JONATHAN LAWES

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

JL: My work is presented in a very graphic way, with my love of geometric shapes evident alongside my attention to colour and detail.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

JL: I draw my inspiration from a variety of things all around me. My work can sometimes be very linear and angular, and for that I mostly draw inspiration from modern architecture and bold, geometric patterns. Being out and exploring, whether it’s in the city or in the countryside, can also be very inspirational for me. The colours, compositions, subtle textures, shadows etc. all get me going.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

JL: I used to be quite structured and methodical in my approach, almost perfectionist. I guess I still am to some extent, but I’ve recently started letting go a bit more, embracing the freedom and spontaneity of silkscreen printing. I like the little mistakes and the experimental aspect of it. Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t, but the element of surprise is what makes it fun.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

JL: My work never really has a meaning behind it – it’s all about aesthetics. I want people to enjoy the colour combinations, the composition and balance of the pieces.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

JL: I live in Berlin and have my work space in the spare room of our flat. It can feel a bit small sometimes, I generally end up spreading all over the floor, but it does the trick. I don’t really have a daily ritual, new ideas come to me sporadically and when they do I’ll sit down and work on them. When I’m not at my desk I’m busy screen printing. I’ve been working with Gfeller & Hellsgård at their print studio, Re:Surgo, and alongside doing work for them I am able to utilise the facilities and work on my own ideas.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

JL: I always think it’s good to have some sort of idea what you want to do, but don’t be afraid if you veer from your original path. Sometimes spontaneity is good and you need to embrace it as an artist. Some of my best work has come around from that.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

JL: Keep going! Accept the lows, move on, and then enjoy the highs!

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

JL: I’m all about aesthetics, so I guess it is important for me. Highest importance? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely up there.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

JL: The feeling of rejection, that you’re not good enough, is pretty hard to take. But like I said before you just have to keep going – a lot easier said than done sometimes.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

JL: Doing something creative and experimental. That’s when I’m at my best.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

Lots of people. I’m a big fan of people like Joseph Albers, Mark Rothko, Henri Matisse. I am also really inspired by the works of designer duo Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Closer to home, Christian Gfeller & Anna Hellsgård (of Re:Surgo) have been great for me the last year. It’s been a pleasure working with them and they’ve taught me so much.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

JL: In terms of practice I think it has it’s advantages, but I still prefer the hands on approach you get with screen printing over digital printing. I like getting involved and getting my hands dirty. With regards to social media I think it’s very helpful at getting yourself out there and being noticed. My girlfriend works in digital marketing so she’s helped me get much better at online exposure.

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

JL: I guess I look at things in a different way to other people. Certain things always catch my eye – interesting compositions, colour combinations, the little details, etc. Some people must look at me and think I’m slightly odd sometimes.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

JL: I love to travel and have been very lucky over the last couple of years to do so quite frequently. My girlfriend is from Barcelona so that’s pretty high up there. 2 years ago we went to Marrakesh – I loved it so much I plan to go back.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

JL: I recently read ‘The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair’ by Jöel Dicker. It was really good and I couldn’t put it down. I’ve also read and enjoyed many of Nick Hornby’s novels. In terms of Art & Design, I have a book of drawings by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. It offers a little insight into their daily studio work and sketchbook ideas. It’s really inspirational.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

JL: Unfortunately my printing buddies are moving to Paris, so first of all I need to find some new studio space. Then once that is sorted it’s back to printing. My style has developed a great deal over the last year, so I want to continue with that even more. I find the more time I spend in the studio, the better it gets.

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

JL: Everything really. I feel so lucky to do something I thoroughly enjoy and make a living out of it.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

JL: ‘Mi Mujer’ by Nicolas Jaar.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

JL: I’m really enjoying my personal progression at the moment, so stay tuned for more new and exciting ideas coming soon.

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