Interview: Carne Griffiths – Aug 2014



Who’s your favourite artist, illustrator or designer?

I am a huge fan of the surrealist automatic period of work, and also of outsider art, but there are so many contemporary artists pushing boundaries that fascinate me, especially people who can move paint in an incredible way – at the moment, it would be Conor Harrington.

How do you get your head in a creative space?

Normally a combination of coffee and good music / atmosphere. I brew up herbal teas and light josticks in the studio – as much sensory input as possible but nothing too overpowering that it distracts from the work.

EPSON scanner image
EPSON scanner image

The Oracle, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

What’s your background in art and design?

I missed out on GCSE’s started ‘studying’ at A- level and then took a foundation course at Oriel Road, Bootle. This lead to 3 years at art school in Maidstone – great time both socially and creatively, I got asked back for a year to do a little teaching, and spent more time in the studio. Big influences during college were the discovery of outsider art, automatic processes, and the wonderful animation of the brothers quay – that in particular lent a sophistication to the work and was an escape from the obvious gothic leanings that my work had at the time.

What kind of source materials do you use in your work?

I try as much as possible to use reference indirectly, I will study an object, learn it, understand it and then put it away before drawing it. I find this breaks down the literal connection between the object and the drawing, things like residual memory are powerful and it’s an artists role to give their own interpretation of the world, their understanding of how things work and not necessarily what we record with our eyes. Touch smell and sound are just as important when recording this information.



Summons, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

How long to you spend working on one piece or commission?

A successful piece can be finished in as little as 4-5 hours, spontaneity is the key. Some works are more involved and will take days, and others will remain on the backburner until the time is right to complete them. So in effect years!!

Top tips for students looking for a career as an illustrator / artist

Bring all your experiences and passion to your work, even if it is something that doesn’t seem relevant, it can give the work an individuality that will make you stand out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to absorb influences but combine the things you like rather than copying a style. Finding a style is quite often at the forefront of an artists or illustrators mind, but your style really comes about when you learn to experiment and forget about creating pictures. Have fun with drawing – that’s the most important thing… and throw away the rule book.



Describe your studio or workspace for us

I have a spacious very well lit studio that stays cold even on a hot day! It’s a great solace and a place where I can really let go when working, I have divisions of areas so that I can paint without distraction and also crack on with the social media side of things, promoting / marketing etc

What’s the one tool you can’t do without?

My new Derwent Graphik Pens!!! Working on black with these pens has brought a whole new direction to the work – as has the new vibrant addition of colour to my otherwise earthy palette, it is the contrast with other inks that I like the most, hard flat colour from the pens gives the translucent layers in the work a completely different feel.

Tell us about you! What, aside from drawing takes up your time?

I have wonderful twin 19 month old children… I really don’t need to explain more about time 😉


Crystalline, Derwent Graphik Line Painters.

Find out more about Carne on his website, Facebook and Twitter. Read our previous blog post to find out more about the new Derwent Graphik Line Painters and Line Makers!!.aspx