Interview: Artist Andy Tuohy

by Cass Art

Andy Tuohy is an artist who is currently exhibiting at the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, Kent. He's also kindly redesigned the icons associated with our buyer's guides on art supplies. We caught up with Andy to find out a little more about his artistic world. 

1. Where did you grow up and what did you study?
My father was in the navy, so we lived near wherever he happened to be based: Singapore, Gosport and Kilcreggan in Scotland. We moved to London in 1978 when my father left the navy and I then went on to study Graphic Design at Liverpool Polytechnic between the years of 1985-88, before it became part of John Moores University

2. Was there a defining moment when you decided you wanted to make art?
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been interested in art. It’s is something I was born with, I’m certain of it. Once my parents understood this they were keen to see that I followed my star, particularly as although they were innately creative people themselves, they never got the opportunity to follow their own. I think they would be happy to see they were right to let me go in this direction and not push me in another.  

3. Do the materials you use inform the work or vice versa?
I am never without a sketchbook, piece of paper or back of an envelope and constantly scribble down ideas. Everything starts there, however differently it might turn out on the computer.

4. What mediums are you desperate to try next?
That’s easy. I am really keen to try stained glass windows. We made a special trip a couple of years ago to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh to see the stained glass windows by Paolozzi which are just fantastic. There are also some really inspirational Piper window’s in Liverpool Metropolitan cathedral that have convinced me it’s something I’d like to do.

5. What's your studio like?
Despite leaving college many years ago one might think I never left as it does resemble student digs and also a mini-warehouse somewhat. Banana skins and apple cores in a bin that looks like it hasn’t been emptied for a month and probably smells like it too. Let’s put it this way, my partner won’t let the baby near the studio it until it’s cleaned up. I think she feels he hasn’t built the necessary immunity to enter! Oh, and did I forget to mention there’s a computer and poster stock in there somewhere. 

6. Tell us about a day in the studio
I am a bit of a coffee addict. So, before I even enter the studio, my day does start with a visit to the coffee shop where I get out the sketchbook, thrash out any ideas and work out what I’m doing for the rest of the day. The caffeine definitely gets the brain firing on all cylinders. From that point on I just hit the computer, answer emails, sort out orders and then design with a break for lunch and then home.

7. Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration is all around me. It’s everywhere I go.

8. Do you have any tips for the techniques you use?
My only tip is never be without a sketchbook for your notes, sketches as an ad hoc filing system, everything should be in there.

9. Fave products on the site
Any sketchbook I can lay my hands on. A Seawhite Laminated Starter Green Sketchbook would do me just fine. Not expensive, but perfect for my needs.

Check out more of Andy's work on his website we especially love his artists alphabet.

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