Without fail, I see beautiful things everyday, sometimes found in the most mundane and ordinary situations
We conducted a wee interview with Mr. Peters about his beautiful, fun works..
EEP: Why do you feel the need to create?
AP: It Sounds quite clichéd but creativity is something that helps me to function normally, If I am unable to be creative I get frustrated and unhappy. I started out making work in order to satiate my need to create. In the past I have used the mediums of fine art and music but for some reason illustration and typography are more satisfying. The hard thing for me is when I have too much work on and the joy goes from the creative process as the pressure mounts.
EEP: Do you follow trends or start them?
AP: I tend to have my niche interests which inform my work, and if anything I try to avoid following trends. So many people are borrowing heavily from other peoples styles and to me that is a big mistake. I cannot claim originality (few people can) but I try and avoid borrowing ideas in favour of influence. I am hugely disappointed when I find that I have done something similar to one of my contemporaries, especially if I was aware of them when I made my work.
EEP: Who is your idol?
AP: This is a difficult one, can I have 3? Okay, first up is Geoff Mcfetridge (http://championdontstop.com), I consider myself to be in a void between graphics and illustration and I feel like Geoff fills that same grey area. Geoff switches between clean digital aesthetics, graphite goodness and classic printing methods and applies his style to product design, tees, album artworks, advertising, editorial work and he does the odd amazing artist monograph, I have two on Nieves (www.nievesbooks.com) and they are a joy to behold!
Second is Mike Perry (http://www.mikeperrystudio.com), who is another auteur who exists between fine art, illustration and graphics. He is also very clever with managing his ‘brand’, a skill which cannot be underestimated by creatives in the digital age. What I love most about Mike’s work is that it always feels like a lot of enjoyment goes into it. His enthusiasm absolutely matches his business acumen!
Finally there is Henri Matisse, I love the way his artworks became less and less detailed until they consisted of a few block colours, such amazing and awe inspiring work. His Jazz book is one of my favourite books ever!
EEP: Do you regularly follow specific blogs?
AP: I follow a few blogs such as Grain Edit, CR, It’s Nice That, The Fox is Black and Pitchfork amongst others. But in my heart I am still firmly in love with the published word/ Image, the new improved Grafik Magazine is wonderful, same goes with It’s Nice That and a new Italian Magazine called Inventario, also everything on Nobrow is amazing. I am part of the last generation of people in love with the tactile, real objects in life, items which gain a rich history with every day. Todays digital information delivery methods often render content as disposable an devalue ‘object’ status. I am however a digital junkie too, I’m just aware of its limitations and endless possibilities.
EEP: Your work is fairly optimistic -would you say you are an optimistic kind of guy?
AP: I would say I am optimistic, and I find something beautiful and awe inspiring in every day. Doesn’t mean I am always happy, I have periods of creative frustration, disappointment and burn out. I often feel like I need to simplify my life, a difficult thing in times of information and media overload!
EEP: Why do you think that is?
AP: What is the point in being a nit picking pessimist? We (human beings) have been born with the ability to channel, critique and question everything this beautiful world has to offer for a period of up to 100 years, that’s literally a once only offer, make the most of it and stop moping around!
EEP: The style appears very retro nostalgic -do you know where this comes from? Are you nostalgic?
AP: I’m actually the kind of person who enjoys the moment instead of getting stuck in a nostalgia trap. I do try and avoid a ‘Retro’ style as it can be inhibiting (though occasionally I indulge it). I employ many of the simplistic elements used by graphic designers and illustrators from previous generations, I find that reducing an image to a basic shape is the best way to strip away any dilution of its power, and block colour is such a pleasing and effective way of catching the viewers eye. The Nostalgia elements come from trying to use a language which binds us together visually, a language of easily recognisable symbols and prompts.
EEP: Do you feel computers have helped creativity?
AP: Computers have created a DIY creative scene in all disciplines, akin to punk (but maybe much further reaching than punk) The problem is that traditional taste making methods (magazines, record labels, art and design periodicals etc) have had their power depleted so we now have to sift through so much turgid work on ‘social network’ sites before we find work of value and substance. With regards to my actual ‘work’ computers have allowed me to do things that simply wouldn’t have been possible for one person 15 years ago, such as making booklets and zines from a home computer, page layouts and typography are so much more accessible now, and with vectors we can make work on any scale for any substrate, and can then pass those files on to companies who will help us realise our ambitions for product and publishing, everything is so accessible. And I have to say that Bezier curves have saved me an awful lot of money on paper and graphite costs!
EEP: Do your children inspire your work? What or who else inspires you?
AP: Like many creatives from my era I studied Fine Art, and whilst I was studious and loved the subject, upon exit from university I found it hard to place myself in meaningful employment. I worked mundane jobs and stayed creative as a hobby, once my children arrived I realised that I wanted to be something tangible that my children would understand and be proud of. Thanks to having children I was reunited with artists such as Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, David Mckee, Dick Bruna, Quentin Blake & Dr Seuss for the first time in 25 years, and was exposed to amazing artists such as Ella Doran, Oliver Jeffers, Kevin Waldron, Alex Scheffler, Garry Parsons, Bruno Munari, Hayao Miyazaki and M.Sasek for the first time, as well as discovering that Paul Rand had made some wonderful Childrens books in his career. From here on in I couldn’t stop myself from creating things, and my alliance to the cynical smart arses of the yBa scene to which I was so drawn in the Nineties gave way to reveal a love for the uncynical and beautiful artwork being made outside the art world.
EEP: Do you feel the one key aim with art on demand is to reach as many people as possible?
AP: Art On Demand and digital large format printing has made it possible for people to buy amazing work for a great price and thus made prints much more accessible to a wide audience. It has also allowed artists to take more risks with what they can share in the form of prints, I have a few ltd edition giclee prints and they look and feel wonderful. One amazing thing print on demand has done is to reduce the amount of physical (sometimes unsold) stock sitting in storage, which is an environmental and financial advantage to any gallery / print shop / Artist!