Artist #11: Lucy Coombs

8 Mar

After a short break from interviews – break for the site, not me! – we’re back in top form with Lucy Coombs. Her skills range from detailed pencil work to rich paintings. She’s recorded beautiful landscape scenes and captured personality and character in portraits. Her body of work and style is diverse, and I’m glad to see she’s receiving some of the attention she deserves. Like Sylvia K, she’s had some of her art used for Amanda Palmer’s merchandise over on Post-War Trade, including some gorgeous Christmas cards (although they are sadly no longer available, it being March and all).

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What first interested you in art?
Honestly, I don’t recall a time when I wasn’t interested in art at all. My mother always encouraged my brother and I to be creative – to paint, draw, make things – so, I guess that’s where it all started.



Did you get much encouragement to continue or make a career out of it?
To continue it as a hobby, yes. Not so much to make a career out of it, although I do have some good arty friends who are extremely encouraging and supportive of what I do.

Have you studied art or are you self taught? Do you have any plans to study it?
I had art classes all through school and college, but most of what I do I’ve learned myself, just through trying things out and lots of practice. At the moment I don’t have any plans for studying art, as in a fine art degree. Personally, I think if I were to study fine art it would eventually become tedious, taking away from all the fun of it.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere. Music, other art, books, friends, movies, dreams, nature, cities…this list could go on and on. Sources of inspiration are limitless.

Who are some of your favourite artists?
A few friends, Sylvia K, Audrey Bishop and Robin (who you’ve already interviewed), as well as Hieronymus Bosch, Dali, van Gogh, Degas, Chagall, Hockney…there really are too many to list here. With the internet and online portfolios, it’s so easy to find new and amazing artists to be inspired by all the time.

What are your hopes for your artwork? Do you see it in your future as a career or just a hobby?
Well, both, sort of. I am currently studying Graphic Communication at UCA, Farnham. I love design as much as I love art, but I view them slightly differently – graphic design I see as my career path, and art, while I can use it within design and for illustrations etc., most of the time I like to keep it just for me, for fun.

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one. Perhaps a painting of Amanda Palmer that I did a few years ago. I spent a week working on it in my spare time, late at night, whenever I could, and it made me fall in love with painting all over again.

How would you describe your style?
I’m not sure if I have a definitive style yet. I like to try different things, different techniques, different materials. Maybe  there’s a style that follows through into each piece, but I’m not sure. I do have a penchant for drawing or painting people, mainly faces.

What made you focus more on that area more than another?
Drawing or painting people and faces? I always feel like just by looking and really seeing someone and studying every detail of their face, you can tell so much about who they are. I find it fascinating.

What’s your favourite medium to work in?
Aside from the often overlooked, but most important, pencil, I like painting with acrylics. However, last year I tried out oils for the first time and absolutely loved it.

Are you working on anything at the moment?
Not at the moment, I’m extremely busy with university work right now, but I do have a folder filled with various ideas for paintings that I’ll hopefully get to work on eventually.

What drew you to base a lot of your work on Amanda Palmer?
Her music, both solo and with The Dresden Dolls. I found a connection with her music that I’ve rarely had with other bands or musicians, and that provided a lot of inspiration for me.


Can you give me an idea of your creative process?
Whether I’m drawing or painting, from a photo or from my head, the first thing I do is sketch. I will spend hours sketching things out before I even really start, so that everything is perfectly positioned and arranged in the way that I want it to be. After that, I’ll just jump straight in with whatever medium I’m using and work on it for a few hours at a time. I’m very patient with drawing and painting, if something isn’t right, I’ll work on it for however long it takes to make sure that it is.


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