Aaron Craig: I was diagnosed with cancer (5 years ago all clear), which showed me what was most important to me. Painting was one of those things.
Sue Munson: During the early nineties I would visit Spring Island South Carolina, a largely undeveloped sea Island between Savannah and Charleston. It is there that I met the artist Carol Anthony a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Art. I loved Carols work, small ethereal paintings using oil pastels. That’s what I wanted to do, create a painting that evoked an emotional response from not only me but the viewer too. So my journey begun, and it’s only now that I have reached a point that I have a clear way forward. The journey never ends for an artist.
Arpo Draw: Everything began with an old Telerama magazine based upon the Star Wars anthology. I remember a portait picture of an old school C3PO that I really liked, and right after that page stood a portait of Darth Vador, so I thought I could cut up the magazine and mix them togheter. From that day on, traditional collage became an obsession!
Populuxe: I always loved drawing and painting as a kid, but after art college I didn’t really do much. The odd painting here and there, but it didn’t really mean anything. It wasn’t authentically me. I just painted what I thought people might like, or did pet portraits 😂. Then a few years ago I was having a bit of an existential crisis. I read a book called Mastery by Robert Greene and that was a huge turning point for me, it gave me the desire to paint again, so I started painting furniture, then that turned into other things, and here I am today.
Aaron Craig: I started as a curator so I kind of learned what not to do based on things that irked me about other artists. Most artists don’t treat it like a job, hence why many aren’t fulltime or long term. So the best advice is “treat it like a job or it will never be a job”.
Sue Munson: I suppose another friend, architect/photographer Robert Shaw. He is irritatingly precise in all he does, but it pays off. He said the objective is to produce a fine piece of work in whatever genre you work in, including the framing. It’s about your final presentation.
Arpo Draw: Unfortunately I am not a kind who follow advices (laugh). But I think the best advice I could get is to just be myself, and never stop creating while being gratefull for every opportunity that comes with it.
Populuxe: I’ve never really had a mentor, and my old art teachers were less than helpful. I suppose the advice comes from reading a lot, learning to be authentic in everything that I do. I never really have a commercial focus when I’m making art, it’s all about making something that I love and hoping that someone out there connects with it.
Aaron Craig: I studied fine arts at Newcastle University (Australia). There I learned a lot of the technical side of art making. I then switch to Visual Communication Design at Queensland College of Art, which showed me things like how to communicate clearly, colour theory, and using the Adobe suite. I use elements from my tertiary education daily.
Sue Munson: I started contemporary embroidery, design, and textiles at Guildford College. I have always had to do something creative. I switched to art when we came back to England from the US. I loved taking courses. I have taken loads. Chelsea College of Art and Design. Life Classes at a small drawing school in Ash near Guildford, the Royal Academy short Courses, I loved every minute. I love mark making, making happy mistakes, and discovering new things.
Aaron Craig: Be professional. Treat it like a job. If you treat it like a hobby it will remain a hobby.
Sue Munson: Follow your dream, don’t give up. Try not to paint what you think sells, it will show, and you will never be different. If you love painting flowers, don’t paint vegetables. Experiment, look, keep looking. Go to galleries, exhibitions, ask questions, most of all enjoy what you do otherwise life will be a hard slog.
Arpo Draw: I always stay very humble towards my art and all the pieces that I publish (and also for those I don't publish), so the best advice is to have fun, whatever if it's with pencils, sprays, printing or anything, just go ahead and get messy!!
Populuxe: Practice practice practice. Just make art and find your way, but do it without any commercial consideration at all. Then put it out there. Instagram is incredible for that. You get an instant reaction of what works and what doesn’t. If it’s good enough someone somewhere will see it and connect with it. If it’s not, don’t be disheartened, just go make more art and try again. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to be disciplined with how much you work. A bit here and a bit there isn’t good enough. Mainly, have fun!