What’s your background?
I was born in Doncaster, UK in 1977, and grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne. I drew a lot as a child and didn’t really stop. I started working with animation as a way of documenting the creative process. Its developed a bit since then, but that initial idea remains very relevant to my work today. I did a BA in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam between 1996-99, and later a MA in Animation at the RCA.
What influences you artistically?
My mother is a painter, and was an art teacher when I was a child. My father used to be prone to drawing cartoons, to entertain his pals in the RAF, and later in the staffroom of the school he taught in. Both painting and cartooning have been big influences on my work.
Influence is quite a vague and changeable thing. Sometimes I can see my work relates to dim childhood memories - not memories of 'events', but moments of sensory intensity; feelings of colours or shapes, buildings or design. Its not that these things are necessarily interesting in themselves exactly, but that they act as deep connections to something… to myself?
How do you start a new work?
I don’t have a set method to begin a film, but I draw all the time and things usually grow out of that ongoing, unfiltered, unthinking practice. I try to get something going in a playful way, with an open and receptive frame of mind, and no great expectations. My work is largely improvisational and much more to do with my frame of mind than my ‘ideas’, such as they are.
What are you working on right now?
I am in the midst of a new short animated film. It is visually quite simple and abstract, mainly consisting of pencil drawn lines and shapes. It features music by my friend Will Goddard, aka Supreme Vagabond Craftsman, who I have collaborated with numerous times. I have had many things in my head while I have been making it but I’m not sure any of them are really what it is about. I’m looking forward to finishing it so I can see what I was doing.