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Here is the latest edition of Behind the Art
Providing insight into the lives of artists, in their own words.
It can be lonely being an artist and we hope sharing other artists journey will help other artists and creatives.
In this fourth edition we get some insight from Nigel Leslie.
Where do you find continued inspiration?
In everything I have seen, heard and experienced.
I love a blank canvas.
I love colour and beauty.
I love experimenting and having an end product.
Painting is like going on a journey.
More specifically, in terms of influence, Bowie was significant in my earlier years, breaking down the rigid barriers between the arts.
This fell in line with my own belief that there were no barriers in the arts, whether it be painting, drawing, music, film or any other art form.
Also, the need for an artist not settling for a safe style once it had been achieved and constantly being innovative, intuitive, imaginative and re-inventing was something I liked and found natural in my own artwork, while keeping a distinctive, unique look to my artwork.
I have been very privileged that others have described my work as ‘unique’ and ‘inspiring’.
What do you hope to achieve?
To continue to be happy with the artwork I do. To be a worldwide household name as an artist.
What are your struggles?
Every week/month is busy.
Have you achieved what you want?
No. Nowhere near, yet.
There is still so much more I want to do.
How did you achieve your success?
I think I was fortunate to have a natural talent for art. This was the 1%.
Then, painting and painting.
Doing it, persisting and then doing it again until it worked to my own standards… then painting more!
- Being relentless in something I enjoyed.
- Getting out there.
- Making contacts.
- Getting my artwork exhibited.
- Keeping my own style and integrity.
- Being kind with people.
- Treating others like I would like to be treated.
The right way to live and it also works!
Having an ability to see how people and the world ‘tick’ also came natural from a young age, which I think is important for an artist.
I’ve never followed trends or tried to paint like anyone else. This is so important.
Making or setting trends and inspiring others is so much more rewarding.
I started off at a very young age drawing. I always love collage. I liked to say lots of things at the same time.
I think that whatever style I have used in painting has come back to ‘collage in paint form’, with a constant theme of images within images in most of the paintings I have done.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Firstly my art website is nigelleslieart.com (feel free to browse/look at my artwork).
Background wise, I was born in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, which was and still is one of the most deprived areas of the country (UK).
I was from a lone parent family, learned how to survive quickly and was always self driven.
I went on to qualify and work successfully as a barrister in London.
I was part of the Britpop scene in the mid 1990s, with friends Pulp, Blur, Damien Hirst and Anton Genn (lead singer of The Hours).
There were lots of visits to the Groucho Club in London, when it was the place to be.
Twenty years plus later, I have been selected as one of 100 ‘important’ artists, including Damien Hirst, Sir Peter Blake and The Chapman Brothers (Jake + Dinos) to be part of a project in an arts related charity auction.
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