Adam Barsby was one of our winners for the the Wraptious Autumn Competition 2018. His bright bold designs are full of character, and make a striking edition to our collection. We threw some questions his way to learn a little more about his style and inspiration.
How long have you been producing artwork?
I`ve been a professional artist since 1996 - 22years and going strong! I studied Illustration at the Kent Institute of Art and Design ( Maidstone) in 1992, where I graduated with a BA first class honours in Illustration. Art is something I've done and I've only ever wanted to do since I was a young boy.
What inspires your work and style?
My style over the years has changed dramatically. I enjoy exploring different subject matter but my latest work focusing on animals started from my desire to paint a portrait of my dog," Merlot" - which gives you an idea as to my other passion in life!! He was great fun to paint so after that I simply added other animals to the collection. Trying to capture as much character as possible is my main focus.
Which artists do you admire?
I have many, many artists whom I admire and they span very different genres within art. I admire and study so many great artists from the past and the present that frankly it would take an age to list. Suffice to say I enjoy and I`m influenced by artists of all areas and periods.
How did you first start selling your art?
Ever since I was at sixth form, I was selling drawings to my teachers and clients alike. But my main break happened in 1996 when I signed for DeMontfort Fine Art - Whitewall Galleries. I was with them for 10 years and my work was distributed both in this country and abroad.
How did you start promoting yourself?
Over the years, the way I have promoted myself has changed greatly. When I first started the internet didn't exist and self promotion was a case of picking up the phone and arranging face to face meetings with designers, editors and art directors. Now its all about social media and I would say 70% of my annual turnover is on Facebook and my website trade.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as an artist?
The biggest challenge was being dropped by a major publisher having stupidly signed a restrictive contract which stopped me from painting for 3 years whilst they sold stock at discount prices. I went into teaching art and began a PGCE. I taught art to A level, HND and Foundation students across the west midlands.
What's the best advice you could give to an artist starting out?
The best advice is to never ever give up regardless of the inevitable knock backs, refusals and negativity.
What made you decide to enter the Wraptious competition? How did you find the process?
Having spent my whole career in the commercial fine art market, the giftware sector has been until now an area I have very little experience in. A friend of mine made me aware of the competition and having been entered, I was determined to push my friends and contacts to vote and share. I spent many hours going through the many entries adding up there votes and likes. Sad I know, but I`m a very competitive person!
If you'd like to see Adam's full range of work, take a look at his page on our website