About me



Hello, I’m Robbie. An App Designer by day and an Artist by night. I am based in the beautiful and inspiring city of Bristol. Over the years, I’ve explored many creative avenues; Product design, screen printing and character design to name a few. Most recently I’ve dusted off the watercolours, unearthed the markers, and got back into urban sketching. I am thrilled to now be selling artwork and taking commissions! 

If you'd like to know more about me, here is a snippet from an interview...

 

What inspired you to start creating?

I think my short attention span is partly responsible. As a kid, I’d get bored quickly, except when it came to colouring with pencils. With these in hand, the opportunities seemed endless. From trying to create my own board games and trading cards to simply defacing the newspaper, they kept me entertained. I’d get a great sense of accomplishment from creating something new, even if it wasn’t very good or useful. These days I keep myself inspired by regularly visiting exhibitions and signing up to courses. I recently attended an amazing screen-printing course with a Bristol artist called Simon Tozer who has inspired me to pursue this medium in the future.

 

Have you always wanted to be an artist?  

I’m not sure I’d say I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but I have always wanted to create things. I was very close to studying Fine Art at university and then made a last-minute decision to switch to Product Design. I was after a blend of technical challenges and creative freedom, and this course certainly delivered this. I entered the creative industry as a Design Engineer which somewhat lacked the creative freedom I was after, so I made the move to the digital world of App Design & User Experience and haven’t looked back since. I love creating art outside of work, but I wonder if I will ever take the plunge to be a full-time artist.

 

When did you make your first piece of work?

I remember leaving nursery one day clutching a painting I’d made using glue and glitter. It was a big squiggly mess and I announced to my mum that it was called “The Road to Lancashire.” Presumably, it was inspired by the journey to visit my grandparents, always a long but exciting road trip. The piece spent 20 years on my grandparent’s fridge until tape couldn’t even hold it together anymore.

 

How do you stay motivated? 

For me, it’s a blend of addiction and frustration. Addicted to creating things and often frustrated by the outcome. I could compare it to a devil spouting criticism on one shoulder and a supportive angel on the other. Over the years my family and friends have kindly supported me and purchased some artwork, but I had a real boost recently when I sold my first piece to a pub landlord who I didn’t know! He spotted my painting of his pub on Instagram and got in touch. Since then the requests have been coming in. It’s exciting!

 

How do you market your work? 

I am currently learning the art of marketing my work. I’ve tried Etsy with no success, and now I’m turning to Instagram. But I do have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I’m keen to reach people who are genuinely engaged and interested in my work and at times this can feel impossible on such a vast platform. I’ve been told over the years that my work is very saleable, which might be true, but finding potential buyers is a real challenge. The other challenge I face is how to price my artwork. It’s easy to focus on how long the picture took to create, but you often forget the cost of materials, the time spent planning and the years spent practising!

 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t aim for perfection! You need to make mistakes and the artwork you don’t like, to really teach yourself what you love. In the early stages of creating something new, be as carefree as possible and don’t get caught up in the detail. I would also tell my younger self that some days just aren’t creative. Put your pencil down and pick it up again tomorrow. Athletes have rest days for recovery, creatives need them too.

 

What’s your plan for the next five years?

For years I’ve wanted to have a stall at an art market, but I’ve always struggled to commit to a consistent style of artwork that is also saleable. However, I now feel the urban sketching style I have been developing recently lends itself to an art market to reach local people with local paintings. Later down the line, I would also love to illustrate a children’s storybook.

 

What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring artists? 

Enjoy the process, don’t get bogged down by the outcome. The more you enjoy the process the better the outcome will be. If possible, surround yourself with creative people. They will support and inspire you along your creative journey. And finally, try every medium you can lay your hands on, only then will you discover what’s best for you and I guarantee you’ll revisit some of them in the future too.