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I have been a practicing artist for over fifteen years and have had eighteen solo exhibitions and a hundred and fifty group exhibitions worldwide. I studied in Carmarthen School of Art, BA (Hons) in Southampton Institute and a Masters in Fine Art in Cardiff. The best show I have had to date was “The Crash Course for the Ravers” at the Stone Space Gallery in London! The exhibition was very well received and peoples responses were amazing. I am also planning shows in Berlin and Tokyo later this year.
It all happens in my studio which I call the Barrie J Davies World Headquarters on Kings Road in Pontcanna in Cardiff, Wales. I try to be there everyday and most evenings, when it is quiet. I have a messy and small studio which is jam-packed with work from passed shows and new paintings which I am working on. I usually work on 4 to 10 paintings at any one time.
Method and Approach
I collect images! I uses lots of them to create one piece of work. I have a complex process which has evolved through experimentation over the years. I love building layers up in my paintings. One painting can take over a month to make and I work on up to 8 at any one time. I bring many materials together in my work, often incorporating paper, paint, spray paint, glitter, glue, varnish and a few found objects. I like to mix it up as much as possible. As Albert Einstein said “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
Marketing and Promotion
Never stop marketing your work! Keep emailing people. Use Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Do it and keep doing it until it becomes part of your work! I spend at least one hour a day on marketing and promotion and always have business cards at the ready to give people my website address and telephone number. People tend to keep business cards.
Exhibitions and Shows
I have had a lot of exhibitions and can share a few simple secrets that have worked for me: keep organised, keep telling people what you do and make as many contacts as possible. Also, market yourself through networking and use the internet. I love the internet! I have been very fortunate to have shown my work in Liverpool, London, New York, Alaska, Cardiff and even in Indonesia!
Obstacles and Challenges
My main obstacles and challenges are time and using my time constructively – to be able to make my work and then to market it. Finances are a factor too. I also wish I had a bigger studio as having been in the same space for over 12 years the work tends to pile up and clutter my space. One of my favourite quotes from an unknown author is, “You learn more from failure than from success; don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.”
Tips and Advice
My only advice is to work hard and never give up! Follow your dreams and forget the rest! I have never stopped making and I have never stopped pushing my ideas. I get in that studio as much as I can and I never leave until I am satisfied with having achieved something. I have made over 500 paintings and I have learned from every single one. Always stay hungry as Steve Jobs said!