a)I was born in Hong Kong in 1966 to a French mother and Chinese Father. I was, however, almost immediately transported to North West London, where I grew up with the local mentality.
q)When growing what was the greatest force pushing you towards art?
a)I was very much into copying animals and cowboys, and other boy like subject matters (soldiers). In a recent talk I gave, and unlike many artists who say that they were gifted when young, I was not, and consider my youth as the empty head years.
q)Were you inspired/encouraged by any one person to pursue your craft?
a)In the empty head years no, but in the last few years I am inspired by many different quirky individuals, more often than not, students at where I lecturer.
q)How would you describe your art to someone who could not see it?
a)Storytelling images which have been concocted together by a desire to express a personal and often political viewpoint – authorial illustration is a term that I sympathize with, along with narrative imagemaker.
q)Are there certain colours and shapes that you’re drawn to?
a)Muted colour palettes and irregular lines, however I am constantly battling against my tendency to formalize shapes.
q)What other talent would you like most to have?
a)I really want to get into mural painting, the stuff that blu creates is amazingly refreshing http://www.blublu.org/sito/walls/walls.htm
q)What’s your favourite mediums to work in/on?
a)At the moment coloured pencils, but I love charcoal – only with three young children it’s impossible to work with.
q)What artists influence or have influenced you(these need not be visual artists)and how have they done so?
a)David Shirgley’s animation: http://www.shynola.com/movies/goodsong/goodsong_download.htm - for it’s sad reflection on modern love and relationships, or the lack of it
The animator phil mulloy: http://www.philmulloy.com/ - for his political irony
Henrik drescher: http://www.hdrescher.com/ - for his brazen re-use of sketches to form sumptously designed art books
q)What non-visual art interest you and does this have an impact on your art?
a)Children’s stories – the odd ones like http://www.randomhouse.com/teachers/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375801761
By Philip Pullman
q)What do you think about artists using the Internet as a forum for sharing their work?
a)In English they say “best thing since sliced bread”. It belongs to the masses and it is viewed by the masses – I hate hierarchies in art, and so the internet is by far my viewing media of choice
q)What is your favourite toy,game or other artefact from your youth(and do you still own it)?
a)I make my own toys now (some out of toilet rolls), but I must admit I did purchase a second hand action man with eagle eyes (the ones that move when you move a lever in the back of his neck). I also got a spiderman action figure because it had 36 points of articulation
q)Got any new projects planned?
a)Always have several on the go, many just burn out, only to be rekindled months or even years on
q)What advice can you give to other artists to help them improve their chances of survival in this global village we call our home?
a)Fight hard for what you want, but don’t sacrifice your ethics along the way. I’ve never worked commercially, because I hate the mindless consumer society we live in, but also I don’t think commerce would touch me with a barge pole.
a)Tadpole's Promise by Jeanne Willis Illustrated by Tony Ross
The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek by Jenny Wagner
Mr McGee and the Biting Flea by Pamella Allen
q)What do you fear most?
q) Your contacts…