A. Spencer artist statement
Hi, my name is A. Spencer, and I am a client of the Burton Street Foundation.
When looking for inspiration for my artwork, I search for images from the internet based on fictional characters (and sometimes the vehicle modes of Transformers characters) from my primary interests. I copy these images onto a Word document and edit them accordingly, removing any backgrounds and upsizing the image to fill an A4 page.
From here, I print the images from the Word document, then grab another blank piece of A4 paper. I clip the papers to my LED copy board to provide a backlight to trace over the printed image in pencil. Once the pencil lines are complete, I reinforce the outlines with a fineliner pen. When the ink of the fineliner is dried to avoid smudging, I erase the remaining pencil marks to clean up the image.
On Monday afternoons, Burton Street help me to photocopy my inked outline artworks and upscale them to A3. At this point, using full-colour images from the internet on my phone as a reference guide, I start colouring in the A3 artworks.
Mostly I use a combination of a pencil, felt tip pens and pencil crayons to complete the colouring of my artwork, sometimes going over the same area twice with the same pen to darken or shade the colours, once the first layer has dried to avoid damaging the paper.
Sometimes I also blend different colours together to invent new ones, such as putting a layer of flesh-tone felt tip on top of yellow to create a new shade, which I name “mango gold” because the colour looks like the inside of a mango. I also blend pencil crayon and felt tip together to invent new colours.
By erasing blank spaces on the A3 paper to create a rough surface, I scratch on with a normal pencil and smudge it in with my finger, rubbing out again when necessary to create off-white or silver effects.
However, sometimes I have to improvise when pens run out or I can’t find the right reference materials online. This is where some colours get a bit experimental.
Although a pain for my left wrist on occasion, this process is relaxing for me, and helps keep my mental health difficulties under control, especially when listening to music at the same time.
A. Spencer April 2019