Bruce Parker

Bruce ‘Brucey’ Parker grew up in North East England watching way too many films and cartoons whilst drawing all of the his favourites characters from those films and cartoons. Later Brucey studied Animation & Illustration at college, before embarking on an Illustrative art career.

how would you describe your style?

 Often character driven with characters ranging from human, animal, something in between or further beyond. My work is a chaotic, euphoric, light-hearted, nostalgic trip littered with occasional familiar characters, brands and products past and present.

how do you make your work recognisable?

My style is usually recognised by its clean black lines, limited use of colour, involving predominantly shades of grey with the occasional flashes of something bright.

How do you find inspiration?

The usual stuff like books, movies and tv shows are all good, but I tend to find the best thing for me is simply sitting and sketching.

Often the more I try to seek out inspiration, the more I fear I’m just going to create something like something else, so it is usually best to just begin by playing around and experimenting with different shapes, different eyes, mouths etc. It’s just a trial and error session of trying to unlock some mythical door in my mind where the good ideas live. It usually involves scribbling lots of bad/never to be developed ideas but somehow in the mess of my sketchbook the potential for something cool just seems to form on its own and then develop and spawn more interesting characters and concepts.

What role does an artist play in this kind of society do you think?

There are many roles for modern artists, but I think my work falls into the category of fun, escapism and simply showing people something different. This is a role of many of my favourite artists too, some artists can shine a light on society’s problems, while others simply shine a light to make the world a little brighter.

How did you manage to get your name out there?

I’ve been lucky to be in quite a number of group exhibitions, which often leads to work being exposed to a wider audiences. Social media is obviously a huge part of self promotion, and Instagram in particular has always been the best place to share my creations. I’ve let it slide a little recently but this year I will be focusing on sharing more again.

Who are the artists that you are loving at the moment?

I am absolutely loving all of Attaboy’s mushroom creations, I’m just constantly fascinated by them.

I always love literally everything Alex Pardee draws, paints, writes. He’s a magic human.

There’s so many cool artists I follow online that repeatedly drop my jaw, Matt Ritchie, Audrey Pongracz, Lance Inkwell, Baghead, Alex Yanes and many many more.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artists

Draw, a lot.

Experiment, a lot.

Share lots.

Be nice.

Set short term achievable goals (I should have started that sooner).

And have a longer term target as well, something big to aim for.



Three FREE London Exhibition Spaces for Emerging Artists

London: it’s a hub of creativity and art. However, how are new artists supposed to develop and showcase their work in this wonderful city when funding for the arts is ever dwindling in the UK?  

Luckily, some kind souls have set up exhibition spaces for emerging creatives across the city, where you have the opportunity to display your art free of charge. Dream come true!

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Setting up an exhibition is a lot of work, so if this is your first one it’s good to think what your aims for the exhibition are. Why do you want to exhibit? What do you want to get out of it?

Although the opportunities below are free, you may have to cover costs such as promotion and transport. It may be boring, but it’s essential to think about the admin and operations of your exhibition as well as the fun exhibiting part!

Here’s three venues in London that offer free space to new artists:

The Flying Dutchman, Camberwell

On Tuesdays, self-confessed strong supporters of the arts and ‘Love Pub’ The Flying Dutchman gives students the chance to host their own exhibition, for free, from 12pm-12am. They do require a £75 deposit but this is refunded once the bar makes £250 on the night and provided there are no damages. The bar is half-priced throughout the night so that should be made back in no time!

Find out more and book the space on their website here.

Guest Projects, Hackney

Renowned British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare set up the ‘Guest Projects’ initiative on the ground floor of his very own studio. It’s designed to give young artists of any discipline (dance, visual arts, film, music) a free space to create and showcase their work over an entire one-month residency.

There will be five projects running in 2020, so get applying before the deadline of 31st May 2019: www.guestprojects.com/apply

Cass Art, Islington & Kingston

Art company Cass Art aim to support local artists, and host regular exhibitions, events and workshops in ‘The Art Spaces’. Artists can apply to use the spaces for free for these purposes. The London spaces are situated at Islington and Kingston (but they are all around the country at Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester and Liverpool).

Get in touch with them on the website here.

The Pistonhead Foundation has supported several exhibitions from emerging artists, providing things like free stock and social media promotion. If you need our help, get in touch with us here: www.pistonheadfoundationuk.com/support



Rory Ellerton

20 year old Rory Ellerton is an aspiring tattoo artist living in Leicester with his partner and 1-year-old son Alfie. Rory works in a specific way where his work consists of unique black layerings to create a textured look, this allows the pieces to become recognisable as his own work and style. 

How did you first find your own style?

When I decided to get into tattooing I wanted a unique style I could brand myself around and something that would make me stand out. After a lot of trial and error I did a small wolf series in this new style and knew it was what I wanted. I still want to develop and improve it some more but I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now. 

What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by other artists I follow and film/television also; but my son influences me the most. He makes me want to push myself and be successful so I can provide a good life for our little family.

How has your son influenced you and your work?

He’s actually the reason I got into tattooing! My partner fell pregnant with him whilst I was at university studying Animation, I was doing tattoo designs in my spare time at this point but with a baby on the way I had to make a serious choice about what I wanted to do with my life. Not wanting to waste another two years at University I left to pursue a career in tattooing so I could start earning a living. It turned out to be the right choice as I’m happier than ever and love where I’m at right now. He’s a little young to fully understand my work and what I do but I always encourage him to draw and be creative. My dad always told me to spend my time doing something I enjoyed and he’s the reason I pursued a career in art. I hope I can similarly inspire Alfie to be whatever he wants to be and do what he loves. 

What role does an artist play in this kind of society do you think?

I think as an artist it’s our job to bring a bit of creativity into peoples everyday lives. You may not realise it but art is all around you everywhere you go. The world would be a pretty dull place without art.

Any obstacles you have faced?

Time is definitely the biggest obstacle I've faced. It’s been very difficult trying to regularly create artwork when I've been busy with various day jobs and looking after my son. It’s taught me to use my free time more productively and that a good sleep schedule is very important. I used to stay up till 3/4 in the morning drawing but then it has a knock on effect and you’re ruined the next day. I’m in a good routine now and hopefully will be making even more work this year.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artists

I would say to anyone serious about becoming an artist that social media like Instagram is a great tool for getting your stuff out there but your work is more important. Focus on what you enjoy and practice practice practice. Eventually your skill and style will develop and then once you’re happy with what you’re creating you can begin to build a following for your work. 


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Owen Gildersleeve

Owen Gildersleeve is an artist based in london, he is best known for his handcrafted illustration and design. By playing with light and shadow, he is able to bring his graphic designs to life through his attention to detail towards hand cut layers. 

How did you first find your own style?

I’ve always been interested in fine art, especially ’tactile’ artists like Robert Rauschenberg, Anselm Kiefer and Cy Twombly who use a lot of different techniques and materials in their work. So when I went to study Graphic design at the University of Brighton I was immediately drawn to designers like Stefan Sagmeister and Alan Fletcher who used a lots of hands-on processes in their work. Then over time I started to find materials and techniques that I enjoyed working with to create my designs, that gave me more flexibility than others. This is how I came to working with paper, which is a very versatile medium whilst also being affordable, available in a nice range of colours and being an easy material to transfer my designs onto. Then it was a case of creating a few papercut artworks and people seeing those and asking me to do more work in that style and things took off from there.

There must be a lot of obstacles when working on 3D projects right?

There are lots of obstacles when working by hand, especially when you’re constantly trying to push things forwards. A large challenge we had to overcome recently was to workout how to make paper flowers move. We had been approached by Lush to create a window display for their flagship Oxford Street store for their Self Preserving campaign. For the display we made a series of paper flowers based on paintings by UK artist Charlotte Day in a range of different sizes and scales. 

We also thought it would be fun to have some of the flowers moving to catch the eye of passers-by, but had no idea how to do it! So we again brought in 3D designer Thomas Forsyth who devised some 3D printed mechanisms, on which we could place the paper flowers heads. He created some really interesting coding which meant that the movements were completely random, to make the flowers feel almost alive. He did a really amazing job and everyone was really happy with the final display.


What is the most memorable response someone has given about your work?

I was asked to create last year’s poster for Bonnaroo Festival in the US, and when I sent my artwork over for the first time the Art Director replied "This is exactly what I had in my head when we reached out to you to begin with, I could nearly cry. Love it!” That was a pretty great response! :)

So we see you’ve got some musical talents aside from art.

I’ve been playing the drums since I was eleven, playing in various noisy bands over the years. It’s always been good therapeutic break from my work, especially when things get a bit too hectic. I’m now in a two-piece band called Modern Technology and we recently released our debut EP: https://modern-technology.bandcamp.com/. It’s a noisy post-punk record, dealing with themes of political injustice, social anxiety, austerity and inequality – So quite a contrast to some of my work themes! We’re also releasing the EP as a limited edition vinyl with all profits shared between housing and homelessness charity Shelter and mental-health charity Mind: https://qrates.com/projects/17527-modern-technology

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The projects that scare you the most are the ones to take on. It’s a sign that you are being pushed out of your comfort zone and I think that’s a really good thing, to make sure that your work doesn’t become stale. The Lush project I mentioned earlier was very much one of those, but by bringing in the right people and breaking the job down into simple steps we were able to make it work.

What are the biggest life lessons that you have learnt along your journey?

Reach out to people and make personal connections. Sometimes people are scared to reach out to clients and creatives they admire, but I’d always recommend people to go out and try to meet as many people as they can. Clients seem to appreciate your work even more when they can put a face to the names and you can then show them your passion behind the projects. Reaching out to creatives you admire is a nice way of finding out more about their work, and might possibly lead to internships or collaborations. It’s also a really nice way of building up a network, which is important in the freelance world to help keep you connected and to allow for support and guidance.



12 Instagram pages that will share your art for free

Instagram: it’s the most aesthetic social media platform and so the perfect place to create your very own curated grid and introduce your art. Now, all that’s left is to be seen. In order to up your following and showcase your pieces to a bigger audience, it’s a good idea to get yourself featured on an art page with a big following. Luckily, there’s tonnes of channels looking for amazing art to feature, for free! Here’s twelve pages to look up:

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@young_artists_help shares mainly painting and illustrations from young and emerging artists from around the world to their 370k followers. Simply tag #young_artists_help for a feature.

@art_sanity showcases the best quality art of all sorts of medium from around the world to their 330k followers. Use the hashtag #artsanity for a chance to be featured.

@artofvisuals is a beautifully curated photography feed with 1.6m followers. Tag #artofvisuals to get your images to them.

@aartistic_dreamers features illustrations and paintings from the most talented artists to 101k followers. Use the hashtag #aartistic_dreamers for a feature.

@art_spotlight has 1.8m followers and posts art from any medium, especially materials. Visit theartspotlight.com/ to submit art.

@brwnpaperbag for illustrators and embroiderers, artist Sara Brown shares her favourite pieces from fellow artists to 220k followers. Tag the page and #illustration or #embroidery to pique her interest.

@illustrated.doris is a curated collection of contemporary illustrations by ingenious artists, seen by 50.7k followers. Submit art via #illustrateddoris

@ballpitmag is an art vibes only area. Featuring mainly illustrations, artists can tag #ballpitmag or visit ballpitmag.com/ to get noticed.

@thewomenwhodraw is just for girls! Sign up to the open directory to join the community at www.womenwhodraw.com/join/ and tag them in your pictures to be featured to their 60.6k followers.

@illustrationartists is a worldwide community for illustrators with 203k followers. Tag #illustrationartists below your artwork for a mention.

@picame is an inspirational art feed from the magazine of the same name with 370k followers. Use the hashtag #picame for the chance to be featured, or designers should head to @picame.design

@illustration_daily features the best in illustration daily. It’s purely a repost account and credits all original artists. Follow @illustration_daily for a feature to their 118k followers.

We also love to share artists on the Pistonhead Instagram feed. If you’d like to be featured, head over to @pistonheadlager and drop us a message!




Living in Bath, Dannie works full time as well as studying for a degree, in her spare time she enjoys drawing, writing poetry and other creative things. Dannie’s work is very labour intensive and focuses a lot on creating texture with lines at the moment, she wants her work to be about femininity, fertility and duality (light/dark, life/death, strong/soft).

Where do your ideas come from?

My creative writing module at uni taught me to pay attention to everything to harvest inspiration, so it can come from things like my own personal experiences with life, song lyrics, poetry, other artist’s work, and overheard conversation, a reflection.. at the moment I’ve been taking a lot of inspiration from the phases of the moon. 

What is the most memorable response someone has given about your work?

Someone messaged me recently to tell me that my work inspires them to keep creating. That’s amazing. I love hearing any kind of feedback, it’s so lush that someone would take the time out of their day to say something, whatever that may be. All I’ve ever wanted is to create stuff that might help or inspire someone else, so that message blew me away. 

Who are the three artists that you are loving at the moment?

I will always love Katsushika Hokusai. His designs are so clean, dynamic and way ahead of where western art was at the time.

Rachel Whiteread was and is an amazing sculpture/installation artist. The way she brings attention to and completely transforms negative space is amazing.

My favourite instagram artist right now is darktransmissions. I love how he plays with balance and his designs are totally creepy and haunting.

Any obstacles you have faced?

My main obstacle is myself. I was diagnosed with anxiety at 16 and depression at 18. In a way they’ve been both obstacles and inspiration. It’s truly rough sometimes, but I wouldn’t change anything. 

Did you feel that your mental health affected your perspective towards art? 

My mental health issues have been detrimental to my art. They have made me question my abilities and judge myself far too harshly or they’ve left me paralysed, numb, unable to see anything through the dark, unable to even think about creating anything. How are you supposed to create new things when every ounce of energy you have is focused on staying alive? But eventually, those feeling subside, even if only for a little while. In those moments of lucidity, I’m able to unpack the feelings, and the physical sensations that come with them, and find ways to communicate them through my work.

How has that experience inspired you? 

At some point it became a choice between get out of bed and try or just stop trying altogether. I forced myself, piece by tiny piece, to start being myself again. My doctor did everything they could, they arranged therapy, self-help groups, mindfulness classes and medication. Drawing was a new coping mechanism. When I’m focused on line work, it’s like tunnel vision. Everything external becomes white noise and I can zone out and just exist for a while without any symptoms. It sounds cheesy, but that’s the time when I’m most ‘myself’.

What advice would you give to someone in a similar position?

Take it slow and be kind to yourself. You might not be able to do all the things you used to do but that’s fine. Take things piece by piece. Some times you might feel as though you fall right back to where you started, but it’s all part of it. Life has never been straight-forward. Every little action you take to look after yourself is a victory. You might feel overwhelmed and that you can’t get through the day, but you managed every other day up until now and you’ll be able to get through this one too.




Lost in the Sauce     The concept of the upcoming show is to present my paintings in a 3 dimensional space blurring the lines between sculpture and mere painting. “Lost in the sauce” is the title I have chosen for the show, to me it encompasses all the ideas that drive my work, which are a pure expression of colour and form as a way to thrust my ideas of beauty and anaesthetic to a larger audience.

Lost in the Sauce

The concept of the upcoming show is to present my paintings in a 3 dimensional space blurring the lines between sculpture and mere painting. “Lost in the sauce” is the title I have chosen for the show, to me it encompasses all the ideas that drive my work, which are a pure expression of colour and form as a way to thrust my ideas of beauty and anaesthetic to a larger audience.

Zimbabwe-born fine artist Jasper Pedyo was chosen by judges for his three large, painted constructions entitled Kisses, Hugs and Jo’Burg. Following his success at Free Range 2018, Jasper opened his first solo show The Expanded Field at 108 Fine Art, Harrogate, which was featured as the Financial Times’ Critics’ Choice. For his new exhibition, Lost in the Sauce, Jasper aims to blur the line between sculpture and painting – altering the shape of the canvas frame and presenting bold and contrasting colours that are free from brushstrokes and recognisable imagery.

“My work sets out to expand on traditional art composition, by abstracting the shape of canvas frame, referencing pop culture. I intend for viewers to experience my artwork with solely instinctive and physical responses to the work's structure, colour, and surrounding space rather than with contextual or interpretive analysis. Thus I present bold and contrasting colours, free of gestural brushstrokes or recognisable imagery

I endeavour to create a visual experience.”

Jasper Pedyo





Ash Price

Ash Price is an inspired tattoo flash artist based in Essex. Influenced by graphic design and pop culture, Ash merged the two with his interests in tattoos and his style began to progress. His upbringing as a teen consisted of getting tattooed and painting tattoo flash; since then, Ash has constantly been continuing to learn and develop his own skills and style. 

What inspires you as an artist

Mostly getting better and continuing to learn, I love learning. There are also some great artists that I follow which I feel resonate with me more than most, right now a couple of my favourite artists Han Shinko and Nacho Eterno are naturally very big influences and inspirations to me.

What differentiates your style?

That’s hard to say, there are a lot of tattoo flash influenced designers, I think what I pride myself on is the attention to detail, line weight, colour palettes and achieving an overall consistent outcome. 

Any other interests?

I make music. I’d also like to learn to code/ develop apps and software, but my brain struggles with that! I believe with enough passion and hard work, any talent can be learnt, just some minds have a better way of processing certain skills.

What role does an artist play in this kind of society do you think?

Any job is always a means to survive and live a good life, I think for me personally, the idea of earning a wage and providing a means for other people, brands etc to earn a wage too, is the role that I play. I like to think that my designs with the bold lines and bright colours bring some kind of comfort and happiness to anyone seeing them.

How did you manage to get your name out there 

Essentially purely through Instagram, I started posting to my page around 2 years ago, and really started consistently working and posting just over a year ago, so gradually I’ve been interacting, doing work and slowly growing the following and business since then.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artists

Keep working, be consistent and keep creating. Sometimes the work you’re least happy with give the best lessons and help you grow as an artist. Most importantly stay true to yourself and have fun.




No Man Is an Island   This project comes from Polly’s frustration with the current political, economic and social landscape of our country. It has been influenced by events, such as Brexit, and decisions made by our government which she feels will negatively impact the younger generation as they grow up. The work looks at the identity of Britain and its inhabitants and reflects the confusion of a nation in political disarray. Like the poem, No Man Is an Island by John Donne, it explores ideas of division and separation and asks the question; What is the future for a nation so divided?

No Man Is an Island

This project comes from Polly’s frustration with the current political, economic and social landscape of our country. It has been influenced by events, such as Brexit, and decisions made by our government which she feels will negatively impact the younger generation as they grow up. The work looks at the identity of Britain and its inhabitants and reflects the confusion of a nation in political disarray. Like the poem, No Man Is an Island by John Donne, it explores ideas of division and separation and asks the question; What is the future for a nation so divided?

Polly Evans is a London based artist and recent graduate from Nottingham Trent University, having studied BA(Hons) Photography. She makes installations that use video, sound and spoken word to invite viewers to engage in the issues she presents. Her work confronts political and social problems in modern day Britain and concentrates on how these adversely affect minority groups in our society. Polly’s art practice centers around making engagement with these issues accessible to everyone. Her work is also influenced by her current studies in MA Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths University.  




Ryan Quickfall

Ryan is a full time artist/illustrator living in Newcastle Upon Time, with his wife, two cats and a badly behaved dog. Fuelled by punk rock and black coffee, Ryan explores the fragility of subcultures in a fast-paced modern world and the gradual erosion of rebellion in a climate of constant surveillance.

What differentiates your style from other artists?

It’s hard to say technically what sets me apart from others. But I think the biggest asset to set yourself apart from others is your brain. Others work may look like yours and you may even find yourself replicating styles as you explore your own techniques, but you can use your brain to have your own ideas to apply these techniques. I know I have some mad ideas that most likely nobody else would have thought.

How did you reach the following that you have now?

I’ve spent a long time building a genuine and authentic following of my work. With social media it’s so easy to get carried away with how many followers you have. What is far more important to me, is having a following who interact with you. Who buy work from you. To do that takes time and you need to give as much time to your followers as possible. It can be incredibly hard though when you have constant work to do.  

What role does an artist play in this kind of society do you think?

I think a lot of artists, especially the more established ones try to challenge opinions or stir up some thought from the viewer. Personally, I don’t have any kind of strong political message that is a constant theme in my work, but I do try and show my inspiration and drive in my work. I am concerned about the lack of integrity in movements today and the fragility of subcultures. The fast-paced modern society doesn’t let a good thing last too long before everyone’s jumping on it! 

Have you ever reached a time when you wanted to give up art? 

Not really give it up, but working every day on it, coming to the studio 8.30 - 9 am and then going home and a lot of night working till 9pm because there is a ton of work to get through gets hard. It’s my own fault most of the time, but in those circumstances sometimes I just want a break from it. There’s a constant sense of wanting to take work on just incase it dries up one day. I don’t think it will, but there’s a bit at the back of your head always thinks that, and that’s what keeps you jumping! 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time? 

I would like to be doing more self initiated works and balance better the client workload.  More large scale works and some gallery shows. Collaborate with more brands. That is my target. 

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

I’m not sure I’ve officially been given this but striving to be where I am now made me learn a few things. If someone hammered this into me years ago I would have appreciated it.

1. Hard work pays off. Work hard and as much as you can while you’re able to get work and to develop your style.

2. Develop your own style and be consistent with it, it’s all you have.

3. Work wiser not harder. Once you’ve got a style that people want and are recognising, don’t burn out. To progress you have to work smarter. Sometimes less is more!