created 26 Bert illustrations, one for each letter of the alphabet, showing Bert in various situations. Originally, I made this as an ebook through Amazon, but now they have print on demand service to allow you to sell physical copies as well. So, I set it all up and as soon as it was published, I ordered one and less than 24 hours later I had it in my hand... incredible!
So, if you fancy a copy for yourself, they are Available from Amazon now
I hope to make some individual art prints available for each illustration soon as well... so watch this space!
The simplest thing to say, is that I just love the way it looks with all its texture and randomness. I also like the idea that it is both natural and man made; and that fact is very visible when you look at it. You can see the wood grain and yet, they're not quite right because they're all chopped up.
Mostly when you see OSB used in interiors, it's left bare, but I've seen examples where it is painted in a satin black and it can change an industrial material into something more luxurious. The idea of using inexpensive materials in interesting ways and making the design add more value than the cost of materials is something that has appealed to me since my final year Transport Design degree project (and is also the reason I love 'The House That £100k Built" TV show!)
The versatility of OSB as a building material makes it perfect for exploring in this way, and is why I used it in all my projects in The Great Interior Design Challenge. I hoped to be able to show the possibilities of using one inexpensive material in different ways and finishes; maybe help people think a little more about what can be done with a little creativity. Unfortunately, I ended up with 3 bedrooms out of the 5 rooms... and all wanted large statement headboards, so I didn't show much variety!
Having said that, with the exception of the Bristol bedroom, I don't think the OSB shouted in your face when you entered the rooms; its use was mostly subtle and could easily have been missed unless told beforehand. In that respect, I think I achieved what I wanted to, but I could have done more, and in the future I hope to experiment a lot more with this wonderful material!
I got a lot of stick on social media for attempting to reupholster this chair, including some quite strong words from an upholstery company! (if they feel that threatened by somebody trying it for the first time, they should probably question their own skills!)
In the brief for the study in Aberaeron, it was mentioned that that liked the chair but it needed reupholstering. So, as far as I was concerned, my choices were to ignore the chair or have a go at it myself. Yes... getting a professional would be an option also, and let's face it, the best option, but are they going to be able to do it in 24 hours, at short notice, at a price that's suitable for a total room budget of £1000... I very much doubt it.
I had "reupholstered" an Ikea sofa before, but that was a simple job involved a staple gun and very little skill... I knew this would be a very different ball game. I did some research beforehand by watching a few videos by professional upholsterers on YouTube (yes... YouTube... lots of people have learnt many useful skills on YouTube... may I direct you to Javelin World Champion, Julius Yego).
My initial plan was to save time by covering what was already there rather than stripping it, but the first thing I did was start stripping the old material off!... Fool! Anyway, it ended up taking a lot more time than I had hoped, but I was pleased with the final results and it certainly looked better than it did before... even if I did make a rookie mistake by not ironing the material first!
The homeowner told me that he had been quoted over £300 to have it done in the past... that certainly wasn't possible within my budget. So, if you have an old chair sitting around and can't afford to get it done professionally, why not have a go yourself? What's the worst that can happen?... It might not be very good and need reupholstering... well, it did anyway, so you haven't lost anything, apart from your time and a bit of fabric!
NB... I'm not for one minute suggesting that professional upholsterers are a waste of money and you can do a better job yourself... of course you can't!... but what I am saying is, if you can't afford that service, what's the harm in having a go!
2 rooms, £2000, same timescale. So with only a couple of days break from the first round and a lot of my own work to catch up on; I was really up against it!
This time I had a bedroom and a study. Both rooms seemed twice as difficult as the first round, so it seemed like four times the task. Being a Georgian property, I decided to choose my paint colours from Craig and Rose's range of period colours. This proved to be a good decision as it narrowed and meant I was able to make a quick decision and that the colours would be sympathetic to the building.
The brief for the study was light room to escape with a gentle nod to nautical (but not over the top) with colours to be taken from the existing curtains. Incorporating a place display Dai's collection of postcards and collectibles. They also had an old chair that needed reupholstering. I found it difficult to know exactly what was needed from this room without being able to speak to the homeowners about their specific needs; this was definitely one of the main difficulties of the Great Interior Design Challenge!
The brief for the bedroom was light and calm, a relaxing sanctuary. Keywords were elegant, traditional, functional and quirky. I spent a lot of time trying to change the layout to move the bulky furniture away from the windows to let more light into the room.
Having had probably less than 5 hours sleep in the 2 days before leaving for Aberaeron, I was not in the best of shapes but was excited to get going (and to see the Welsh coast!).
Although I knew what needed to be done, for whatever reason, I hadn't actually come up with a plan of how to do it! This obviously wasn't ideal when I have a team of 4 people who need to know what they're doing. I knew the study would need to be finished first as there was a lot of furniture to be painted for the bedroom.
My first job was reupholstering the chair; a job that I had hoped would be finished by the end of the first day... it wasn't... more on this in another post! The delay in getting the chair finished put a strain on the timings and with less than half an hour to go, an Ikea cabinet still needed to be built. At the time I felt like the room needed to be cleared first and the unit would only take a couple of minutes to put up. A stupid mistake that meant a missed deadline... gutted... I was pretty sure I'd blown it but was determined to get the bedroom finished in time!
After another night with hardly any sleep and feeling rough having been sick... a few times!... it was back to work. With half an hour to go, the bedroom was a state and I have no idea how we managed to pull it together, but we did and it was finished with minutes to spare. I was so relieved to finish the room that I thought I was gonna lose it on camera... managed to sneak away and have a little tears moment off camera!
Then after my filming was finished, I caught up with some sleep on a park bench... no, really I laid down on a bench and woke up about an hour later!
I didn't get through and I wasn't surprised but with the positive comments I received, part of me thought what if?
The homeowners, Dai and Lynne, were great and seeing how happy they were with the bedroom made the week much more bearable but I am still gutted they didn't get the experience of walking in and seeing the study complete. My team were also great and gave me some good advice on how to improve project management in future.
I was very much ready to go home by the end of the week... not to be leaving the competition but it had been a very tough week.
What I would do differently...
Have a plan of action!
Have the Ikea cabinet built outside the room, ready to be brought in when everything else was finished.
Thought a little more about the styling of the study (including a larger cork board... the one I used was tiny in the room... looked a bit silly!)
What I learned...
I need to be a project manager and plan everything. A to-do list on its own isn't enough.
I got good feedback from the judges and I must be a good designer... I just need to believe it.
Don't eat a sausage roll that's been sitting on the side in a hot kitchen all day!
The secret is out!... I've only been on the telly box.
Having been a fan of the previous series of the Great Interior Design Challenge, and sat at home thinking, "I could do that!". I had to apply when I saw the opportunity. Although the filled in application form sat on the side of my desk for a month whilst I doubted myself. In the end, I thought "Why the hell not?!" and sent it off with only a few days to spare. Before I knew it, a small film crew were at the house and I was chosen as one of the 9 designers. Out of thousands. I couldn't believe it.
7 days to design, £1000 to spend and 48 hours to complete... it's much harder than it seems.
My first brief... Global Hotel Chic... not really my style, so it was a bit concerning but after a little research I had a good idea of what I wanted to achieve.
One of the first difficulties I came across was how much "stuff" there is... seriously, there is so much "stuff" to choose from... where do you start? Well, in this case, you start with what you can actually get delivered in a few days, which does narrow your choices down a fair bit!
Anyway, after a week of work, I'm in London with mood boards in hand, ready to brief. Very nervous, but raring to go. I was pleased with how the briefing went, Dani, the homeowner, was very decisive and that was great.
One area of difficulty was the wardrobe doors... I think I may have confused the issue by making it seem like the new doors would be attached to the originals. Although not a fan of the original doors, I certainly wouldn't want to do anything to damage them and intended on keeping them as they were, but just hiding them. It's not necessarily the most practical of solutions, but with it being a guest room, I felt the compromise was worth it to have a cleaner look at that end of the room (having now seen the show, I'm not sure whether Dani would agree with that).
The headboard was a compromise to my original design that I was happy to make. I was originally torn between the idea of a decorative wooden headboard and the draped fabric anyway. In an ideal world I would have loved to put a large carved wood feature headboard in, but neither budget nor time would allow that in this case.
I was very happy with the result of this room. It had a very calming feel to it and I think I delivered on the brief... I also feel that I managed to get a bit of me into it, without it taking over the design.
What I would do differently...
I would have made my artwork a little calmer (I think the urgency of the situation came through a bit too much!), maybe darker with a little more gold and less pink.
Paint the inside of the wardrobe doors!... rookie mistake. (Although I'm sure many people would want me to not do the doors at all, they redefined that end wall and without that, it may have just been a bit of redecoration)
What I learned...
To check whether doors opening catch on rugs... although it was noticed before I finished, there wasn't enough time to change it before the end...a bit of forward planning could prevented that!
That I really enjoy doing this! (And more surprisingly, I really enjoy doing the TV bits!)
Unfortunately, project management issues were definitely evident here, but I hadn't noticed yet... hindsight is a wonderful thing!
I visited Santorini in 2014, and shortly after I wrote a blog post about how the trip might influence my art. Here's an excerpt...
"Santorini offers something different to think about. Pretty much everywhere you go; you get a stunning view of the caldera, or a view of white buildings clinging to the black cliffs. There are a lot of art galleries in Santorini, although most are souvenir shops full of mass produced pictures, and this is where the difficulty comes with creating art based on places. It’s all too easy to end up with a quaint picture of how pretty the place is. I don’t really see the point in such paintings... in my opinion a photograph can capture that much better. Despite this, I did feel quite inspired after my trip... from many angles the island had a limited colour palette (shades of white and blue). The architecture, although traditional, was almost modernist and reminded me of the suprematist abstracts that I’ve been interested in of late. The challenge for me will be to see if I can capture these inspirations and depict Santorini without creating pretty souvenir pictures."
It took me a while to get around to creating the work because I wasn’t quite sure how to execute it; but my recent futurist abstract rain works inspired me to take a similar approach with a series of Santorini works. I’m pretty pleased with how they’ve turned out and hopefully I have managed to avoid making them too “souvenir style”. As always, they’ve made me think about other work I could produce in the future, particularly ways in which I can move forward with my landscape paintings.
Followers of my Facebook page will have noticed that I’ve been working on a few new rain works. The rain series is coming very naturally to me and I’m very much enjoying the playful aspect of creating the abstract works. Every new piece I create is giving me more ideas about how I can move forward with the series, as well as ideas for other work. These latest works, inspired by futurism and suprematism, have led me to other aspects of the Futurist movement that I could experiment with; especially architecture. The idea of worldbuilding has intrigued me since Minority Report piqued my interest in the idea, and it further developed with various projects I explored at university. The desire to envision what the future could look like is something I can relate to with the Futurists, (although I certainly don’t share their appetite to dismiss everything from the past!). And whilst designing the future of this world is what mostly interests me, the idea of creating new worlds entirely is also an intriguing prospect.
The ‘Rain’ series started with the influence of graphic novels, and their stylised method of storytelling, so I find it interesting and exciting that these latest abstract studies could take me “full circle” and inspire stories.
I’ve just returned from Santorini in Greece. It’s a beautiful island and quite possibly the brightest place I have ever been... it physically hurt my eyes to not wear sunglasses! But, is it possible to translate this beauty into art, and would I even want to?
Ever since my first trip to St Ives in Cornwall, I’ve tried to think about how a place can inspire my art. I like the idea of using my travels to influence some of my artwork, (although it can take me a while to get around to it... I’m still working on my New York series 2 years after visiting!).
Santorini offers something different to think about. Pretty much everywhere you go; you get a stunning view of the caldera, or a view of white buildings clinging to the black cliffs. There are a lot of art galleries in Santorini, although most are souvenir shops full of mass produced pictures, and this is where the difficulty comes with creating art based on places. It’s all too easy to end up with a quaint picture of how pretty the place is. I don’t really see the point in such paintings... in my opinion a photograph can capture that much better. Despite this, I did feel quite inspired after my trip... from many angles the island had a limited colour palette (shades of white and blue). The architecture, although traditional, was almost modernist and reminded me of the suprematist abstracts that I’ve been interested in of late. The challenge for me will be to see if I can capture these inspirations and depict Santorini without creating pretty souvenir pictures.