Artist: Mr Adrian Mills
From: Rugby ,Warwickshire
Current location: Suffolk
Current happiness levels out of 10: 7
Favorite film: Singing In The Rain
Favorite Book: (Novel) The World According To Garp (John Irving), (Children’s book) The Red Tree (Shaun Tan)
Favorite colour: Orange
You say you aim for your art to be ‘contemporary’ can you go into that in more detail?
I try as time goes on to change my style, this isn’t a conscious thing but my work changes as I change my art materials, for example I have just changed pens and my work has become more finely defined.
You create images for both adult and children – do you have a favourite audience to create for?
I think it’s a very fine line from the children’s work and adult, as much of them are characters’ I do enjoy working on the adult themes as I sometimes think maybe my work is too dark for children but I have a very exciting project lined up so lets see how dark I can go.
You have studied art to a Masters level – did you find that imperative for your skills? Can art really be learnt?
Before I started my masters in which I need to finish, I thought I was a good artist but I have learnt so much from that course. I have learnt to draw as view, to see life as stories and watch the world in a different way. “Art can’t be taught but the way of you seeing art can.”
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration from every day life, I always carry a sketchbook around with me…since I can remember. I am always writing down questions and what I see on my travels, and you never know when they may pop into your head. I also did a project in which for a year I drew everyday things. This helped my skills as an artist and encouraged me look at the world a different way. I sometimes wonder if everyone looks at the world in a different way.
Have you experienced a creative block/or black hole?
Yes I go thought many creative blocks as life gets in the way and work. At the moment I have many projects and cant get moving on them.
So what do you do to get out of it? Tips?
Normally a day in a busy city normally works, seeing art and creative people. This helps me to start believing in myself again.
Has it been difficult to carve a career as an artist? Was it a childhood dream?
Yes, I have worked every day to cultivate my skills as an artist. I have always drawn and was lucky as a young boy to have a friend who loved art as much as me. I always knew I would always have the skills as a creative and have always spent a lot of time with artists, so I knew that is what I would do. I couldn’t imagine what life is like without art?
What do you think you would do if you weren’t an artist?
When I was young I wanted to be a stunt man as I watched too much of the The Fall Guy but I never learnt to drive or… a time lord! I work in care so I think I would have been a nurse as I like caring and helping people.
Your favorite current artists?
Like music it depends on my mood but I am a big fan of Turner, I love his big spaces and moods. As for children books I love Shaun Tan books, his writing and energy and the great Catherine Rayner . I have just found a great children’s artist Chris Applehans and look forward to seeing his future work.
What is the most important thing in life?
To be nice to everything and leave something nice and good behind for people to talk about.
What is the most beautiful thing about art for you?
I sometimes speak to people who say they are bored and don’t know what to do, I feel I can not be bored as I create images, dreams that it seems people can’t get out in any form. To feel that mood when you are drawing is so special.
Do you feel like you’re on the right path?
It’s been a long path as I work part time on the other days… so every spare minute I create my art. I have an exciting project in the works so I do feel like it’s all finally coming together at the moment.
What would be the dream?
To travel the world, for people to like my work and give up my part time job and draw every day.
Looking at your life from ten years ago – are you where you wanted to be?
I did think I would of got my art out by now but I am happy that I am still trying.
The next big election is coming up in England – do you have any hopes or thoughts on this? Artists can be influential… no?
I am very interested in Politics and have strong views, having been a young man in the 80s. I have always been interested in the daily politics cartoon which still runs in the UK. It must be a hard job to do… to make a comedy out of the politicians. Or maybe not as politics does seem to be a comedy most days.
Favorite quote to leave us on:
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Links to work:
Enjoy! Becki Bx