Aug 28, 2012

Amy McSimpson - Pictures from a story yet to be Written

Amy McSimpson's whimsical illustrations of imagination will be on display at venue 171 on the 8th and 9th.

1. Please tell us about the work you will be showing in the 2012 E17 Art Trail?
My exhibition is a collection of illustrations made in pen and ink with elements of collage. I needed the incentive to produce a new series of pictures so decided to set myself the challenge of exhibiting in this years art trail. The pictures are quite spontaneous and represent whatever madness is going on in my head at the time!

2. Is this your first time in the Trail or are you an E17 Art Trail veteran?
I've exhibited pieces as part of the Life Drawing group at the Nags Head pub on 3 or 4 occasions but this is the first time i've had my own show. Mark (Sowden who's studio i'm exhibiting in) used to run the life drawing group so that's how we met. Both Mark and Sharow (Drew) has been very encouraging in my taking part this year.

3. What are the challenges of getting everything ready for your Art Trail event?
I have a full time job as a graphic designer of children's books so i've only been able to work on my exhibition in the evenings and weekends. I wish i'd had more time to devote to it because i've found the process very therapeutic and enjoyable.

4. The E17 Art trail has become bigger every year. Do you think it is because more artists are calling it home?
Walthamstow seems to be a bit of a hidden gem. In the 6 years i've lived here I've seem a rise in creative folks calling it their home and that's had such a positive effect on the area. This is in part due to the art trail, which has brought the area to the attention of artists who probably only knew Walthamstow for its market and dog track before.

5. Do you remember the first artist that really influenced you? Does that artist’s influence still have an impact on your work?
Oh yes. Two artists have had the most influence on me as an illustrator. I became interested in illustration as a path from Jamie Hewlett's 'Get the Freebies' comic strip in The Face magazine when i was a teenager and i've loved his work ever since. My other great inspiration is the work of Tove Jansson (who's best know for her moomin books.) Her characters and stories continue to excite and engage me. Recently i've been amazed by the work of David Roberts, Marc Aspinall, Charlotte Gastaut and Rebecca Dautremer to name but a few. I collect illustrated picture books so have quite a collection from all round the world.

6. What has E17 bestowed on you?
Walthamstow has given me some really wonderful friends and a sense of community that i didn't think was possible in central London. I love calling it my home.

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