Featured Artist: Vanphirst
Q: Where are you from?
I'm from a village in England, but I live in Vancouver, Canada.
Q: How would you best describe your art style?
Abstract geometric for my t-shirt work, although my background is as a graphic designer where my work is mainly typography based.
Q: Where do you find your inspiration when creating your art?
Since moving to BC my work has definitely been inspired by the local mountains, ocean and waterfalls. But often ideas pop up from anything and anywhere. The shower's good, that's a bit of a cliche isn't it, but I'm often sketching ideas in water onto shower tiles. I should put a desk in there. Often one idea sparks off another and on from there, lots get discarded and when something just isn't working (quite often) I leave it, for an hour, a day, a week and then come back to it later.
Q: When did you know you wanted to make a career in the art world?
As far back as I can remember. The first house I lived in probably still has paint on the exterior walls where my Mum used to tape paper up for me to daub away on. I loved practicing my handwriting (thank you Ladybird book of Handwriting) and remember particularly liking how the number 75 looked...err or was it number 73...either way numbers make lovely shapes. Art was always my favourite subject and for me, my art teacher at school pointed me towards the local art college, once I got there I thought, oh my gosh what am I doing here...but then once I'd settled in I loved it. From there I went on to do a degree in Graphic Design and then worked for a Design Agency in London before working for my own clients.
Q: How does art impact your day to day life or your impression of the world as a whole?
I love it when a city has urban art dotted about for everyone to enjoy, when you see art in an unexpected place it helps you think and see things differently than you previously did before.
Q: What does a day of creating artwork look like for you and how do you start your creative process?
Once everyone has left for work and school I open my mac, look at what I've been working on, get stuck, leave it, work on something else, look in the cupboard for chocolate, sit back down, work on a few new ideas, go for a run outside. Sit back down focus on getting work done, jot down any ideas I had while running. Then I wander over to the cupboard to see if there's any chocolate that I missed the first time I looked. This system works very well, although I need to cut out the chocolate part.
Q: When you're not creating, what do you like to do with your time?
Anytime by the ocean is time well spent, likewise anytime spent in second hand book shops in little English villages or hanging out on the top of a mountain with family and friends. If there was a second hand bookshop on top of a mountain, with a sea view, I'd probably have to move there.
Q: What artist (either current or past) do you most admire and why?
It's mainly designers who come to mind, Jan Tschichold and Muller Brockman were influences early on but I do love Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore's work, their pieces make me happy just by looking at them and you just can't beat a Turner sky.
Shop all of Vanphirst's designs in her DBH store!