Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I spent my youth in the motherland of Wigan. Home of pies, rugby and large women. I now spend my days in Hastings. Home of whelks, seagulls and teen mums.
Your main passions?
Reading books, watching films, making pictures, laughing with friends.
Tell us about your creative background.
I worked in online media for around 7 years. Designing websites and making online games for people like Playstation, EA and Diesel. Working in such an industry is fun at times but can be very frustrating creatively, there’s always someone else behind the wheel who has the final say, and that person usually has very little creativity and imagination. At the same time I was becoming really interested in the whole street art scene and the second I stepped out of the first Santa’s Ghetto show in London, I knew I had to get more involved in some way. About 4 or 5 years later I had my own work in the Santa’s Ghetto show and it went on to sell out. Shortly after that I quit my job and dedicated myself full time to becoming an artist. Just shows that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.
What’s the reason for doing what you do?
I’ve always loved creating and making pictures, ever since I was a kid. I love to create worlds and narratives inside my head and lose myself there. The work I produce are the illustrations to these worlds and stories. The work seems to be making people happy so far and that’s also the reason why I do what I do. Knowing that your work can inspire and put a smile on just one person’s face is a great feeling.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Reality and fantasy. Like I said I love reading and watching films, mainly sci-fi and horror, so my head is usually filled with imagery and ideas based around these themes. Inspiration can come from anywhere though, just living from day to day, meeting new people, seeing friends, just enjoying life.
Do you have a particular type of music you like to work to?
I love listening to music when I’m working, but not one particular type. My iPod is usually on shuffle so you’ll hear Iron Maiden, Metallica, Smashing Pumpkins, Unkle, Orbital, Plaid, Aphex Twin, ACDC, Joy Division, David Bowie. Lots of random stuff really. I also subscribe to two podcasts which I listen to religiously that give me a huge amount of inspiration and insight. Coast to Coast Am and Mysterious Universe. So you can listen to shows on everything from Bigfoot, UFOs, conspiracies, New World Order, alternative theories on history, really interesting stuff. Keeps me going into the early hours.
Which piece of your own work do you share the greatest connection with and why?
I guess it would be Shat-at, it was the first proper image I started to paint and the image that got me to where I am today. Even though I’m sick of the sight of it, especially now that my girlfriend has her copy hanging in the house, it was still the first step for me and holds a lot of importance.
What gives you greater creative satisfaction and why: art on walls or art on canvas?
They’re both equal for different reasons. I love to paint alone in my studio, listening to music, deep in concentration, experimenting at my own pace, uninterrupted. But painting a nice big wall outside with friends, a few beers, lots of laughs, it’s always a good time and challenging. Plus I get a lot of satisfaction seeing my work so big, and it’s nice to work to that scale so you have a lot more room to play with the fine detail.
Tell us a little about your debut London art show ‘The Colour Out Of Space’ and what visitors can expect to experience.
Well, they’ll see some ‘classic’ Eelus styled imagery and also some work that has a new feel to it. There’s a lot of colour in this show compared to most of my previous work. I hope it holds together as a show and is recognizable as my work, only time will tell. I’m really pleased with the way everything has turned out though which is the main thing. I’m just looking forward to getting people into the show and hearing their views on it. There’s no one single theme running through the show other than the usual underlying themes that have become trademark to what I do. The weird, unusual, creepy, fantastic, humourous.
As well as nineteen or so new paintings on canvas, wood and metal, there will also be a couple of big murals painted inside the space and downstairs will have a retrospective look at all my print work so far. So all in all there’s hopefully enough going on to impress people who have followed me for years and also new people who may have never seen any of my stuff before.
What else can we expect from Eelus in the future?
I’m off to paint in NYC in May as part of a TOP SECRET project so I can’t go into that one right now! But, I’ll be Back in NYC in September when myself and Parisian stencil master C215 will be collaborating together on a show at the Brooklynite Gallery. I’ve also been helping curate a HUGE project which will be taking place in The Gambia in October. I’ve rounded up an amazing line-up of artists to transform some local rural villages with spray paint as well as running workshops and getting the local kids involved. So for two weeks I’ll be out there with Logan Hicks, C215, Broken Crow, Will Barras, Ben Eine and Lucy McLauchlan – exciting stuff! There will be more info about this on my blog in the near future, blog.onebigfreakshow.com
Eelus’s upcoming show ‘The Colour Out Of Space’ can be viewed from the 25th February – 6th March at Blackall Studios, 73 Leonard St, London, EC2A 4QS
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