Mission: TO GET THIS BARF OUT OF MY BRAIN, ONTO A CANVAS AND AS FAR AWAY FROM ME AS POSSIBLE
When I started writing The Spiralling I didn’t know where the project was going to take me. One thing it has done is present me with an opportunity to curate my own art exhibition. I put up a message about the exhibition on Facebook, and Jimmer got in touch to say his friend wanted to get involved. So I’m excited to be writing about Guts this week who is going to be exhibiting in the first ever Spiralling Exhibition.
Art has always been a part of his life, “I can’t remember when i started drawing. I have been drawing every day on everything since I was a kid. Making pictures has been a compulsion of mine since then.” Guts is self taught and has developed his style through hours of practice and constant doodling. “There is never a day where I don’t draw something, even if it’s just an absent minded doodle while i’m on the phone at work. I find the process of making art therapeutic and when I am drawing/painting I am not thinking about anything at all, my mind goes blank and just kind of wanders off without me which I quite like!”
Guts supports his art with another job. “I have always worked in healthcare, from nursing homes to psychiatric hospitals, and I am now working in drug and alcohol services. To be honest, I’m not really into the whole concept of working, so if I have to, it has to be something that is helping people, and I can justify getting up for.”
Preferring to use acrylic paint, Posca pens, permanent markers and digital media, Guts has spent many years “scrawling on school books, walls, napkins, paper nicked out of the printer at work and whatever else I can get my hands on. I have recently started doing more black and white marker drawings again. I find new ideas come from this sort of work because it’s what I’m most confident doing.” He often uses materials he finds lying around in the street such as boards and frames. “This started as a way of getting free stuff to paint on, as canvases can be expensive, but I like the way it means most of the pieces look different.” He uses digital art software to enhance scanned pieces or create work from scratch.
He takes his influences from comic books, street art, skateboard/hot rod art, cartoons, movies, and “the constant noises in my brain.” Art wise he is inspired by “Ed roth, Eric Powell, Garbage Pail Kids, Jimbo Phillips, Robert Williams, Shawn Kerri, Pen Ward, John K and about a million others that aren’t springing to mind!” He’s also inspired by street art, cartoons, stand up, B-movies and a variety of music such as hip-hop, breakcore and punk.
As with many creative people, Guts hasn’t always had faith in his own abilities. “My journey as an artist has been a long and fairly private one. I’ve always had a prolific output of pictures, and this has been constant throughout my life. I’ve only just started, in the last couple of years, showing strangers my work. I have always suffered with a lack of confidence, but I’ve found the process of putting myself out there helpful and enjoyable. The encouragement means the world to me because people like my stuff. Also I have realised after years of being scared of criticism, that it actually doesn’t really bother me all that much and it can also spur me on to get better.”
At the moment Guts doesn’t “really have a set plan for the future. Just to try to do more shows and build on getting recognised. I send my stuff out to various people most weeks, mostly to skateboard companies and bands as I hope to break into this sort of work. I would love for art to pay the bills one day, or even to subsidise me so I can work part time. “Guts has also been working on some collaborations with Jimmer Willmott, “one of my best mates and a truly awesome artist that has helped me build my confidence and get my stuff out there.” He also did the cover of an EP for a local ska band, The Sneak Eazies.
Guts will be one of 17 artists to exhibit in the first ever Spiralling Exhibition, which is being held at The Island from the 19th-24th of October. For more information on The Spiralling Exhibition please click here.