Remember when little Johnny would get called out in class for drawing scribbles on his classwork? Ever think many years later that little Johnny would turn his habit into a full time artistic profession?
Meet local artist Andrew Swan, who creates some magnificent pieces of art, featuring some of our all-time favorite musicians. We caught up with Andrew recently and learned about him and his incredible work.
Where are you from and how did this environment help you to develop these unique practices of artwork?
I’m originally from Barnsley, a small mining town in South Yorkshire, England. I now live in Delray Beach which is a very arts orientated community. This in itself helped me find my style and technique.
What is “scribbelism” and “pointillism?”
“Pointillism” is an art form created from impressionism by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. It’s basically placing small distinct dots of color in patterns to make up a bigger picture. “Scribbelism” is literally creating an image just from simply scribbling using fine tipped marker pens (Sharpies)
How did you begin practicing this unique style?
Originally, I just doodled on my desktop calendar at work. People commented on the doodles so I set about doing one big doodle on a calendar (Jimi Hendrix pictured below). I have a friend called Mick Wilson back home in Barnsley, who just so happens to be one of Britains top artists in the style of “Pointillism”. So, armed with a bunch of Sharpie pens, I set about my first serious venture into the World of art (four faces of Jimi).
Music clearly plays a central part in your work. What is the relationship and the significance of music to your artwork?
I’ve been going to see live bands play since I was around 14yrs old and listening to music from day one. I have an older brother (Duncan) who was always bringing the latest Beatles, Stones, Small Faces, and Kinks records into the house so I had an early exposure to pop music. This all changed one day when Dunc brought “Deep Purple in Rock” home, this literally changed my take on music and opened the door to a whole new gender of music, which in turn guided me towards the blues.
When you are drawing, what music do you listen to and why?
Actually I rarely listen to music when I draw, I like absolute quite.
Who most inspires you artistically?
Banksy, Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali, and Mick Wilson.
The work is extremely detailed, how long does it take to create each piece?
The colored pencil and Scribble usually take about the same time, 3 to 4 days, but the Pointillism can take between 40 hours and well over 300. I have one painting that took me 5 years to eventually finish.
How do you stay focused for that long?
I tend to work in short bursts, usually for about an hour, then off to the kitchen for tea and cookies.
What is in the future for Andrew Swan?
I have a couple of projects I’m working on that could change the direction I’m going in, but it’s too early to comment on. Watch this space.
To see more of Andrew’s work, visit his website www.justdotz.com.