1 creative person, slightly matured
2 tablespoons aptitude
1 piece of aesthetic flavouring
6lbs hard work and sweat
4 ideas more than most
salt of the earth to taste
Take a creative person and stir in some aptitude, thoroughly from the start. In time, mix in the aesthetic flavouring with the most appropriate tool at hand, and then, fold into the mix as much of the hard work and sweat that the mix can take. Sprinkle in the ideas; the more the better. And finally, as all is cooking, a pinch of ‘salt of the earth’ to give it the necessary character. Leave to cook over time and serve when required. Tasty treat in a tasteless world.
1) Tell us a little about yourself, and your calling as a creative?
My name is Rob Snow. I have been an illustrator/graphic designer for some 15 years now, and before that I was working in the fields of education and animation. Even though I still work in the education field, my main concern is illustration, both commercial and my own projects. Unlike the common misbelief; “That I know nothing.” I have been drawing with pencil for over 45 years. Much of my design and creative effort is focused around using the pencil, and only recently have I combined the techniques of digital art with my traditional skills. Drawing the image in pencil and then scanning and painting in Photoshop. Mainly, due to time constraints as well, I have learnt to digitally paint with a new more immediate style and pace. However, out of all of this, my main passion is to create new ideas, and fresh ways to show these ideas off, using the skills I have.
2) Discuss your process and where you get your inspiration from?
As stated before, my art is based on two techniques. Those of traditional pencil work and then later digital painting. Even though sometimes I render the entire finished image in the computer, I still do all the preparatory work via pencil. I like the way it feels, smells and works on paper. I have progressively worked to improve my digital skills, mainly as I have a limited space to work in, and time constraints on a busy life are pretty demanding. So I find working on computer, can speed this up.
3) Describe your workspace? What is the one thing there you can’t live without?
My workspace can be described on the back of a stamp, because that is how big it is. As it is at present I work wherever I can. I have a small flat here in Greece, so have set up a desk at the end of my bed, with my computer and digital set-up there. In the living room I have a drawing set-up that can be stored if people visit, and in the summer I spend mornings on the balcony. Drawing in the quiet before the day begins. Most of my thinking happens spontaneously. Sometimes on the bus, sometimes while sleeping, sometime when walking the dog.
4) Tell us what you do to get creative? Stay creative?
I have said this before. I really don’t find it hard to be creative. I am lucky enough to find a mind able to see things in much of the normality around me. I also read in researching my passion for lateral thinking, that Einstein used to take naps to get inspiration. So I sometimes have 20 minutes lying on the sofa to see what pops in. Saying that however, rain on a bus window, shapes in clouds, even patterns on the floor can all turn into ideas if you look at them in a certain way. I try to keep an open mind when looking for that angle. I wish I could say some hallucinogen, but life and passion for doing something i love is a great drug in itself, so as I will reiterate, life is the thing that keeps me creative.
5) When did you decide you wanted to be an artist? And has the internet become a good or bad aspect to life as an artist?
I don’t think it’s something that is decided. I remember at school I had a great passion for being a forestry worker, but the career officer quashed that. Then I remember seeing Star Wars. That kind of made a great impact in my look at my future. I tried to join the art class, and after a series of struggles made a mark, and stuck with it.
When I was younger the internet was not even a spark of an idea for popular use. Computers were like 32k of memory and could do command line operations, etc. I also remember using the first Photoshop. None of which at the time (in hindsight) was big enough to take me away from my biggest passion in art; the pencil. The internet now is a double edge sword. It has a great deal of good aspect (bigger market audience, technology, etc), but also has the dark side of counterfeiters and abuse.
6) What do you like most about the art world?
The passion! Even looking at art that pulls that passion from your soul is great to experience. I have seen some of the great works while in London, and even remember taking my daughter to see Goya’s etchings. They couldn’t drag me away. That is the great part of art. Modern technology tends to destroy that aspect of being able to look at an image for hours and never get distracted. Falling in love with brush lines, colours and the sense of feeling to which the artist was trying to portray in the line.
7) What do you dislike about the world of art?
Hahaha! Now that would be a little too critical if i was specific. I really hate how the general public is given a face of art that is either untouchable by the cost or seen as being a free entity, due to the market values. I dislike pretentious artists who have no skill and claim to be driven through emotion more than technique.
8) What is the toughest thing about being an artist?
It tends to be the moments after waking, when you enjoy that rush from the sheer joy of being creative, when you realise that you have to approach the rest of the world and convince them of something; it’s meaning, value or your role in having to make a living. There are countless stories of artistic struggles, so I wouldn’t like to feel I would be able to step outside of that path, so it’s a case of embracing it and using it creatively.
9) You have been given a room in a house to paint! Each wall has to be a different colour! Which colours do you choose and why?
A four sided room without feng shui influence, hum!
I guess the wall will be sun yellow to take on board the values of mother natures glory. The south wall should be some dark tone, maybe Royal blue to represent the deepness of night and the depths in shadow. East would be red and west would be white. Why? Blood and light I guess.
10) You are being sent to a desert island and are told you can decorate your hut with 5 famous paintings. Which do you choose and why?
Finding myself on a desert island would probably be paradise in itself, but if i had the option to arrive with art I loved, then I thin it would have to be stuff I could look at all day, everyday and never get lost. I really loved looking at ‘The Potato Eaters’ by Van Gogh. It seems to have so many depths to the light, faces, and colour. Then I think I would have to take a Constable. One of his wild storm images. Maybe some of Degas’ ballet sketches, and a Fransisco Goya…not sure if it would be an etching of his “Sleep of Reason” or the “Dog in the House of the Deaf Man”. Finally, I think it would be funny to have a Pollock on a wall, just to keep from going insane!
11) You are asked to draw an image of your favourite animal as the next painting. Which animal do you choose and why?
I would have to choose a dog. I have a dog I love greatly at present, and I don’t know what it is, but when i look at them I see so much love, intelligence, compassion and humility in them. I have never seen a ugly dog, bad dog or dog that didn’t deserve my attention. Two aspects of my life that have made me an animal person has been having a father who worked on a farm, and recently turning vegetarian. A great contradiction, but an eye opener in the sense I see the worth of all animals. But dogs are something else.
12) You’ve been asked to hold a dinner party for famous painters. Which 4 would you invite? What would b on the menu?
I think one would most certainly be Van Gogh, the second maybe Rothko, then away from art (as paintings) I could enjoy having Stravinsky and Kafka over for dinner. Wow, the menu would be something odd. I would have to convince them now that vegetarian is good, so I would need to create a piece of colour, texture and great flavour.
13) What’s your message to the World?
My message to the human world; is “Wake up!” My message to the Mother Earth world is “keep fighting!”
14) Which is your favourite POD, and why?
I have to say that Juniqe is my favourite at present. I have opted out of so many due to poor sales and bad attitude to artist’s needs. Juniqe seems more personal and has a curating status I like. I feel like an artist there instead of part of some big Zazzle spin-off. I don’t need to work hard at promotion and the sales are better than the rest put together.
It’s hard to be a propagandist in the art world. But, it needs to be shout all to often that we are being ripped off by those who can control the market, the way artist’s are seen and used, and also due to the terrible aspects of the copyright laws that never seem good enough to protect us creatives in this modern age. We all need to work together, to make things better!