Commission an Artist recently interviewed one of our long standing artists, Daniel.
Here is what he had to say:
Cheryl: Who are you and what do you do?
Daniel: I’m Daniel and I’m an artist. Actually I have been the owner of my own driving school in West London for over fifteen years now, though art in various guises has always been a large and very important part of my life, throughout school, college, university and Ð touch wood Ð I’ve been relatively successful since, simply in terms of regular work and commissions.
Cheryl: What’s integral to the work of an artist?
Daniel: Inspiration and a love for what you’re currently working on. Lose that and really, you’ve lost that piece of work.
Cheryl: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Daniel: Actually the best piece of advice was from my old drum teacher.ÊI was struggling to work out some rhythms and I was getting all frustrated.ÊHe said, ÒRight, stop. Cup of tea time! We had a cup of tea and a chat for about ten minutes, went back into the studio and it clicked straight away.
The lesson is you can’t force it if it’s not happening. Step away, come back later with fresh eyes, ears, mind and things will flow easier. I always try to do this with my art (unless I happen to have an extremely tight deadline, in which case I just have to be more disciplined).
Cheryl: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
Daniel: The most memorable and most humbling was from a client who had commissioned me to paint a portrait of his wife, who had not long since passed away after a fight with cancer. It was a particularly poignant piece for me at the time as my wife was also at the same time, undergoing treatment for breast cancer. I absolutely put my heart and soul into that piece.ÊI received an email from him afterwards saying that for him it was perfect and that he was writing said email through his tears. Now of course, I wasn’t glad it had brought him to tears, but to know that he felt the painting helped him in some important way was quite touching.
Cheryl: What do you like about your work?
Daniel: That it doesn’t feel like ‘work’? Something I always do try and strive for in my work however, is the illusion of light. For me, this really makes or breaks a piece.
Cheryl: What research do you do?
Daniel: For some of the landscape/architectural drawings of places in central London, I went there for research purposes and took plenty of photos from a variety of perspectives. There are some decent generic stock photos online but you can’t always get a clear idea of the finer details and it’s nice to see how something actually works/fits together in actuality (i.e. the intricate detailing of Paddington station roof).
Cheryl: What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever created?
Daniel: Well sounds like a bit of an odd one, but I’ve always been quite proud of a very small section of one of my drawings. Specifically, the light on the trunk of a tree (a London Plane I believe) on the far left side of my drawing of the Houses of Parliament from the South Bank. I think it’s one of my greatest achievements, though with the Houses of Parliament being the main focus, no one probably ever notices that poor tree Ha Ha!
Daniel’s previous commissions are available online, the nature of his works may just be the inspiration you’re looking for.