"For me art is my therapy - it sounds cheesy, but genuinely it's my time to clear my head of all the noise"
What do you do?
I'm a graphic designer by day and a visual artist by night. I moved to Leicestershire from Nottingham a few years ago with my beautiful family and haven't looked back. I create from the brilliant StudionAme fuelled by energy drinks and pot noodles. My studio time is generally in the dead of night when the children are asleep so I make sure it's as productive as possible.
I'm new to the art scene, but things are already heading in the right direction. I've been busy preparing for a group show at LCB Depot which will feature work by myself and two amazing artists, Alison Carpenter-Hughes and Kate Jackson. The three of us won an LCB Depot showcase prizes at last year's Open 30 Exhibition. We'll be displaying in the Lightbox gallery (if the current lockdown lifts as planned) from 4th - 22nd December 2020.
You will also be able to see my work at the Open 31 Exhibition at Leicester Museum and Art Gallery and on the walls of 'Firebug Bar', 'We Are' and 'Bean Gaming'!
How did you get to where you are?
Rotten luck! No, I joke. I've never known what I wanted to do or be. I've always been creative but it wasn't until my late 20's that I decided to knuckle down and study graphic design. Then I bagged a job at a design agency and have been a graphic designer ever since - but this creative journey isn't over. I've always doodled and drawn weird shit but last year I made a conscious decision to draw as often as possible and post my creations on Instagram. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. I soon developed a style I was happy with and found it quite easy to churn out strange and surreal creatures. I was connecting with like-minded weirdos and picking up a follower base of people that really enjoyed what I was doing.
Later on in the year, my wife suggested I enter the Open 30 Exhibition and I was amazed when I won a prize. This was the boost that was needed - I realised that my work was actually quite unique and interesting and that at some point my art could become a full-time occupation. I'm not there yet, but in many ways I've not even started.
Why do you love what you do?
For me art is my therapy - it sounds cheesy, but genuinely it's my time to clear my head of all the noise, listen to songs that I used to dance to in my early twenties, before I became old and bitter, and create something for me. Something that represents a part of me, that makes me tick, and that happens to be weird alien creatures - maybe I do need therapy after all!
Why are you based in Leicester?
I was born in Nottingham, but Leicester is where this journey started, with the Open 30 exhibition, the LCB Depot prize and the studio space at StudionAme. There are so many opportunities here for creatives, the art scene is absolutely thriving and I can't really imagine doing what I'm doing anywhere else.
The world! There's so much I want to do. After the group show I'll focus on my first solo show, which is hugely exciting and something I never thought possible. I want to paint a wall in a public space, ok I'll settle for a doorway (if anyone knows of any public spaces please get in touch!). I want people to see my work and question it. I'll continue to offer plenty of prints, original art and t-shirts in my Etsy shop (link below), and I'll be sharing my journey on Instagram @haunted.fork and I'll see where I end up!
Etsy Shop: /HauntedFork