I am excited to have Rich Banks this month. Having connected him in Twitter few months ago, I have been following his art that I really love because they all are consistent, mostly symmetrical and detailed. What not to love!
Hey Rich! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in York. I have a studio at Bar Lane Studios, where I also produce limited edition screen prints of my work.
How did you become an artist?
By accident really, I’m a trained graphic designer and ran my own graphic design company straight out of University with a friend. Then that just wasn’t really working and my friend got offered a well paid job elsewhere, so I had to figure out what I wanted to do. After a couple of failed months trying painting I started drawing again, which led to me getting a studio at Bar Lane. From there I’ve focused more on my own drawings and printmaking, as well as taking illustration work on for clients.
How would you describe your art?
Obsessive compulsive drawing! I have quite a technical and bold style of drawing, which I think comes from being taught to draw by an architect and also through my graphic design background. I use a lot of geometric patterns and symmetry in my work, which I think works well with my bold style of drawing. Because I screen print my work I have to find ways to create depth in my drawings without using gradients. So I use a lot of hatching/cross hatching/stippling and chequerboard patterns which is probably where the obsessive compulsive part to my work comes in!
Who or what inspires your work?
Day to day life really, I wouldn’t say theres anything that is more of an inspiration to me than anything else. I have found that since getting a studio and not working from home that my works improved. I think that is down to the people at Bar Lane or the people that come in to print. I’ve got to meet some amazing people and see some amazing work. If you’re struggling with your work then you can bounce ideas off each other, and it’s also opened up a lot of opportunities for me, which wouldn’t of been there if I was working from home. So I guess you could say the other artists, designers and printmakers I’ve met inspire me to create better work.
What is your favourite piece you have ever produced?
I’m really happy with my smoking frog drawing. From the initial concept drawing through to finishing a run of 200 screen printed cards, nothing went wrong. Which is really unusual, normally you can expect there to be problems when producing work, especially screen prints.
Who is your favourite artist if you have one?
I couldn’t just choose one, I have a very varied taste. I love illustrators like Alfred Wainwright and then painters like Kandinksy. Having a studio in York I also get to see artists working like Nathan Walsh and Dean Hopkins. Their work and their dedication to that work is just incredible!
What advice or tips would you share with a fellow artist?
If you enjoy what you do, you will create better work.