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The latest Blog from Best of British Art!


Living the Dream - David Andrews tells us how...

Stephanie Szakalo

How long have you been illustrating for?

I have always been creative and enjoyed art my whole life. I started drawing and illustrating again in 2014 after joining a drawing group where I would get a drawing prompt on a daily basis. Since then I have not looked back and draw every day, between three and four pieces some days.

How do you work?

I work in pen and ink with watercolour. I usually work across four or five pieces at a time so that I have time to think about the pieces I am working on, with the amount of detail in some pieces I can get a bit too absorbed so it helps me to keep my drawings fresh and not overwork them.

What’s your background?

My background is in 3D Design, Ceramics. I graduated in Bath with a BA Hons degree (a long time ago now). I spent 17 years working for a charity that support adults with learning disabilities, the last 10 years were mainly in management and training delivery positions.

What’s integral to the work of an artist?

To take an idea from just an idea to something real.

Explain what you do in 100 words

I live to draw and draw to live, it helps me through every day...I know that sounds a bit cheesy but it has always helped me through good times and bad. I often start my drawing day with a quote or words of wisdom incorporated in my drawing, these pieces are very popular with my audience and I think that people identify with them, they are always from the heart and these pieces set me up for the day. I have a love of wildlife and nature and the changes in the seasons are my biggest inspiration. I enjoy words and quotes but most of all humour, humour carries me through...and yes sometimes my humour is very dry and not always spotted when people first look at my work.

What art do you most identify with?

We live in a visual world and we are bombarded with images and art every day but the art of nature and the seasons changing is what I most identify with. I find nothing more satisfying than seeing what is around me changing and developing, life, growth, change, death and then rebirth.

What work do you most enjoying doing?

I enjoy anything to do with wildlife, birds and nature. I do enjoy the challenge of an animal portrait but shy away from people portraits....people are just far too 'peopley'.

What themes do you pursue?

There is nothing like a good theme to get your teeth into, mine tend to be birds, mice...but at the moment it's sea life, so whales, seahorses and I have yet to decide what is next...ask me tomorrow.

What’s your favourite art work?

I don't really have a favourite to be honest; I am inspired by different art, objects and changes in what’s around me every day. Art is what you make it, it could be a tree one day and a piece of packaging the next for me it is that diverse.

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

I am inspired by real-life situations every day, I have a book of ideas, quotes, words and drawing titles for hundreds of pieces... my problem is that there is never enough time to get them all out onto paper, I am very lucky that the ideas just keep coming. Not many people could handle a day inside my head.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I have worked in the care sector, bars, restaurants....blah blah blah...sorry bored of that question now.

Why art?

Sorry....did you ask me 'Why art" ??! How very dare you.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I get so many positive responses to my work, but the one I hear most of all is 'It is so much more detailed and beautiful in the real'. Every time a sell a piece of work I get the same feeling that I did when I made my first sale...and I remember every sale and every drawing.

What do you dislike about the art world?

Everything has a place and there is a place for everything, I dislike it when I see negativity towards someone’s work. I like constructive criticism but not down right rudeness. 

What do you like about your work?

I like that it has meaning to people, because every piece I create has a meaning to me.

What research to you do?

I start my research when I walk my dogs every morning....the change in seasons in one of my biggest research tools. I do research, make notes all the time.

What is your dream project?

I am living the dream as a full time artist, I never take this for granted and I don't get complacent...I am very lucky.

Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.

I don't want to be compared to anyone else...that doesn't work for me.

Favourite or most inspirational place?

Where I now live...moved here just about a year ago and have never been so inspired.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Never apologise for your art, people buy into confidence but not arrogance.

Professionally, what’s your goal?

To continue developing my skills and learning something every day, and for people to continue to enjoy my drawings.

(You can find more of David Andrews' work here).