Sketchpad Artist - Chris Howker
Chris Howker is one of the twenty Outhouse artists who produced a cover for our sketchpad range. The limited edition cover for our A4 280gsm Bristol Board is in Chris' playful and fun style. We caught up with Chris to find out about his work.
Tell us a bit about the idea behind your sketchbook cover?
Do you know those giant carvings cut into the English countryside? (the big white horse or naked giant?) well I tried thinking of a more mythological explanation to their creation rather than just chalk cut into a field - thus I came up with the giant Cyclops ogre graffiti artist. He used to navigate around the UK countryside terrorising villagers and farmers with his artwork that he'd carve into their fields and castle walls.
How did you get involved with Outhouse?
I met Ben and Tasha of Outhouse previously through other art events or social meetings in Manchester but I was originally lucky enough to be invited to paint at Stevenson Square, the Substation and was involved with some of the designing and painting of the Outhouse's work with Manchester City (The football effect).
How would you describe your work?
Playful and fun.
What inspires you?
Cartoons, comics and toys inspire me from the nostalgic 80's to the modern day. I collect toys as I see them as the ultimate final stage of character creation - bringing an idea from out of my head, then to 2D, before bringing it fully to life as a 3D tangible piece.
Who is your favourite artist or maker?
I don't have one favourite but I know bunch of different people whose work I love to look at whenever I need a inspirational pick me up. Some of these artists have become friends of mine too who constantly inspire me with their drive and passion for creation in each of their respective fields. I also love a tonne of different vinyl toy artists and miniature painters too - it's too difficult to pin it down to just one.
What materials do you use?
Everything starts with pencil and paper no matter what the project but the final outcome can be digital, ink, spray paint, screen print, vinyl wrap, cardboard or polymer clay. Recently I have been developing more of my sculpture work and plan to use plasticine in the near future too so to summarise - use anything and everything I can. Learning is part of the fun.
What is your favourite piece of work that you have made?
I always want to develop and improve my work so I don't have a favourite. However, my Aurora Vs Boreas Outhouse mural was fun as it wasn't a brief that was set by a client and it allowed me to paint what I wanted.
What exhibition or art event have you been to recently that you think is worth shouting about and why?
I haven't been to this event yet but I am eager to make it over to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to catch the Kaws exhibition. I've heard great things about it and I want to see some of his works in the UK for the first time.
Do you have any advice for artists starting out?
Being creative isn't something you learn to do, just do it - whether it be painting, drawing, sculpture, keep being creative. Also, if you're thinking of contacting art directors, studios, clients or whoever about your work then don't fret - they're just people at the end of the day.
What tip would you give to people about one of our products?
Spray paint - Montana black is lovely to work with and I ALWAYS buy skinny caps. Buy more caps than you think too as buying only 1 wont do - trust me. Fred's own paint brushes - brilliant brushes. The staff use their own brushes which speaks volumes. I'm not a brush connoisseur but theyre great value if you destroy brushes like I do. Milliput - Use the standard version to bulk out any sculpture and i recommend the terracotta one for finer detail work - you dont need to use the superfine white version but if you do MIX IT PROPERLY, it's difficult to see when you have done because both compounds are white but if you dont do it right it will never cure.
Where can people see your work? Do you have a website? I do have a website - which I am currently redesigning - howks.co.uk is where my new one will be sat waiting for you to view HOWEVER, it's currently sat here whilst i refine the details www.howkercj.wix.com/2016
I do have a website - which I am currently redesigning - howks.co.uk is where my new one will be sat waiting for you to view HOWEVER, it's currently sat here whilst i refine the details www.howkercj.wix.com/2016