February 5 - News

Artists at Work: Paul Bower

My studio is in Elephant and Castle, South London, which I love. There is so much life and character here to draw and just be around. All walks of life and not everyone trying to look the same (like other areas). Unfortunately it’s being massively gentrified but I’m hoping it will still keep the people. It’s just so rich now, and not in the money way. Part of me is trying to record it and include it in my work, in case it goes.

My work has changed a lot recently. Maybe not to others, but to me massively. I’ve spent the last year or so just drawing in sketchbooks and making big simple messes with paint. Just to get better and freer. Also, I have slowly (and begrudgingly) turned from working in Lino Block printing for many years,  to doing exactly the same thing but on the computer. It’s taken a long time to find a way of using the computer my own way, rather than it telling me what to do, but I’m getting there. So combining that with the new drawing and new subjects should be a fun year ahead.

Inside my studio, the only things I really own are art equipment, Illustrated Children’s books and comics. Lots of comics. If something isn’t useful or inspirational, then it’s just clutter to me, which I can’t stand.My favourite trinkets I guess would be an award from the V & A, a drumstick from Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols and an early photo of Siouxsie at the Roxy. Life’s too short for possessions.

Right now I’m just constantly drawing in sketchbooks with a biro. I can’t seem to stop, but I am looking forward to making these into more finished things. I’ve got at least 30 or 40 books full of doodles that I should do something with this year.

I’ve just finished working on a repeat pattern design for a children’s clothing range, but more of that to come soon I hope.

And one thing I really want to get underway this year is a collaboration children’s book with the artist Betty Fang. It’s been on the cards for ages but we’ve both just been too busy to do it properly.

So a year of lots of making I guess.