Meet the Artist: David Irish

How did you get into art/How did you get started? To begin with, my interest in art came through an enjoyment of drawing as a child. Also being told I was quite good by teachers which encouraged me to develop my skills etc.

What is your background and how has it helped you where you are today? I attended Art College. It was always my desire to become an artist and Art School seemed the natural option to take. Romanticising about Art Schools seemed to dominate my thoughts as a teenager.

What artists do you admire and who has influenced you and why? Selecting artists is similar to choosing your favourite music, it changes with each week and mood. However to be decisive I would say the following: Lowry, Breugel, Vermeer, Chardin and Guston. I am attracted to down to earth artists who reflect the world around them rather than fantasy or surrealism. Colour is also an important quality as it either works or it doesn’t and cannot be intellectualised its feel and sense.

Who inspires you?  What are your influences etc? Inspiration comes from outside art connecting with something other than ourselves.

The theme for this show is Light/Dark – what inspired you to choose this theme, and would you like to say more about your work for this show? I try to give my paintings light and dark or strong contrasts. My theme is good over evil.

Where do you make your work? I usually work at home.

What inspires you to create your work and how do you keep motivated when things get tough in the studio? If I am struggling with painting I do one of two things, either walk away and leave it alone. Alternatively, I imagine I am someone else, then tackle the work. My inspiration can arrive from various sources, music, art, anger or love most importantly you have to get yourself in right frame of mind.

What is your starting point for a piece of work? What do you create? My starting point is an idea; the idea can be anything from a shape to politics.

What process(es) do you use to create your work? / How do you go about creating your work? Creating is about releasing intuitive forces instead of being intellectual.

Have you always been an artist (ie are you part time/full time /what else do/ have you done prior to this if anything?) I have always painted, but we all have to support ourselves and family which involves doing something we don’t want to do.

Which aspect(s) of your work do you enjoy most? Just painting, it’s such a fantastic thing to do.

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out? Be yourself, discover who you are, don’t take too much notice of the so-called Art World, be the best you can and be brave.

What are you trying to achieve at the moment in your work? To continue enjoying what I am doing. If I stop enjoying it, I will stop.

How have you handled the business side of being an artist? I am absolutely useless at the business side. Each year I promise myself to sort it out, unfortunately it never happens.

What goals do you have and where do you want to be with your work in the future? To have some marginal success with selling work.

Where do you exhibit/ sell your work? I only exhibit in galleries but I am thinking of looking further afield if Premier Inn want my work.

What have you been doing / making this year? Plans for next year? The last twelve months I have tried to soften my work and make it more mainstream.

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