Ryan McClelland answers FAD’s Questions



1 When did you start to make art?

I can remember vividly, my mum teaching me to draw a cat circa age 4.

2 How did you evolve into a professional artist?

I was lucky enough to get into some good art schools and have a strong enough work ethic to be taken seriously by gallery types.

3 What drove you to make art as a professional vocation?

An innate drive to create something new of my own, to encourage dialogue and get recognition for what I like doing.

4 Explain your inspiration?

The dystopian times in which we live, questioning our cultures morality, what gives weight and importance to some things and not others?

5 In what way does your inspiration transform into ideas?

Especially when I’m working sculpturally, it becomes a cultural camouflage, waste product, becomes precious ornamental splendour, like gold plating a turd.

6 From Ideas to production of art – how? And why?

Everyone develops one working methodology that chugs along for you, mine give me enough headaches to keep me on my toes.

7 Could your ideas be portrayed in any other medium? If so which?

Plaster, Gesmonite, Bronze, Plastic the lists endless.

8 Which artists would you most like to blatantly rip off?

Aesthetically I suppose some one like Koons maybe, as a public persona I always like the romanticism of a tortured genius say Basquait or Pollock.

9 Why is your art made?

Possibly because I’m the only person twisted enough to make such monstrous creations.

10 What does being an artists mean to you?

A huge amount of freedom to be a free thinker, a pirate type, ho ho ho.

11 Are you happy with your reasons for making art? i.e Are there any trade offs that make life hard?

This one’s for the therapists coach, late nights, a hugely expensive practice are a few of the sacrifices I make.

12 When does your art become successful?

1- To me, when I finish something and stand back and feel it’s equally aesthetically and conceptually interesting.

2 – To the Art world, when I get credit from my peers for making valid “Art”.

3 – To the rest of the world, when it hangs in the homes of rich folk.

13 What is art?

Something contemplative, thoughtful, reflective, if its shiny as well that’s a bonus!

14 How do you start the process of making work?

Its on going, usually a couple of months of inactivity, sitting around thinking living life, followed by periods of extremely hard work making in the studio till the early hours, culminating in a new body of work.

15 Who prices your work? And how is the price decided upon?

It’s usually worked out between my self and a gallerist, taking lots of factors into account.

16 What is your next; move,project,show etc?

I’ve a new body of ceramic sculptures on show at FERREIRA PROJECTS in London; I’ve called it “The Rotten Fruits of Labour”.

17 What are the pros and cons of the art market?

I suppose the biggest pro is that artists have a greater chance of been taken seriously for the first time in history, but then you have to remember that galleries take work on a sale or return basis, I think its one of the few business’s in life were that’s acceptable practice!

18 Which pieces would you like to be remembered for?

Like most artists the next one is always going to be the one, it’s what drives us to continue working.

19 Any routine in making your artwork? If so what?

Messy studio, late evening a beer and some good music usually spur me into action.

20 What has been the biggest break in your career?

The RCA was really good for me and I’ve been fortunate to have met some supportive gallerists.

21 Who has been the biggest influence on you?

My Mum of course!

22 How many artworks have you given away and to whom?

I couldn’t say, although I’ve made a conscious effort to stop doing it.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine, ' A curation of the world’s most interesting culture' [PLUS] Art of Conversation: A tri-annual 'no news paper' AofC - Issue 1 Autumn 2018

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