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Q&A with the supplier of Cubo’s Artwork Tim Gomersall

Tim Gomersall is an artist based in Leeds. We are lucky enough to have some of Tims work on display in Cubo Leeds. All of Tims art works are available to purchase.

Q. How Long Have You Been an Artist?

A. That’s a tricky question, because answering it involves knowing what it means to be an artist. Is it defined by the artist themselves, or some sort of public recognition that you are an artist? Do you need to have exhibited in a public or private gallery? Have a degree in an art subject? Make your living from art, or at least part of it? Do you have to have a certain level of skill, or are you an artist as soon as you pick up a pencil and start drawing? I don't actually know the answer to those questions, so I would say I am in a process of becoming an artist whenever I make some work.

There is a simpler and less pretentious way to answer this: I started really learning to draw and paint after an injury early in 2020 had me signed off work. Suddenly I had all this time to reflect on what I was doing with my life, to think about the sort of things artists think about and to apply myself to a daily drawing habit. So I often tell people that the Achilles' Tendon rupture was the best thing to ever happen to me!

Q. How Would You Describe Your Artist Style?

A. Playful, slightly anarchic, and with a strong emphasis on visual storytelling.

Q. Which Artist, Past or Present, Inspires You the Most and Why?

A. It’s impossible to pick just one! I really admire the romantics, like Turner and Ruskin, for their ability to capture atmosphere. Anything that has a social and storytelling component gives me a kick - so, Grayson Perry or Hogarth would fit that part of my taste. The illustrators are a major influence on the way I work too. Felix Scheinberger, Judith Kerr and Quentin Blake are important to me, and lately, I've been into Posy Simmonds in a big way. I love her combination of incredible drawings and sharp social commentary.

Q. How Has Your Style Changed Over Time?

A. To be honest, although I am often trying out new media and subject matter, the main thing is that I've improved technically. I look at the stuff I was trying to do when I started out, and I do cringe. It's also encouraging though. I've kept a folder of my first attempts at painting to take out whenever I am getting frustrated with my current efforts, and realise how far I've come.

Q. How Did You Begin Your Career/What Is Your Background?

A. I started out as a psychologist when I went to university - I didn't really know what I wanted to do and found human behaviour vaguely interesting, so I sort of just bumbled my way into it. I always liked art, and was a creative and musical person, but I made a few bad drawings in my early teens, and came to the conclusion that making visual art was just an innate talent, something you can or cannot do. I saw these kids at school who were great at drawing, and they would always be sketching - I wrongly assumed that they were always sketching because they were good at drawing, rather than being good at drawing because they were always sketching. Unfortunately this meant I didn't pursue art even at school level. It was only when I started my daily drawing practice that I realised this is something you can get better at, and that was quite a liberating feeling. I think everyone can benefit from learning to draw - whether or not you want to become an artist, it will help you see the world in a more interesting and enjoyable way.

Q. What Do You Hope to Achieve With Your Artwork?

A. Hopefully to create something that someone else will enjoy, or that will connect with them in some way. Also to live an authentic, curious and satisfying life.

Q. Do You Think About Where Your Artwork Will Be Placed When You Are Creating Them?

A. To an extent, yes. When I do work for birthday cards and the like, it's important to think about what the message will be. I am aiming to get into picture book illustration too, so the context will be important for that too. But mainly, I have to do what I want to do and the placement is secondary.

Q. How Long on Average Does Each Piece Take To Create?

A. I couldn't possibly put a number on that. I've spent 12 hours on a piece only to be disappointed, whereas sometimes a quick 5 minute sketch comes out looking really great!

Q. What Is Your Dream Piece to Create?

A. Something that synthesises all the influences and interests I've mentioned - I'm not sure what that would look like.

Q. What Are the Tips You Would Give to People When Choosing Artwork for the Workspace?

A. Like any space, the art you hang in it changes the mood. It's good to think about how what you're looking at affects your thoughts and experience - it can make you bored, unsettled, happy, anxious, inspired, curious. So I think it's important to choose the right thing for the environment you're trying to create. To give a more specific example, I'm lucky enough to have a few of Norman Ackroyd's works in my studio due to a family connection. They do a couple of things - they show what's possible if you put the work in, and so serve as inspiration to keep improving a bit every day. Equally important, they are isolated and atmospheric landscapes, so they get me into that solitary and quiet state of mind which I find so important for focusing on my work.

Q. Which Is Your Favourite Piece and Why?

A. I do like my painting of the Shambles in York. I know a piece has worked if it captures something of the character of the subject beneath the surface appearance. As I was doing the underlying pen sketch, a woman came out of a nearby bar and started speaking frantically into her phone and gesticulating, while the ghost walk guy happened to be passing in his full Victorian undertaker garbs. It was a nice serendipitous moment which suggested a story or two and made me think, yep, this is what it's like to experience York. I haven't been able to bring myself to put the original piece up for sale, but, as you know, I have produced a limited edition run of prints of the piece.

Q. How Can People Connect With You?

A. My handle on all social media is @timgomersallart


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