For as long as I can remember, the art of creating has always been a strong presence in my life. Growing up, I loved drawing and painting and always dreamed of being an artist. Life ended up taking me in a different direction, but I found that wherever I went and whatever I did, I always felt most at home in the studio. It was only in my late twenties that I rediscovered my creative path - and it turned into an exciting journey I could never have imagined.
Everything changed for me in 2010, when I was offered the opportunity to run The Phoenix Studio – an art studio in Towersey run by my mother, Karin, and her partner, Peter Jones. They kindly opened the door to me and I stumbled through. It turned out to be a life-changing move and I am eternally grateful to both of them.
There, I've become part of a wonderfully creative community, get to be a part of something that changes people’s lives for the better, and create my own art. It is a dream job. I’m a lucky boy.
Shortly after arriving at the studio, having previously only worked in 2D, I discovered sculpting; more specifically, clay modelling. I got it, and more importantly, it got me! To quote the film Jerry Maguire, 'you had me at hello'.
Clay is a fascinating medium - I love it. Life can evolve from it and with each firing in the kiln a sculpture can become more and more breathtaking. I've always admired the movement and poise of all creatures great and small, and enjoy being able to capture their unique characters in clay.
My Three Pillars of Life
If creating has become the latest pillar in my life, then the second pillar has been there forever - the natural world. I spent my childhood with my nose inches from the pond’s surface; later I studied biology at university and spent many years working in conservation. Animals were always going to be the primary muse in my art.
The third pillar in my life has come as a bit of surprise to me. It is teaching. Helping demystify the act of creating - turning a ‘can't do art’ mindset to one of ‘wow, I made that’ - is one of the ultimate rushes in my opinion. I realise that teaching makes me a better person and I couldn't be an artist if I didn't teach.
So that describes my path so far; I'm looking forward to discovering where my journey takes me next.