Guest blogger Luke Evans has been busy posting since May, giving us plenty of food for thought when it comes to all things art, film and photography based. A Graphic Design & Photography student at Kingston University, Luke’s unique blend of wit and wisdom are perfectly displayed in his varied blog offerings that leave us tittering one minute and contemplative the next.

DO YOU COME FROM A CREATIVE BACKGROUND – DID YOUR PARENTS ENCOURAGE YOUR ARTISTIC TALENTS?

My mum’s a nurse, and my dad and step-dad are builders, I’m not sure of anyone in my family that is creative in a professional sense. My parents have always been really supportive of whatever I do, there’s a level of trust that I think we have, I owe a lot to them. I left home at 16 to live in Berlin for a little while, being a contemporary dancer, I think it was at that point that they understood that I’m pretty independent.

WHY KINGSTON UNI, WHAT DID IT OFFER THAT OTHER UNIVERSITY’S DIDN’T?

Kingston had freedom, the course has an edge. I applied to CSM, Norwich, Camberwell, Brighton and Kingston. At that point I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do as I had just came from a Fine Art Foundation course at Hereford College of Arts. I was interested in traditional design, and still am, but I get bored really quickly so I wanted something more open. Uni’s tend to brag about things like a special building or OFSTED numbers but none of that matters at all, what makes the course are the people on it, they’re the people you work with and see every day. And because the Graphic Design course at Kingston’s making more of a name for itself, it’s attracting a lot of great thinkers.

WE KNOW YOU HAVE A PENCHANT FOR BLACK – ANY OTHER COLOURS FLOAT YOUR BOAT?

It’s funny because pretty much everything I own and wear is black, but sometimes my work is really bright, like neon bright. If you eliminate colour then you’re left just with shape and form, which are far more important to get right. It’s practical in the studio, too, as you won’t get any colour casts from light bouncing off you. On occasion I get super hungry for colour, but then it just feels like novelty and wears off fast. If I were to pick any other colour I’d go totally purple, purple’s pretty great.

DO YOU WORRY ABOUT MAINTAINING A CAREER IN ART AFTER GRADUATING?

Just seeing that question kind of made my heart sink! When I think about it, it seems a bit surreal to think that I’ve even managed to be where I am now just two years into my degree. Deep down I know that I love doing what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I’m open to looking at different routes to maybe give me a more stable position, but I’ve always found success in doing what I feel is right and everything else fits into place. I might be saying something different next year though!

IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING ELSE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’d love to be a part of making wildlife documentaries, for something like National Geographic. I could sit and watch them all day, I just wish I could be there. Either that or run a bakery.

OF THE VARIOUS MEDIUMS YOU USE IN YOUR WORK, WHICH ONE DO YOU FAVOUR THE MOST?

The power of photography is something that can’t be ignored, there’s this immediacy that it has, it can be instantly visually arresting and then allow you to dig deeper into it. Something I’m exploring at the moment is film, cinematography. It sucks you in. I tend be lens-based, but I’m finding that there are some things that just can’t be said with a picture.

WHAT WILL YOU MISS MOST ABOUT BEING A STUDENT?

I’ll miss other people.

NAME YOUR TOP THREE MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTISTS – WHO INSPIRES YOU MOST?

It’s difficult to pick a top three, but here’s some that come to mind…

Iamamiwhoami – They’re a Swedish electronic band. I’ve followed them since they first started posting obscure videos anonymously online, and I’ve fallen in love ever since. The team really threw a spanner in the works when it comes to delivering music; film is just as much a part of their work as the music. The visuals and sounds are so ethereal and they’re fantastic live. They’ve made a holistic experience with the audience at the core, they nailed it.

Andrei Tarkovsky - His film Mirror is beautiful. It’s so pure. The camerawork is genius and the way it’s structured breaks away from the linear tradition of film.

Ran Ortner - I blogged about him here. He makes large-scale photorealistic paintings of the tops of the ocean. I hate using the term ‘photorealistic’, because his paintings are so much more than a photograph, they kind of glow from the inside and make me think of a whole string of other ideas. The paintings have a dark undertone, something sinister that I love. I’m sort of obsessed with water.

RISING UNIVERSITY FEES – A CONCERN OR NOT THAT BOTHERED?

I was lucky, I came to uni just before the tripling of fees. University is always somewhat of a gamble, you can never really understand what it’s like to be there until you’ve been there, and with fees so high there’s a lot to stake. You’re pressured into making a decision so fast at a time where you’re studying already, but if you end up making the right choice, it’s worth every penny and then some.

WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE ARTISTIC GOAL?

To make my mum proud.

See Luke’s blog here and website here.

Art & Culture / Features

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