Our second artist spotlight features local artist Andrew Leigh. After meeting Andy on several occasions, as well as second-hand accounts, it became clear that he is one of the biggest advocates for doing what you love and doing it well. In the last two years of following him and seeing his progress, there is no doubt the passion and hard work he commits to his craft has allowed him to evolve his style at a rapid pace. His ability to see beauty in the most mundane settings is what can be found to be one of the most interesting parts of his work.
What goes into your creative process?
My creative process usually begins with a photograph I take in situ that I can picture ahead of time making for a good painting. I then warp and distort areas of the photograph to almost make it unrecognisable using the geometric abstract style of working I have developed throughout my years at university.
What is your favourite part about your creative process?
The best part about working in the format I do, is seeing how the photographs and expectations I have in my mind change throughout the course of a painting making subtle alterations as I go until I get to the finished article. Constant development is also something I try to instil into my work where I'm trying to alter it slightly and progress my way of working further so it does not become stale.
Where does your main inspiration come from?
My inspiration mainly comes from the world around me, but not in a generic sense of landscapes or people. The way I look at the world is through banal areas that people often miss or overlook. Whether that be a fleeting moment in time I quickly capture with my camera, or just general shapes within a certain space.
Anything you are currently working on?
The body of work I am currently developing has pushed my work out of the realms of pure geometric abstraction. I say this because the paintings I am creating currently are starting to enhance my work further by incorporating more representational elements and key points which are depicted within the photographic reference image.
Who are your favourite artists currently?
- Nick Dahlen
- Stephen Magsig
What do you think is the most important factor in being an artist?
For me, the most important factors in being an artist are determination, experimentation, and patience. The determination to create work as often as you can and to strive to find your unique way of working. This leads into experimentation. Do not be afraid to try every avenue possible to find what you enjoy.
My personal experience of this came when doing my bachelor’s degree. I had painted landscapes and drawn portraits in the past and personally found them boring due to my attention span wavering whilst creating these pieces. Then I began a collage project which forced me to work in a much more abstract way that I had never done before. Three years later I have a much more refined and comprehensive way of working I can call my own.
This leads into patience. Finding your own way of working will not happen overnight. As mentioned previously it has taken me three years to even get to a point I am happy with. I look back on my older work and think how messy it was, but these are all just building blocks for growth. The constant experimentation and development will help you find a path you want to go down where you can enhance it however you want. You might find your niche in weeks, months or even years like myself, but once you do, it is worth the wait.
Recommendations for anyone who wants to start making art like you do.
If you want to make work like mine, I would suggest these points;
- Try to find a photograph that has angles, shapes, colours, and a few interest elements within that you could bring to the forefront of the painting as the main focal point. For example, a book, a lamppost, a shoe etc.
- Break the image down into blocks and decide which spaces will just be flat colour segments and which you will decide to give a bit more detail too (your focal point).
- Think about layering back to front as you would a landscape painting. Start with the background and work forward.
- Personally, I try to match the colours within the photograph to ones I blend on my palette when painting. This is not necessary to create a good piece. If the background is green, feel free to use any green that you have to your disposal. JUST HAVE FUN!
- One final thing is if you want the ultra-crisp lines that I desire when creating my blocks of flat colour, Frog Tape (delicate surface) is your best friend.
Where can people find you?
Hitmonleigh has a few paintings for sale which will be updated and expanded on soon. If there is a specific piece that is not on my bigcartel or a commission you are after, simply direct message me on Instagram.