We are extremely proud to announce John Ball as the Talented Art Fair's Talented Artist of the Year 2019! John will be retiurning for Talented 2020 and will be exhibiting his exciting new series of highly collectible paintings within the winners stand at The Truman Brewery from the 6th to the 8th of March 2020. Talented Art Fair Director Oliver Norris caught up with John to find out what he's been up to since winning this award and to get a better insight into his art life and creation process.
How long have you been creating artwork?
I’ve been Drawing since I could hold a pencil, I starting painting in acrylics when I was a teenager and moved onto oils in my 20s.
I’ve been painting pretty much full time now for the last 3 years.
Before you exhibited at our Lemon Art events, you were a Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 Finalist, how was this experience?
Landscape Artist Of The Year was a great experience and gave me the confidence to start painting professionally. I met a lot of other artists and it was encouraging to see that people were earning a living making art.
In March 2019 you were our Talented Artist of the Year, what have you been up to since winning the award and where else have you exhibited?
Since talented art fair 2019 I’ve been busy expanding my portfolio, making new work and taking my art to the people!
I did an ‘Artist takeover’ Show for Studio 73 in Brixton and exhibited at the Sussex Art Fairs in Goodwood and Brighton. Later in the year I was Invited to visit Wenzhou, China with a group of 8 other uk artists. We had the opportunity to exhibit alongside renowned Chinese landscape artists at the Nanxi Academy. The hospitality was amazing and we were fortunate enough to visit and paint many beautiful locations during our stay.
You are best known for your paintings, what is your creation process and how long does each piece usually take?
I work from photographs that are mostly taken on my iPhone, I carefully select images I like and edit them digitally before making paintings using the photos as reference. Smaller paintings can take a week or two where as I might be working on larger pieces for several months. I sometimes work in series on several pieces simultaneously so its sometimes difficult to tell how long each piece takes individually, you might spend a couple of days on one piece then switch over.
When you create a series based on a new theme, how do you decide on the subject matter?
If you want to explore ideas in greater depth, then working on a series can give you the opportunity to do this. I am currently working on several paintings of broken matchbox toy cars which we inherited from Lisa’s uncle Pete, they are all really worn and played with to the point of destruction. I was drawn to the familiar aesthetic and the juxtaposition of childlike innocence and brutality.
What has been your most successful body of work to date?
I am best known for my landscapes and following my success on Landscape Artist Of The Year I am still selling prints of Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, which has proven to be my biggest seller!
Who are your biggest influencers from the past and present?
Paintings by John Salt, Richard Estes, Robert Bechtle , Edward Hopper, Lucian Freud, Harald Sohlberg. The movies of David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Quentin Tarantino. A few artists worth checking out right now: Andy Cropper, Jessie Woodgate, Patrick Wilkins, Marguerite Horner, Nial Adams
We know you love to exhibit at exhibitions are art fairs, apart from sales, what do you enjoy the most about the experience?
The good thing about art fairs is you get a real mix of art enthusiasts and collectors and you get to meet loads of really interesting people, discuss your art in person and get some honest feedback from the general public. It’s always nice to meet the other exhibitors too and it’s a great opportunity to exchange ideas and contacts with the other artists.
What advice would you give to artists who are just starting out?
My advice for anyone starting out in art, is to just do what you like doing and don’t worry about whether people are going to buy it or not. in fact, don’t even worry about whether people like it or not! Art isn’t about selling something, it’s about doing something that you enjoy and that brings you some kind of fulfilment. I’ve been painting on and off for the last 25 years and I’ve only just started making a living out of it, so don’t ever think you are going to get rich quick. It’s a tough business and you need to work hard and do long hours.
What have you got planned for Talented Art Fair 2020?
For Talented 2020 I’ll be debuting some new work from ‘The Wenzhou Expedition’ part of a series of paintings made following my trip to China last year. I’ve also been working on some small oil studies of battered matchbox toy cars which I will be showing for the first time.
Tickets to Talented Art Fair 6th to 8th of March 2020 are available here -> http://bit.ly/2SkBdb1-Talented2020
TWITTER: John Ball (@beware_the_void) | Twitter