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Econo-heat

The Heat Is On Vol 2 | Artist Interviews

Econo-heat

 

The Heat Is On Volume 2 is the second annual mid-winter exhibition at The Street concept store in collaboration with Econo-Heat wall heaters. Artists from Johannesburg and Cape Town were invited to use the wall heaters as functional canvasses to paint on. The group exhibition was curated by The Street and Melissa Griesel and opened on the 11th of July. Exhibition visitors were asked to bring along any warm clothes and blankets to be donated to the needy.

 

These are favourites of this year’s exhibition and quick Q&As with the artists behind them.

 

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Senyol

Paul Senyol

 

Paul Senyol

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

I have been painting since my mid teens, firstly influenced by skateboard and music culture, art and design magazines, flyers, etc. Favourite artists at the moment: Barry McGee, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

I have a number of group shows and 2 person shows lined up over the last few months of the year, so I am currently working towards those. I am particularly looking forward to a 2 person show with Andrzej Urbanski at Salon 91, as well as a 2 person show with Bruce Mackay at Wolves.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I’ve been exploring the idea of painting in negative and reverse. Where in the past most of my work found itself on very stark white backgrounds, I’ve started to paint on darker backgrounds, which I am enjoying, as it seems to give the works a bit of a surreal, night-scape dream feeling. I had in mind that the artwork would be part of someone’s bedtime routine, ‘goodnight sweetheart’.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

In time, hard work shows its reward.

 

Hannah Hughes

Hannah Hughes

 

Hannah Hughes

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

I have been drawing since I can remember which is probably when I first learnt how to pick u pen… around the age of 3… and haven’t really stopped since then. I remember drawing rude pictures in class and leaving them in children’s satchels. A nice gift for mum when she repacks her child’s bag for school the next day. I have always had a pen on me and often find myself drawing without realising which makes for some funny characters and great developments. I have carried it on making it my career which is quite lovely at times. Living in London for 5 years in my twenties really pushed me more to make it my profession as I was seeing illustration everywhere being incorporated into graphics, fashion and film. We live in a great time as illustration is really respected now. Being paid for drawing is very nice and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

Carrying on with what I’m doing and that is BeKind and drawing and making people smile.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I used an acrylic black paint and gold markers. Lots of people and odd creatures having a good time with each other…in all senses of the word.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Be kind and always carry a pencil.

 

Jason De Villiers

Jason De Villiers

 

Jason De Villiers

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

It’s hard to say, it just kind of happened.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

Whatever comes my way.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

It’s called “Dead Flag Blues” and it’s about change.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Perseverance breeds success.

 

Ivana Raguz

Ivana Raguz

 

Ivana Raguz

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

Being creative was always something that came so naturally to me. I never really looked at it as a ‘talent’, it was just something I really enjoyed and wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life doing. Design can never be monotonous, each job is unique and there is always a problem to solve; which makes it exciting. Art/Design is more crucial to the world than people seem to believe. And I am very happy to be part of something that has the power to change the world for the better. Everything around me influences me in its own way, from street art, to books, to the internet, to the gigs I go to, to the people around me. Design is ever-evolving so you always have to be aware of what’s happening around you because art is everywhere.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

You’ll just have to wait and see…

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I have to be honest; I have a very bad habit of not thoroughly planning my designs beforehand. I also have this tendency to rush my work because I am impatient and very curious to see the end result. But somehow that style works for me. My design for the exhibition was a very quick decision. I scamped my idea on a post-it note and just ran with it. When you know yourself a bit better there is less doubt or second guessing when it comes to your work, what you like and what you are capable of creating. I like flower wreaths and I have a slight obsession with otters.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

I would say, whatever interests you, don’t stop working at it. That’s the only way people get good at what they do. I am still trying to apply this piece of good advice to my life. The more you work at it, the more confident youll be in your design and the more that confidence will show in everything you do. It’s a flawless formula that so many people (including myself) haven’t fully grasped. Your work will be as good as your ambitions.

 

Justin Southey

Justin Southey

 

Justin Southey

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

I found myself making art, so I studied what I loved doing, and now I do it for a living.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

Although I do have some stuff lined up for the end of the year, I am currently in Europe for 3 months on an (inspiration vacation) while my wife completes some research over here.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

This is my interpretation of what an ocean party looks like.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Just keep painting and creating, accept constructive criticism and don’t be so defensive of your work or style that you are unable to learn.

 

Koos Groenewald

Koos Groenewald

 

Koos Groenewald

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

I never planned on becoming an artist, I wanted to be a world champion mountain biker but that didn’t happen. I’ve always liked great ideas and images and so graphic design was a good second life choice and from that I just kept drawing until that became something more than just a sideline project. It’s still a good sideline thing for me and keeps me sane and is a great place where I can create stuff that have no clients or reason to exist.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

To finish this current series and for an end of year solo exhibition as well as to have more time to finish the exhibition that Jana and I are doing for Jana and Koos, also planned for the end of the year.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

It’s part of a series, although slightly different in execution, called Diskontent and is a collection of people, things and moments that live between cute and crude.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Just do shit. And keep doing it until you find the thing that you like doing most. And then do that thing better than you used to.

 

Marija Van Rensburg

Marija Van Rensburg

 

Marija Van Rensburg

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

I’m passionate about drawing and creating pretty things. Creativity definitely runs in our family and was always encouraged. Growing up, my sisters and I would often come up with little drawing challenges to keep us busy. I guess that passion led to studying graphic design and later launching my own illustration business, Kitty Stretch.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

My plan is to keep pushing Kitty Stretch. I’ve recently introduced a selection of baby goods (including burp cloths, personalized cushions, taglets and more) and I’m hoping to extend this range as I go along. I’m also aiming to sell my products at various markets throughout the year, starting with The Life Market in Potchefstroom.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

I’ve portrayed a man that has reached a crossroads in his life and needs to make a decision about his career. He is wrestling between which profession to pursue, fishing or making shoes, the two things he loves most. Hence the title ‘Fishoe’.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

Find what you love to do and do it well. Don’t be afraid to experiment, there is always something new to learn.

 

Elise Wessels

Elise Wessels

 

Elise Wessels

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

Since I’ve always been able to draw, becoming an illustrator was just a natural progression. I always look at the work of Andrzej Nowicki for inspiration, I would love to live in the world he creates.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

No big plans lined up, just enjoying life at the moment.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

Animals have always been a major theme in my work. As a kid I watched the 1967 “Dr. Dolittle” film and the fact that he could talk to the animals was just too cool for my infant mind. I specifically remember the two headed Llama, and finally got around to drawing it.

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

If you have any other options for generating an income, my advice would be to rather do art as a hobby.

 

Hermz Diabolical

Hermz Diabolical

 

Herman Potgieter

 

Why did you become an artist and what are your main influences?

I was influenced by my sister form a very young age. I studied art at school and I used to watch her draw. It pretty much started from there. She gave me some inspiration from the images she used to draw and I wanted to do the same thing. I started redrawing frames out of my favourite comic books and traced them line for line.

Only later after school I studied animation and graphic design. People started generating awesome computer generated graphics and animation but I wanted to explore the realm of 2 dimensional artwork not wanting to work on computer. Only later once I perfected a certain style which I was comfortable with, I started getting into generating digital graphics but still incorporating a massive influence of 2d sketches.

My main influences that can define my style over the years would probably be classic 2d animation and comic books (Spawn, Lobo, 2000AD comics, Marvel), Looney Tunes, Invader Zim, Dexter’s Lab, to more advanced animation like The Triplets of Belleville. I got exposed to the elements of graffiti before it was referred to as street art, incorporating it into my own style of drawing.

Nowdays there are so many good artists it’s hard to say (Jeremy Fish for starters). I try not to look at other artists too much and rather keep a clear mind and influence myself through looking at life and creating images according to what I physically see and experience in the world.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

For the rest of the year I plan on creating more artwork for print and getting involved in a couple of projects. My main aim is to create artworks that I feel are worth showcasing to the masses. Once I have a new bulk of work I’ll take a look at maybe having an exhibition, once the message is what I want to convey. Also creating an online store where people can by prints of the work. Other than that I’m watching life and documenting the whole thing with black ink.

 

Tell us a bit about your design for the exhibition?

This illustration to the naked eye seems very self explanatory but it has a bit of a deeper meaning! The idea was to illustrate how technology and society convince us about truths or non-truths leaving it up to the viewer to decide if it’s real or not. Concentrating on the speed at which technology is growing and trying to keep up with it all and finding a use for all the useful uselessness in our day and age. So I took the theme of an alien invasion. If they say it’s true than we must believe it, or should we!?

Working around this theme I wanted to illustrate the ignorance of man and his technological toys. Also the depiction of aliens in the late 50s with their flying round disks that we (through the media) still see today, brings me to a conclusion that our technology is better than their’s cause they haven’t redesigned their ships since then, but a new iPhone comes out every day!

* Have you ever seen an alien wearing a shirt with a human face?

 

Any advice to anyone wanting to become an artist?

My advice would be…any direction you want to go into you just have to live it! Do it every day, read up about the subject, collect things you like and incorporate them into a style. You will see the more you do it, the more your own personal style will come through. For years I never really concentrated on the subject matter only to perfect that ultimate black line! Focus and repetition…repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition.

If you feel frustrated with something then step away and do something else. When you eventually come back to it you will be in a different mindset and the answer might be clear. If not, set it alight and watch it burn. Then start over!

 



Between 10 and 5