‘Balance’ Feb, 2018
Focus LDN is a London based platform, specialising in interdisciplinary arts events around the capital. This includes exhibitions, an online shop and gallery as well as art classes and specialist talks.
Founder Tom Cox approached me at this years Urban Art Fair, and asked if I’d like to be one of 20 artists chosen for his next exhibition in October called ‘The Londoner’s Compass’ at the prestigious Strand Gallery in central London.
We arranged a meet up, where he asked me a few questions about me and my work, and it reads like this….
Your work contains technological motifs within the human figure. Is there a broader significance to this? A comment on society perhaps?
I use technology and machinery in my work, not only to contrast the human figure, but to highlight the ever increasing use of machines in our lives. I’m also fascinated as to where our technology might end up, with new break throughs on the horizon…
Did you go to art school?
No, I only studied up to A-level at a technological school. I was encouraged to pursue art as a degree, but for some reason I decided not to.
Are you happy to have progressed in the way you did, without being changed by someone else’s opinions?
Definitely, though I feel like if you don’t have a degree in arts or a strong foundation like that you can be left out of a lot of situations, especially when it comes to selling work. People are looking for post-graduates, and people who have studied, so that has been tough as a self-taught artist.
When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?
It’s something I’ve always done since I was very young like 5 or 6, after my A-level experience I didn’t pick a pen or pencil for something like 15 years. It’s only recently, probably the last 2 years that I have decided to have a proper go at it.
Tell us about your work as an event designer.
It’s not my main earner; it’s something I have been trying to get into on a freelance basis for about a year. I’ve been running both my artistic design along with the corporate events design at the same time. My professional background has been in live events, either as a technician, or later, in some design work. It made sense, as I wanted to do 3D design, to go into an industry that I know and have a background in.
Are you full time now?
Not quite, I’m nearly there, in terms of revenue its very tough to make a full time living out of art. If I was to do an exhibition every month then yes it could be possible, but certainly not yet.
Which artist’s work do you take the most inspiration from?
Why digital collage?
When I did an album cover for a friend who was releasing an LP I decided to use it as I had dabbled with it before. Prior to that I had done some hand cut collage work, but as the technology has developed in the last five years I have really found that I have been able to push the boundaries in terms of layering and the complexity of my work.
As your art form is primarily digital it must be an important decision deciding on your printing process.
It is. I use Giclée on archival paper, usually made to order. I’d love to be able to afford a whole run of each image, but unfortunately I don’t have the storage or funds to work that way.
Have you sold a lot through your website?
I’ve sold a few, since February about 10 or so prints.
When did you sell your first artwork?
My first sale was 5 years ago and a friend commissioned a large acrylic canvas and then nothing until my first exhibition, which was this February at the Horsebridge Centre in Whitstable.
What do you think the most pivotal part of your career so far?
I’ve only had two main exhibitions thus far, but I think the Urban Art Fair in Brixton, which was my second, was a great experience. To follow up on the first with an equivalent success was something that made me believe I that I could do this.
It there a specific type of person which your work attracts,
Not necessarily, it has ranged from old men really taking an interest to tiny kids who walk up and are caught by the imagery. It’s probably more personality than the age, which attracts people to my work.
What do you think the hardest thing about being an artist is?
Probably finding inspiration, this can be very hard, and also the ability to change, develop your style and push into new areas. Though I use inspiration from Music and film to get ideas for my work, also life and my daily experience feeds into what I do.
What advice would you give to someone trying to make a career in the arts?
Find your style and what you are good at doing and really try to nail it. There are so many great artists, but you have to find your own voice and get really good at expressing it.
Jamie will be exhibiting his digital collages at our second groundbreaking exhibitionThe Londoner’s Compass this October 18-23, The Strand Gallery
At this years Urban Art Fair, I was approached by Pete Trainor – author and director of Nexus, the human centred design company.
He really thought the style of my work would sit nicely alongside the ethos of his forthcoming book entitled ‘HIPPO – The Human Focused Digital Book’
After a few discussions we reached an agreement, and the first run of the book will feature the digital collage ‘Entity’. The first run is due for release this Autumn 2016.
About the book:
‘From London to Laos, Mumbai to Manchester, Nunavut to Nairobi, digital has crept into our lives and so deeply has it penetrated us, that it has completely redesigned it. Hill stations in Nepal’s Himalaya, desert posts in Africa’s savannahs, in the deep oceans and the high sky’s, technology is now as elemental in our landscape and as much a part of the ether as the wind and falling rain. It’s not going to stop.
Due to the natural breath of evolution, and the way civilisations progress, we are about to zip-line, and thus: observe more change in the next ten years, than of the last hundred. But how do we stop this accelerating transformation from eroding away our good qualities? Our humanity? The answers rest in the design process, but when has philosophy and psychology ever been considered in the design stage of digital?
Revisiting the fundamental questions, and incorporating the philosophical fields as well as finally considering the biological ramifications of digital design, we are able to press pause and re-evaluate our direction, and re-align with a course – one that is in flow and is able to cater toward our potential as people, encourage us on, through… and into the beyond. Keep consuming? Or become active? Enlightenment or entitlement? The choice is still ours.’
Digital Collage (420mm x 297mm)
This collage has been made with 87 individual images, using source material from a 1972 repair manual. The definition of Metasis is change and adaption, significant to both the butterfly and the hominoid.
Limited edition giclee prints available here:
This piece is made from 92 images, with source material from 1949 edition ‘Electrical Power’, and an undated Dictionary of Gardening Encyclopaedia.
Limited edition giclee prints available here: