We invited Joe Atkinson to paint a canvas for the walls of our Leeds store, we caught up with him to find out about his work.
Tell us about what you have created for our canvas project?
I wrote the words “Create, Make and Do” using a selection of artistic materials to spell out the letters in my own style which involves taking inanimate objects and giving them faces and character.
Which materials did you use and why?
I used a mix of spray paint, acrylic paint and Posca pens to create the canvas, I used these materials because they are all quick drying and have an instant application, with vivid results. Posca pens in particular are really good because you don’t have to work too much into it to get a strong finish.
Where do you make most of your work?
I create most of my work in my home studio or outside in a number of varying locations where I produce my paintings on walls.
What are your favourite creative tools?
Depending on where I am, if I am at home I love using inks, pens and brushes to create work on paper and canvas. If I am out and about painting walls I prefer to use a mix of emulsion and spray paints.
Who are your biggest creative influences?
Artists like Keith Haring, Barry Mcgee and the Os Gemeos brothers have been huge influences on me over the past few years, both with the creative output and the amount of work they produce and the scale of a lot of their work, its consistently inspiring seeing new work they all have produced. The films Style Wars and Beautiful Losers have changed the way I work and what I do.
If you could only use one material in your work, what would it be and why?
It’s a tricky one but I would have to say spray paint, it’s so versatile and has so many applications and something I use weekly and can’t imagine working with out it anymore.
What was the best exhibition or art event you went to last year?
Drew Millward’s exhibition at Colours May Vary here in Leeds last year was fantastic, I love his work so much and I would look at it for hours on end, always seeing something new and I love his style, it was great seeing so much of his work all in one place.
If you had a tip for artists starting out, what would it be?
Just do, work as often as you can – just any time you can be making work – do it, and set yourself goals like one painting a week, one drawing a week etc, and things end up piling up and come together. For me it has become a bit of an obsession – I have to fill photo albums with pictures of paintings then move on to a new one and the same with boxes which I fill with drawings – it is now a constant goal and something I just have to do!