We first came across Patrick’s work many, many moons ago when he showed at the gallery at a People of Print exhibition – maybe back in 2011. But his recent show at Shoreditch mainstay Dream Bags Jaguar Shoes really blew us away. Get down there and check it out – a series of 70’s sci-fi airbrush paintings and sculptures blown up pretty big works really well.
We were lucky enough to visit his studio and see the smaller, original A2 versions and have a chat with him. We also picked up a couple of editions by Patrick, including a great pin badge – you can get those here.
Hey Patrick, how’s it going, and what are you up to RIGHT now?
Literally watching paint dry on some airbrush experiments for a poster I’m designing— trying to get a very particular paint effect used a lot in the 70s. Not sure if I’m succeeding.
Your work’s currently showing at DBJS: tell us about it.
It’s a collection of 10 airbrush paintings I did in Porto a while back, based on research done on creation myths— I created a globalised narrative based on the similar threads in creation stories from around the world— and then depicted some of them in very simple forms… Then we expanded the pictures into the 3D realm for the show, s/o to James and Ben at JS for making it all happen— it came out pretty much exactly as planned, and am really stoked with it… It’s on till the end of May.
You’ve been working a lot with airbrush; I suppose it’s a classic (almost cliched?) illustrator’s tool. How is it to work with?
I’d been making artwork on Photoshop for years, masking off areas, and filling with different gradients, and realised that it was exactly the same method as airbrush painting— so it was a surprisingly easy transition onto paper from the computer— it’s all about patience, as I use masking film, which you lay over the paper, and using a scalpel, have to cut all the lines for masking each bit of the illo, then lift a piece off the paper, spray, put it back down, and move on to the next bit, but you don’t see how it all looks until the very end, when you peel all the masking film off and do the big reveal, which is nerve-wracking as the paper can and does rip but also amazing, when it all works out.
All in all, it’s a long old process, and you can see why it died out…
You mentioned you’re inspired by a lot of fantasy illustrators – who and how?
My dad had all these books when I was a kid, people like Roger Dean, and Chris Foss, who made incredibly detailed spaceships and stuff like that. It was the Roger Dean book, Views, which got me into thinking about album covers as he used to do a load of covers for Prog bands like Yes, I still have the book, but it is fair to say a lot of it is a bit cheesy now— though his typography is still sick.. Another huge influence came from comic books though— Originally Judge Dredd, and Tank Girl, but then got way more into the Moebius, Phillipe Caza and the Metal Hurlant/ Heavy Metal dudes from 70’s France, it was super imaginative, and mind bending. I loved all Moebius’s stuff in the desert, for some reason they really speak to me…
Your work is supported by some great products – how important is this to your practice, beyond financial support?
I’m relatively new to selling anything other than prints, and it’s a world I really want to explore more, and move into making objects and ‘things’— but I do love doing tees; everyone loves a tee, and I feel a piece of work takes on new meaning on someone’s back. This summer I want to bring out a slew of new things; a new pin, and eventually want to do a whole Tarot deck, which I know is going to take a while— that is fully part of my practice—I see it all as equally important— i’m not just doing them to make money, I just wanna make things, and the fact that they sell is a bonus.
Besides the sci-fi and fantasy stuff, who or what else is an influence on your work?
I wouldn’t say I’m into fantasy, more sci-fi; Game of thrones is as far as I go… That said, lately I’ve been reading about British folklore, and weird things and customs that still exist, like solstice celebrations, and Jack In The Green festival etc—I love all the amazing things that still happen in this country… and reading about the Tarot, which I love as it’s got mad meanings behind each card, that bridges different religions and cultures, and a pack is essentially 72 little amazing illustrations.
Visually, I’m a huge fan of Barney Bubbles’ work, and ethos, and also Eduardo Paolozzi, who I feel had a similar threads running though their work— both pretty funny people also. Also Ken Price was an amazing sculptor, ceramicist and artist from California and I love almost everything he’s done; a man after my own heart.
You’ve got a great Tumblr. I’m kinda gutted it’s on its knees as I think it’s great. What are your thoughts on it?
Thanks, I didn’t know it was on it’s knees? I suppose it’s just teenagers and porn now, is that what you mean? I like it as it feels like the back room of the internet, sometimes— feels like those early days of browsing, somehow, just because of all the weird shit you get. Feels like a night-time world, though I’ve never got into Reddit or anything like that, which is definitely a night-time world. Deep rabbit hole shit. People will keep Tumblr alive, I imagine— there’s a pretty close community on it… LONG LIVE TUMBLRRR!
Give us 5 pals who’s work you’re feeling?
My mate Pete runs Genius Treasure Collection (@geniustreasurecollection)— an online museum of odd art from car boots sales, he had a physical exhibition recently, and it was incredible— amazing drawings and sculptures, curated beautifully. Check it on instagram. I love Ed Cheverton’s (@edcheverton) illustration work— think he’s got a super fresh style. Rose De Borman (@rdeborman), my neighbour in my studio block makes the maddest ceramics, which I love. Out of this world ceramic glazes, she’s showing in Tate St.Ives at the moment. Jim O’Raw (@jimoraw) is always bringing the goods— check his instagram, it’s very satisfying. Nathan Cowdry’s (@stinkstagram) comics are really good— all manga-esque n quite quite sexy — pick one up.
No— Thank you.