Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Featured Artist - Ed Boxall

Ed Boxall is an artist and illustrator based in Hastings. Ed will be exhibitng his work at the Brighton Art Fair in September.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
I was taught the technicalities of printmaking on a Fine Art printmaking degree in Hull and went onto complete an MA in illustration at St Martins. I wish I had spent the degree drawing rather than being confused by all the conceptual/ multi-media work going on. The MA was a great chance to explore my work at my own pace.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
Always. I've fluctuated between the exact area of visual art- commercial illustration, printmaking, small scale publishing. But it's always been visual art since I was a child.

One favourite living artist?

John Burningham. Believe it or not I wasn't consciously influenced by Burningham until the last few years. There's something impossibly, spookily magic about his markmaking and the way a scene and character is conjured up. It's organic and utterly specific. The sense of a drawing being a unique moment in time. His best work is cosy and familiar with such a sense of the faraway and magical right there in the cosiness. Genius.

One favourite historical artist?
Paul Klee introduced me to the experience of image making as a truly transformative magical process. I also feel at home with British romantics such as John Craxton.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
My family, the countryside, the sea, walking the dog, rubbish dumps, abandoned buildings, chatting to the artists I share a studio with.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had?
Um...I operated the spotlight in a theatre and dozed off while Wayne Sleep was performing so he was dancing on a dark stage... Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
Last year I illustrated my friend Angie's book of poetry 'Bee Fever'. Sadly Angie passed away last year. Collaboration means alot to me but I can't sustain it for too long...For me the creative process seems to be about solitude.

At age 16 who most influenced your style?
I still have alot of affection for fantasy artists like Roger Dean. But pretty soon I got onto Picasso, Chaggal and Klee.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
Book: 'If No-one Speaks of Remarkable Things' by Jon Macgregor. Such a sense of a specific day in time and just the right touch of magic at the end of a book otherwise grounded in the real. More often I read trash detective books.
Film: I cried uncontrollably to 'UP'.

What music are you currently listening to?
I am in one of my late-sixties-light-psychedelia phases: The Byrds, Donovan, 'A Teenage Opera' by Mark Wirtz . More usually I listen to Van Morrison, Waterboys. I'm absolutely in love with the songs of Jimmy Webb.

Who would you say buys your work?
I think lots of the same people who read poetry...people who take the time...or aspire to find time to take the time! Also quite a few nans and grandads buying christening presents. Lots more women than men.

Where and what is your studio?
I have a kind of office somewhere behind the mountain of junk at home. I also love my lo-tech printmaking space at The Workship in the Old Town, Hastings. I complete all my prints on my 3 homemade mangle-printing presses. I love working in parallel with other artists...chatting as I work.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I never take for granted that my hobby/source of happiness is also my job, so yes.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
Absolutly nothing. I'd rather be a poor struggling artist than a succesful-rich anything else. I'd like to be a succesful songwriter as well, mind you.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
I'm more excited by my pictures being in people's homes than galleries really...I love the thought of pictures being part of the furniture and people growing up/daydreaming with them over periods of time. I like galleries where it's more about looking than buying and families, scruffs and dogs are welcome.

Any other relevant information?
I have a new puppy called Dixie and a giraffe in the back of the car.


Rachel Heavens Illustration said...

excellent interview Ed, not at all cringy!

Erica said...

Yes, a fantastic interview! Really lovely, and very enlightening. I love John Burningham too. I grew up reading Borka, the goose with no feathers. And the Klee makes sense as well!