An artrepublic exclusive Q&A with the man of the moment Eelus regarding his latest artrepublic.com exclusive print release 'Where They'll Never Find Us' which will be available to purchase from 1st July.
What is your greatest inspiration when creating your work?
Inspiration comes from every day life and the things and people I choose to surround myself with. So I watch a lot of movies, and I also read and collect books. I love old books and buy a lot that have interesting covers, mainly horror and sci-fi.
I adopted a staffie from Battersea Dogs home a few years ago and that gets me out of the house and into the open a lot. That’s where I do a lot of thinking and idea generating; but I also balance that out with going on walks where I try my best to do as little thinking as possible, giving my mind time to relax and re-charge.
I try and meditate at least once a day. Now and then I’m rewarded with random ideas and visions that will appear in my subconscious, seemingly from nowhere. I always make a note of these and follow them up at some point, transforming them into a painting or whatever.
I think the company you keep can also be really inspiring. Wether it’s another artist friend or not, I’m always inspired by hard working people who don’t wait for their break to be handed to them. I’m excited by people who have the balls to put themselves out there in and just get stuff done, in their own time, on their own dime, answering to nobody but themselves.
What made you start as an artist?
The common tale of uninspired graphic designer turned street artist. I needed an outlet for the energy and ideas that weren’t right for the day job and so I started painting my own stencils in and around London before putting them onto canvas and turning them into screen print editions. After a good few years of hard work and a spoonful of luck, I was fortunate enough to quit the day job and attempt to make a living from the work I was making. Eight years on and I’m still here, clueless as ever, fumbling around in the dark.
How would you describe your work?
I hate describing my work, and try to do it as little as possible.
What is the story behind the new piece?
It’s a tale of 2 imaginative young dreamers. Taking refuge high above the burdens of the real world, hiding from the awkward truths of adolescence.
Which other artists do you admire?
Gustav Klimt, Henry Fuseli, Arnold Böcklin, Vincent van-Gogh, Matisse, Felician Rops, H.R. Giger, Frank Frazetta, the list goes on. I obviously have to mention Banksy as he was my main inspiration to start stencilling back in 2002.
How long did this piece take you?
Just over a week to get it out of my head and the finished artwork ready for the screen printer. The idea itself had been stewing and maturing in my head for a while though. I think it’s important to allow ideas to grow inside your head for a while before you commit to getting them out there.
What kind of environment do you like to work in?
I’m a solitary creature. I need my own private space with a door to close, surrounded by my books and other junk. But it’s nice to challenge that now and then by getting outside and painting the odd wall, chatting with folk.
What would you say are the main themes you pursue?
I’m interested in light and dark and the struggle and balance between the two. Literally, in terms of colour, and figuratively, in terms of the ideas and feelings behind the work. These themes are usually represented through works that have slight sci-fi, horror of fantastical ideas.
Which of your works are you most proud of?
I painted a wall in east London last year as a tribute to a baby daughter my girlfriend and I lost last May. She was stillborn just after 24 weeks due to some complications and it had a huge impact on my work and thinking at the time. For a good few years prior to that, I’d shied away from any kind of street art due to a huge lack of confidence and fear of failing in the public eye. Once it was over, I realised I’d gone through a brutal lesson in what fear really was, and that put real perspective on everything.
So I decided life was too short not to do things because of possible failure or what others thought, and I got back out there and started painting outside again. So I guess I’m proud of that particular piece because of it’s personal significance, and also because It was my first freehand piece, painted without any stencils. Technically it was a mess, but that’s not too important to me these days. My focus is more about the journey and process and what I can learn from it rather than the finished piece.