2018 British Portrait Award (Young Artist) recipient Ania Hobson has wasted no time in establishing herself as a standout emerging artist on an international scale. We took some time with the talented Brit to talk through her creative process and daily routine. From foggy morning runs to winding down with a documentary, feel a little closer to this young Singulart star.
Hi, Ania! What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
First thing I do in the morning is I make my coffee!
I’m lucky enough to live next to a beautiful river that runs through my town, and that is my daily running route. Sometimes the fog lies low on the waters with the curlews and white egrets quietly feeding, it’s a great way to start my day.
What inspires you to create every day?
Everyday situations inspire me to create. The places I visit, cafes, street scenes. The people I see. Everything around me inspires me. I think being creative and being inspired by stuff is more about who you are and that itch to actually paint.
What does your work space look like?
I work in a studio called Asylum Studios which is filled with about 15 other members who are either painters or musicians. The studio is located on an old air base, a former Royal Air Force station about 80 miles northeast of London which was in use from 1944–1993. My studio is a nice size with a high ceiling and natural light that drops down through the clear perspex. It is one of my favourite places to relax even if I’m not there to paint.
Describe the core of your technique or style.
I always start off with sketching out the skeleton of my new piece with charcoal. Faces come first and then I work my way out. That way all the pieces connect together.
My style is very contemporary. I enjoy the application of paint and watching it come on to the canvas, and seeing brush marks on a painting is like freezing that particular moment. I like seeing those sorts of impulsive marks in other people’s work – it allows you to feel close to the artist and their thought processes.
I try to capture detail by utilising very small mark making; getting lost in perfecting fine details can really lose the passion of your work and you start battling it out with your painting. I apply paint very thickly as it gives the impasto and oil the chance to feature .
Do you have any studio rituals?
It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I will listen to music in the background or sometimes it has to be silent If I need to concentrate. Listening to music can make time go by quickly, taking away the stress of the painting so that I find that my hand is almost working robotically.
How do you know or decide when an artwork is finished?
Knowing when a painting is finished is very important. Making the smallest mark once you think the painting is finished can very quickly overwork a painting, causing the painting to look too ‘tight’ or ‘overthought’.
What do you like to do to unwind after a day’s work?
To unwind I like to walk the dogs or sit and relax, researching more ideas or watching documentaries.
What’s your overall favorite aspect of the creative process?
My favourite aspect is finishing a painting that has been brewing for sometime as an idea, seeing it come to life in front of me is very satisfying!