Craww / old enough to know better / Sheffield, UK
1. Please introduce yourself and let us know how you got into art!
See that fella over there with a glass of Gin in one hand and a paintbrush in the other? Thats me. I never got into art as such, it was just the thing I was best at at school, and the thing I've most enjoyed doing ever since. When it became time to get a job I ended up with a career in the graphic design industry which was my focus for a fair few years, but a growing realisation that a commercial environment isn't the best place to explore your creativity led to a rekindling of the desire to paint/draw/create on my own terms. It's only the past few years that it's occurred to me that it might be a viable way to make a living and I finally quit my job to focus fully on my art a couple of years ago.
2. Do you have a daily routine? How does a normal day in your life look like or is it always different?
It usually varies, it depends on what the main focus of the day is.
I don't really like sleeping, I'll get up as early as I can and start on whatever drawing/painting is in my head as soon as the Tea has brewed and I'll likely be drawing 'til late at night too. If I'm painting i'll usually paint through the morning and pick it up again in the evening. For some reason i find afternoons a dead zone. If I'm on my own I just can't find the inspiration or motivation to paint. That'll be when I take care of emails, any freelance design work I need to do or if it's sunny I'll head out on my mountain bike. I also do some occasional teaching at Sheffield Hallam Uni which is fun and helps keep the days varied.
3. How would you describe your art to someone that has never seen it before?
From my bio: "The secret stories and connections of a constantly evolving cast of characters. Following tangled threads and discovering hidden undercurrents, a stream of consciousness ramble through the woods, populated with skulls, crows and melancholic girls. It’s direction influenced as much by accident and a short attention span as design."
That pretty much sums it up...
4. What is your main focus when you start drawing.. do you have an idea on your mind or do you just start and see whats happening?
The latter, hence the "Stream of consciousness" description above. Maybe as a reaction to the years spent rationalising my work as a designer, If I think too hard about a piece now it ends with too many questions and too much self doubt, everything grinds to a halt. I find it better to just start something and the best pieces take on a life of their own. Changing and adapting to marks being made and whatever is going on in my head at the moment.
5. Did you always wanna be an artist?
I always wanted to create. But it's taken a while to find the right outlet for that creativity.
6. What is most inspirational to you?
Lots of different things! Inspiration can come from anywhere; things I see, hear, do, just things that get me in a groove. Music, sunny days, moonlit nights…whatever.
7. You seem to love drawing women.. is there a reason why you rather draw females than males?
It feels more natural. I think the feminine figures just fit with the fluidity of my work. They have an elegance and fragility that I'd find hard to capture with a male figure. I do draw a lot of male figures actually but they always take the form of the skull/cherub angels that crop up from time to time.
It's not by design, i guess a psychiatrist would have a field day.
8. What do you do when youre not working?
I don't really consider what I do as work so that's a hard one to answer….I dunno, I draw, I paint. When I'm not doing either I'm generally thinking about drawing or painting. There's not really an on/off switch.
9. Does music play an important role for you..does it have an impact on your art and if so what do you listen to while creating?
Oh yes. Always have to have the right tunes on, and usually that will involve Deftones at some point or another! Or one of Chino Moreno's other side projects - Team Sleep, Crosses, I like how he plays with lyrics and creates a mood from abstract thoughts, which kinda feels comfortable with how I approach my own work. Theres a bunch of other stuff, I'm currently listening to the new Orbital album a lot too, anything with a groove.
10. Im a huge fan of your work, I myself wanna purchase a painting as soon as I can. I was wondering do you have any art exhibitions coming up. Are there galleries we can have a look at your work? And what are your future plans?
Well I just got back from LA and a show at CAVE gallery. I also have 2 new pieces in a group show with Fine Grime in Bath, I'll be showing alongside some really great artists so I'm pretty excited about that.
The most recent work is currently on show at CAVE gallery in Los Angeles - http://www.cavegallery.net/index.php?option=com_joomgallery&func=viewcategory&catid=48&Itemid=30
I also have work available at Spoke Art in San Francisco - http://store.spoke-art.com/category/september-group-show
And George Thornton Art in Nottingham UK - http://www.georgethorntonart.com/artists/craww/bind
Self taught artist and habitual doodler, Craww plies his trade from the fair city of Sheffield, drawing inspiration from daydreams, music, comics, nature, gin and an overactive imagination,
Often starting in one place and ending up in another, his work poses questions but seldom answers them. It’s direction influenced as much by accident and a short attention span as design, Craww enjoys seeing his creations taking on a life of their own as he paints.
Craww likes ambiguity and his work explores his fascination with things that aren’t quite what they seem. Pretty things in dark places, nasty suprises masquerading in beauty, hidden stories and happy accidents, brought to life with a mix of elegance, balance and disciplined chaos.
His work is a story without an end - a stream of consciousness ramble through the woods, populated with skulls, crows and melancholic girls with big hands
Check out his website for more amazing paintings