Connection, Hand Jazz
Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m an illustrator and visual artist who was raised in the ‘Emerald Isle’ of Ireland. I now live in London and have been using the creative opportunities available to me here to focus on building my portfolio of work.
What, or who, influences your creative style and/or ethos?
For as long as I can remember I’ve had an interest in the surreal. Whether through music, film or photography, I feel that surrealism helps bring together my ideas and to show a glimpse of my imagination. I like the idea of creating a visual hyper-world from the ordinary and using my imagination to escape to utopia for a while.
What is something that we wouldn’t know about you?
I have a maximisation personality type, which is a style of decision-making characterised by seeking the best option through an exhaustive search through alternatives. The opposite would be satisficing, in which individuals quickly evaluate options until they find one that is "good enough".
Talk us through your design process, from the initial idea to the finished piece.
The ideas for most of my pieces normally originate from some sort of imagery or visual message that has inspired me. Once I have established the core idea for the design, I’ll look at other relating subject matter and then collate reference images. From there I’ll begin sketching ideas and creating the composition for the piece. Arranging the line work is usually all done on my iPad and then I export the design to Photoshop to finish everything off. Vivid striking colour plays a key part in all of my work, and usually I leave this to the end. I generally spend a lot of my time (being a maximiser personality type!) combining colour filters and gradients to achieve just the right feel for the piece.
What is your biggest art pet peeve, and why?
Not enough people have opportunities to pursue an artistic endeavour. I believe it can play a vital role in general mental well-being.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
The summer is now behind us and we’ve approached autumn again. I always look forward to all the vibrant colours this season brings with it. The ‘golden hour’ after the sun first rises and before it sets is, in my opinion, always best this time of year.
Let’s talk about A Decade of Change. What drew you to collaborate with us on this project?
I think it’s impossible not to be fascinated by the times we’re currently living in and what’s around the corner. It’s hard not to ignore that we’re edging closer to some major environmental, societal and technological shifts that will change life as we know it on a global scale. I feel excited that the next decade could possibly play a major part in the history of the world.
What’s the message behind your piece in the collection, and what does it mean to you?
My piece is about the vital importance of connection. Building walls and borders, restricting free speech, controlling personal expression and limiting the flow of information prevents us all from making crucial connections which can lead to endless possibilities in the future. Connections can change the course of our lives, or even the path of humanity in an instant. It’s for this reason alone we must strive to see the beauty in connecting with those around us.
Lastly, if you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Well, this isn’t necessarily a superpower because it does exist as a perceptual phenomenon! - but if I could experience what it’s like to live with synesthesia for just one day, I’d be more than happy.