An established mixed media artist and worldwide creative tutor, Andy Skinner is perhaps best known for his gothic-style altered art, and unique and edgy assemblage pieces. Raised by a watercolour artist and an engineer, Relishing in creativity and ingenuity from an early age, Andy Skinner talks to us here about how he first began turning his passion for creativity into a career, where he finds his inspiration, and what he has in store for the future!
Meet Andy Skinner…
When did you first discover you had a passion for creativity?
It has always been with me, my mother painted with watercolours, and I was always encouraged by her to paint and draw from a very young age.
You are now an established mixed media artist and designer, how did you turn your passion into your career?
I opened a craft shop in London 17 years ago and gave up my proper job; I sold it after 6 years and started teaching ceramics for a large company. I was using rubber stamps often to press into the clay and was asked if I could design some stamps, and it all took off from there. Mixed media has always been a passion of mine, and I started teaching all over the country.
Where do you find inspiration for the innovative designs you produce?
From all around – nature, vintage, retro images and curiosities.
Having taught workshops around the world, when it comes to teaching others, what do you find the most rewarding?
Having someone who has never picked up a paintbrush, or tried their hand at mixed media, then walk away at the end with a fantastic piece of artwork that they never thought they could do. I have also made some great friends all over the world.
What do you do when you hit a creative brick wall… any advice on conquering artist’s block?
Do not try to force it! It’s usually things that are happening outside of creative life – something in your personal or business life. Creativity will come back; you just have to be patient and wait for it.
How do you see the world of mixed media growing and evolving over the next year or two?
The wonderful thing about mixed media is that there are no rules in the way of paints, mediums, and materials you use. I have watched it grow over the past 10 years into the craft market. There are always new products to try out, and anyone can give mixed media a go, with the elements of mixed media having now spread into scrapbooking, journaling, cardmaking and more.
If you could share three top tips with someone new to the world of mixed media art, but keen to get started, what would they be?
You need to let go and be free from any worries of ‘messing it up’. I keep lots of scrap card and greyboard which I use to experiment on, this is how I come up with new techniques and colour combinations. Write on the back of the card exactly how you achieved it for future reference.
What’s your best hint and/or tip for crafters?
Do not be frightened to try new things, if you get stuck with a piece you are working on – walk away and come back to it at another time.
What’s next for you in 2019, and beyond?
Fantastic new product releases with Creative Expressions, designing and teaching all over the world, and new products within mixed media!