By Rich Simmons
Will Blood is an artist I have admired for a while and I'm excited to share this interview with him. His work is a perfect blend of pop art, illustration and street art.
Learn about the artist, his inspirations, processes and become a fan of the man as well as the artist.
Can you introduce yourself to anyone who hasn’t seen your work yet?
Im an artist from the south coast of the UK. I guess I’m known now for depicting the skeletal structures of pop characters in bright colours on paper, canvas and walls, but I’ve made many bodies of work prior to that.
How would you describe your art and what techniques do you use?
Bright and a little creepy. I mainly use spray paint, acrylic paint and acrylic paint pens.
How long has creativity been part of your life?
As long as I can remember.
Did you study art or are you self taught?
Self taught. I studied music briefly then pursued a career as a rock star then got a bit bored.
You started as a designer. How did this industry shape or inspire your direction as an artist?
It gave me a good work ethic and all the basic skills I use regularly from the physical work itself to dealing with clients. Also made me realise I hate designing stuff, haha.
You have an amazing ability to look through pop culture icons and deconstruct them with the skeletons showing through. How did this style come about and is it influenced by a love of anatomy or a desire to scratch the surface and look deeper at a subject?
Too kind! Yeah absolutely, I’ve always been obsessed with anatomy and the anatomy of nature. It’s a lot of fun to give these childhood icons a mortality. I did my first one for fun in 2012/13 for a local show, people liked it, so I did more.
Once I’m more established I have some plans for some heavier concepts and to dig a little deeper emotionally with my imagery, I think that always plays on my mind.
Your use of colour is beautiful. What inspires some of these choices of colour combinations? Does it depends on the subject matter, the location the piece will showcased or is there a different reason?
Thanks! I only worked in black and white for years, I didn't really understand colour theory and preferred the contrast of black and white. I guess once I moved to commercial murals and gallery shows it forced to me to think outside that and work to more interesting colour pallets. My colour pallets to date have been very much by trial and error. I love bright fades and throwing in contrasting colours on top.
Theres a lot of cartoons and pop culture references in your work. Do you have any personal favourite characters or shows from your youth and have any of them appeared in your work yet?
I’d be lying if I said cartoons played a large part in my life, I’ve never really watched them and spent more time hunting bugs than indoors as a kid… If I had to pick one id say Ren and Stimpy because it was so weird.
Is creativity a daily thing for you or do you get days where it can become overwhelming? If so, do you have any other creative releases that you turn to when art gets too much?
I'm very proactive creatively, I suffer from a brain thats constantly thinking of things. I’ve recently bought a cello in an attempt to switch off and have another outlet. I exercise a fair bit which is nice down time, and drink beer. How great is beer?
What does the future hold for you and your work?
World domination haha.
How has lockdown changed the way you create and approach your art career?
It’s not really changed a lot for me. I guess its taken gallery shows out of the equation although I’m fortunate to be working with a few galleries worldwide that are still functioning.
Do you have any favourite artists or creatives right now that people should check out?
My favourite artist is a guy called Tom French. He sadly passed away just over a year ago. Check his work out, for me its the perfect mix of incredible technical ability and raw emotion.
If you could give advice to people looking to discover their creative spark or chase their artistic dreams, what would you tell them?
Work your ass off for ten years minimum then see if you’re still into it. I think like most things, you just gotta really want it and not expect it over night.
If you could share a studio with any artist for a day, living or dead, who would you pick?
I reckon Dali would be a giggle, possibly not.