I am a traveller, skateboarder and artist from Thornton, Liverpool. I was born in 1975 and my main interests growing up were playing football and drawing. Art and P.E. classes were my favourites in school and I remember having a painting of a swan chosen for a school exhibition at Southport Art Gallery. This was a very proud moment and my first gallery experience.
At 12 or 13 I discovered skateboarding and really loved the challenge and freedom it gave me. It still gives me endless enjoyment and exposes me to new influences and different ways of looking at things.
I think the time, effort and failures it takes to learn new things and realise your ideas on a skateboard have been a huge influence on the creative process of my artwork, and the often long process of creating a piece. It also started my love of travelling.
I graduated with a B.A. Honours Degree in Fine Art from Liverpool John Moores University in 2000. In 2001 I was offered the chance to teach English in Taiwan. At this time I was feeling a little disillusioned by the lack of possibilities available after graduation and this seemed like a great opportunity for an adventure. So I quit my job at Alliance and Leicester and agreed to give it a try for three months, even though I couldn’t speak any Mandarin!
It was really hard at times to be away from home and family, but it was nice to see palm trees on your way to work. Not being able to speak the language was a huge challenge, but luckily skateboarding and making art made it easier to relax and enjoy the culture shock. It is a very beautiful island and very different than England in many ways. As well as teaching English, I started teaching some Art tutorials and classes and would always use drawing in class where possible (the students loved it!)
I got a bike and would ride all over Taipei City with a map getting lost and finding new and interesting places to skate and see and make art. As I got to know the city more, learnt some basic Mandarin Chinese and met my future wife; I began to really enjoy living in Taiwan. My three month adventure lasted for over 11 years and I would encourage anyone to do the same. It’s a big and beautiful world out there with many unexpected possibilities.
I returned to Liverpool with my wife in late 2012 and am currently focusing on finding opportunities for a career creating, exhibiting and teaching Art.
We are lucky to have some great Museums and galleries in Liverpool and I frequently visit the Tate, Walker, Bluecoat, Fallout Factory, View 2, Bold Street Coffee and any other places I come across to see exhibitions. I really love Light Night and The Biennial as it seems like art takes over the whole city.
I think exhibitions held in alternative locations (for example my recent exhibition at Bold Street Coffee) are a great way of promoting creativity and art to a wider audience that might not visit a gallery. I think it is a “win-win” situation as it can help artists to have more exposure and it can help the café (or other venue) get more business, as people might re-visit to see what’s new on the walls next month.
My own artwork has always been about trying to capture and represent realism based around portraits, figures and landscapes. It is influenced by the world around me, travelling, skateboarding, friends, family and good and bad experiences. I get a lot of inspiration from people with a positive and creative “ Let’s do it” attitude.
I like the challenge of trying to realistically represent ideas, scenes or people that interest me. I create portraits because I am interested in the huge range of emotion, expression and feeling that is shown on the face. There are so many different subtleties of moods and effects of light and shade to try to show that it is an endless and fascinating source, and I love the different possibilities that this offers.
I also make landscape pieces and try to learn more about blending colours and representing the beauty of nature through these works. I love making pictures at sunset when the fading light creates amazing ranges of colour. My process for creating art begins with an idea that can come from anything or anywhere around me, big or small. I like to use all different mediums for drawing and painting, but most recently have been using acrylic paint and ink a lot.
This year I plan to join a charity exhibition with Hill Dickinson for the Prince’s Trust in February/ March and will be teaching some Charcoal and Acrylic Workshops at the Bluecoat Chambers. As well as this, I will continue looking for new opportunities, commissions and projects, create as much work as I can and exhibit as much as possible.
You can see examples of my work at: dloduk.wordpress.com