Welcome to this new section of our blog, where you can meet the artists that created our deck designs, where are they from, what inspires them to create, how they came up with the idea of the winning design and more!
We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we did!
Where are you from and how long have you been doing art?
I was born and raised in the Manchester area, and have been interested in art from a young age. I have spent my formative years drawing weird creatures and being interested in comic art and the surreal.
What style best describes you?
I got interested in portrait painting at about age 17, and have made that a central focus of my practice, combined with a love for the surreal. I have always seen my art as an exploration into creating things that I think should exist even if they don't.
Did you study? Where?
I studied art at the Manchester School of Art, where I did my foundation degree and began doing a BA in Interactive Arts, when I was forced to leave my degree after being incapacitated by a brain injury. I used art throughout the first half of my twenties both as a means of understanding the world around me and as a therapeutic method, and as such have created a more philosophical outlook that I have tried to bring out in my art.
I was able to return to university in 2013, to complete a degree in Illustration and Animation, again at the Manchester School of Art. On my degree I developed an interest in self publishing and outsider art, developing an interest in artists such as Henrick Drescher and Henry Darger, whose ideas I have tried to implement into my later works. I consider art to be a primary impulse, through which I have tried to create a raw interpretation of subconscious imagery.
How was the lockdown for you?
Throughout lockdown, I have been a key worker, and have been trying to return to art as a therapeutic tool, creating artistic diaries as well as sculptures and paintings to work through the complicated feelings of such unprecedented times.
What inspires you to do art?
Currently, my artistic inspirations include Francisco Goya, Heironymous Bosch, and William Blake; as well as a fascination with astrology and tarot.
My inspiration for this piece was an extrapolation from the initial inspiration for the idea of the mermaid, coming from the maritime idea that the manatee was actually a mermaid. Obviously it veered somewhat away from the baseline of that inspiration, but I tend to take any inspiration as little more than a jumping off point! I wanted to include something based off British, and specifically Cornish wildlife, so a seal seemed apropos for this concept.
What inspired you to design the "TR7 Trippy Seal"?
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Well I have made a public drive for all of my little books, that anyone is free to peruse and download: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Xj6QR12obEe5DS4I-FnrkOmxvsfbHhuo?usp=sharing
Besides that, as is visible from my Instagram, I have become a lot more interested in pure portraiture of late. I have entered this year's Portrait Artist of the Year, and besides that I am always available for portrait commissions.
If you would like to contact Rob please follow the links below:
Instagram.com/rmltby_illustration, and Facebook.com/robert.maltby.art