Q1: Let’s start with the common question, if you can kindly introduce yourself.
I was born in Birmingham, England and now live in London where I work as an Illustrator and Art teacher.
Q2: How did you get into the field of your work?
I started drawing when I was very young and have continued it through out my whole life, from 16 I left school and went to Art College for 3 years, then moved onto University to study Illustration.
Q3: Do you have any current favourite artists, comic artists, photographers who may have influenced you to become the artist that you are?
Too many to name really, I respect the old masters a lot and If I had to give a favourite it would probably be Caravaggio. A big influence on my portrait drawings has been an Italian Artist called Lorenzo Mariani, if you haven’t seen his work I strongly recommend you check it out. Some of my favourites at the moment are Kim Høltermand (Danish Photographer) and Joe Fenton (Illustrator). I would say that I get as much inspiration from music as I do other artists and at the moment the Norwegian band Wardruna are a massive influence on my work.
Q4: What are the main tools of your trade?
I rarely stray from black and white work but I am quite particular with what I use to create my work. I have tried what seems like every pencil ever created but I swear by Staedtler pencils, in particular the Mars Micro series. I always make sure that I’m using the best quality paper for the drawings as well and for that I use Fabriano. I also have one special tool that I use, especially in my illustrations, which is olive oil.
Q5: How was it for you to learn the process of that? Did you teach yourself, take classes or learn from other existing artist’s tutorial?
I taught myself drawing mostly from copying my Dad, I learned next to nothing about drawing techniques and skills during my College and University years except the olive oil technique which came from a visiting lecturer from the Royal College of Art called Hiroshi Kariya.
Q6: Do you think it’s possible for you to describe the process of your art style, what are the dos and don’ts, the important aspects you set yourself to achieve your style of design?
I have two outlets for my drawing style; my portraits allow me to focus on my shading and techniques and my illustration side allows me to be more experimental. I couldn’t have one without the other.
Q7: What are the biggest struggles you encounter as an artist?
My biggest struggle is finding time to continue to work on my own work when I’m working full time as an Art Teacher. Due to the lack of spare time that I have some ideas feel a bit forced and end up looking like they are also.
Q8: Do you have any other future plans that don’t involve creative art?
Teaching takes up most of my time….
Q9: Do you have any personal mottos, quotes or existing quotes that motivates you to do what you love doing? Can you share it with us or provide words of wisdom from your experiences for those who look up to you?
I can give you one that I try and instil in the kids that I teach which is “Effort” because without it you won’t get anywhere
Q11: To round off the last question, where can your fans and new fans find updated news and progress from you, - Where can we find you?
My personal website is www.hellofromespeland.com, its undergoing a face lift at the moment but is still functional and has a lot of newer work going up every day.
I also run a blog/design company with a friend from University; you can find us at www.lemonade-magazine.co.uk
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