Artist Proof: Colm O’Connor is a 27 year old illustrator and self taught airbrush artist who currently lives in Wexford Town, Ireland. He comes from a technical background (trained and worked as an architectural technician) so He’s really into the little details. Although he believes that every detail counts, he’s trys to give his work a sense of freedom and spontaneity. His unique hyper realistic airbrush style is hard to miss and Im digging everthing this guy is doing…
Artsprojekt: What inspires your art?
Colm: First and foremost I love tattoo art, especially the oldschool style, big thick outlines with a nice bold colours behind them. I’m always looking at different mediums of art and try to soak up and try out as many styles/techniques as I can. I’m in and out of phases like there’s no tomorrow, but I think that, for me anyway, oldschool never goes out of style and I always end up going back to it.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
Colm: I’m more of a hands-on artist so I don’t really use the computer for much of my pieces, and because I’m relatively new to everything that I’m doing, I try out as many different mediums as I can. I go through phases and get fixated, almost obsessed, with whatever technique I’m using, at the moment I’m really into airbrushing, but a few months ago it would have been painting and a few months before that tattooing.
AP: Describe your first experience of making art and how it affected your life’s journey
Colm: I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a little kid, I used to copy all the comic strips out of newspapers running to my mam and dad to show them when I was finished. I never really thought of doing anything else except designing, in some form or another to make a living. I had a choice of doing art or technical drawing when I was in school and because architecture was where the money was at the time I chose the latter. I went to college and worked in an architects office for a few years before I realized that it wasn’t for me, then the recession hit and it was like a wake up call to try something new.
AP: Describe your most recent experience of making art.
Colm: At the moment I’m flat out doing commissions, I’ve had a couple of exhibitions since leaving my job at the architects in November 2008, the first selling all but 1 painting and the last one selling out in 2 days, so the feedback is good and the phone is ringing. I never painted before the first exhibition but the paintings were turning out well so I chanced my arm and it paid off. Pretty much the same story for my second exhibition, I started airbrushing after a good friend of mine and excellent airbrush artist, Stephen Murphy, talked me into trying it out and gave me a few tips, within a couple of weeks I had a load of canvases sitting in my house with nowhere to hang them, so I was on the phone again organizing another exhibition.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist
Colm: Because I never did art in school and need some form of training behind me to get back into college, I’m doing a one year art course at the moment with the hope of it leading on to graphic design, so with that and the commissions I’m up the walls trying to get work done!
AP: Please let us know what you have coming up. Are you working on art for a new show?
Colm: I’m in the process of coming up with a theme for another exhibition, but it’s still in the early stages so i’m keeping shut about it before i change my mind again!
AP: Working on a new product line?
Colm: I’m hoping to get some more designs down and try to expand my Custom Tweaks line, i’ll probably keep with the tattoo themed decks as the response has been good as of late and they’re selling well, but if anyone’s interested in working or collaborating with me on something, get in touch
AP: Working on a commission piece?
Colm: I just finished a large scale version of my Oldschool Lovenote today for a client and after my last airbrush exhibition I got a load of commissions, so happy days, can’t complain!
» Check out Colm O’Connor’s Artsprojekt Store here