Street Art Festival 2016: Artist Interview 1#

Mr the Beef aka Andy Hulland

(Above from the left. Stay Lucky, top right Big Al and bottom right Octosurf)

(Above from the left. Stay Lucky, top right Big Al and bottom right Octosurf)

Andy is based in Derby, UK, he has a passion for creating characters using inspiration from his observations around him, commenting he never goes anywhere without his sketch pad and pencil. He work does not only extend to drawings with ink and paint he's an Illustrator, using computer techniques too making him a man of many talents.  He has exhibited world wide from Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester and London to Berlin and Hong Kong.

Vicky: Please tell us what best describes your work and what you do Andy?

Andy: Primarily, I'm an illustrator and lowbrow artist. Drawing, painting and printing are my main methods, and I generally focus on characters and lettering but I'll go wherever the mood takes me.

Vicky: Have you always been an artist?

Andy: All kids draw up until a certain age, and some of us just carry on. So, I suppose, yes is the answer!

Vicky: What tool could you not live without?

Andy: My Pentel mechanical pencil! I take it everywhere I go (along with at least one sketchbook in my back pocket), I hate the idea of missing out on something. Ideas and inspiration come from all around, people in the street, overheard conversations, colours on a hand painted sign; as long as I've got my pencil and sketchbook, I'm good to go!

Vicky: What piece of work have you produced that was the most challenging?

Andy:The most challenging work is usually the things that I do for clients. I've been a Photoshop man for years so any time I have to use Adobe Illustrator is pretty frustrating! In terms of paintings, planning out large murals with my collective is always a challenge, but great fun at the same time.

Vicky: Please tell us what 'Street Art' means to you?

Andy: I suppose on a basic level I see 'Street Art' as the public/acceptable/commercial face of graffiti. It has been interesting to see, over the last 10-15 years or so, the rise and continued popularity of street art, (and with it graffiti). Thanks in no small part to people like Banksy. I think there's been an increase in appreciation for all forms of lowbrow and outsider art along with it too, so it's got to be a good thing.

Vicky: What inspires you?

Andy: It's hard to answer this one! I get a lot of inspiration when I'm out and about; people, overheard conversations, colour, old signs, peeling paint, brutalist architecture, music/lyrics, the shape a shadow makes on a wall. I wish I had a better way with words, each individual person is inspired by a combination of different things; where does it come from? Fascinating!

Vicky: Is there an artisti or particular style that has influenced you?

Andy: I think influence, a bit like inspiration, comes from all around us. The artists that have inspired me must have influenced me on some level too. 20th century greats like Paul Klee and Jackson Pollock and more contemporary artists like Yoshitomo Nara, Barry McGee, Gary Taxali and Jon Burgerman have been huge influences. I don't think you can always see it in the work, but it's there. Oh, and Ren and Stimpy!

Vicky: What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

Andy: I think creating art, or anything for that matter, is good for the soul.

Vicky: And finally, what advice would you give to other creatives?

Andy: My advice is always the same, just keep making and doing stuff! Experiment, try new things, but keep doing it.

You can see more of Mr the Beef's work on the links below.