Artist Focus: Gus Sharpe

gus sharpe interview

In this weeks instalment of Artist Focus we speak to our very own Gus Sharpe about his latest work for Blank Factory for new Incense Cones.


How was the artwork created and why do you love using that medium?

This artwork was created using one of my current favourite styles I’ve been exploring using sectioned off images to create a collaged style piece. I created this work as a Lino Cut which is first drawn onto a panel of Lino before then using thin cutting tools to create the image. Lino cutting brings a fantastic edge to the drawings which brings a much more jagged and defined look to the prints.

What are the influences behind the artwork for yourself but also any influences from other artists or creatives?

The idea behind the incense for Blank Factory is that the boxes are inspired by traditional cigarette boxes and the huge cannon of advertising and imagery that is associated with them. With this in mind, it felt right to keep the style in quite an orderly fashion, a neat layout that could work well adorning the box to create a kind controlled elegance to a style that has a strong energy and depth.

I’ve become obsessed with sketching every day objects, such at things around the home, and this has influenced the objects I chose to use, such as the sink and the lamp. I find drawing still life a very relaxing and enjoyable form of artwork. I researched the work of Samuel Gull for some inspiration through his work on a small comic book he made named ‘floating’. His drawings have this similar hard monochrome style with sharp edges to the drawings, very inspiring to my technique of the initial planning of the work. The hand in the centre was a little test to myself, as usually I can’t for the life of me, draw hands, but an experiment worth risking because it came out looking much more intricate than I ever thought it might!

What is the process of starting an artwork and the creative journey for you? How does the final use of the artwork and the product it will be aligned to influence your work?

I like to work in a sketchbook to mull over ideas and techniques that I might like to use. The idea of using sections and panels within one artwork was first tested in my sketchbook around a year ago! I was looking into these small and intricate squares of illustration that each had their own style and story within only a very small area. This idea has then been applied to this new work and in the context of the what it will be used on. For the final cutting of the Lino I called my dear friend Ezra, an incredibly skilled Lino artist, to assist me which sped up the process.