Monday, 22 April 2013

Featured Artist: Jamie Maguire

Our first featured artist is the fantastic and extremely talented Jamie Maguire, who was very kind to answer a few questions for us!

Jamie originally studied fashion illustration at London College of Fashion although he chose not to pursue this as a career. He has sold quite a few paintings privately over the years, mainly from word of mouth or having his worked displayed in local restaurants and bars. This included creating a number of commission pieces for a fishmongers on Kings Road and a hotel in Brighton. He has also exhibited work alongside Vic Reeves and Wayne Hemmingway at the Vintage at Goodwood festival. Jamie states one of his proudest moments was selling a very large piece to the TV star Michael Barrymore as he had always been big fan.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Voluptuous women feature very heavily in your work, does the female form inspire you?
I have always loved over the top voluptuous women, drag queens and anything in between. I love all the strong historical woman figures in pop culture and was obsessed with Dallas and Dynasty as a kid. I used to draw sketches all the time of Crystal and Alexis fighting complete with shoulder pads and heels. I still have some of my sketchbooks from when I was six years old with doodles of Divine from the original hairspray movie.

I have never painted a man and have no desire to; there is so much to play with when painting a woman from make up to hair to clothes that makes the painting process so much more fun.

Have you always been a natural artist and creative, or was it something learnt?
I am definitely a natural artist. I have drawn with pencil from a very young age but only started painting when I was about 25. I did go to art school but hated it - the final straw was being asked to draw a fruit bowl which I was having none of. Being taught to make art seems pretty absurd to me as I believe you either have creative flair or you don’t so my art college life didn’t last very long, I did go to the London College of Fashion to study fashion illustration which I enjoyed as it just meant I could sketch woman in fabulous clothes all day which was amazing.

Do you visit galleries in London, what are your favourite ones and your favourite artists?
To be honest I don’t visit galleries very often as I very rarely see anything that interests me. I don’t see myself as a massive art lover and I am certainly not a fan of modern art. I do like the odd curiosities of Damien Hirst but that’s more just the shock factor than anything. When I think of art I think of paintings and drawings, clothes and sculpture. I don’t see a half eaten packet of crisps hanging off a coat hanger as art - just can’t seem to get my head around that. My favourite artists are Lucien Freud, Frances Bacon and Gil Elvgren, slightly embarrassingly I also love the work of Tom of Finland probably for all the wrong reasons.

Do you think enough support is given to new artists and how do you think this can be improved? What advice would you give to those just starting out?
I don’t think I really have an answer for this question as I really don’t have a clue what help and support is actually available to artists. I have always just done my own thing and have been lucky enough to sell a few paintings along the way, I haven’t sought help, support or funding for my art as I feel my work is very niche and only appeals to quite a select amount of people and I still maintain the feeling 'Am I actually a good artist really?' but I’m sure most people who make art feel this way.

My advice for any artist would be to just paint or create what you love. Experiment with things but don’t lose sight of why you do what you do. If you have a certain style stick with it as this is what will reach out to others and make your work unique.

Do you have plans for a new exhibition of your work?
I have had an idea for a while which I have just started to try and organise. I have wanted to put on an event to show the work of unknown gay artists in a less stuffy setting than a gallery. The event will be called Faggart and will be an art show / party with a splattering of drag queens and some camp tunes. I have never organised anything myself before so it could end being a right disaster but I’m going to have a go all the same.

We love Jamie and his work and are very excited to see how his project goes! If you wish to view more of Jamie's work why not head over to his website HERE


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