@dvowen

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Dylan V Owen

Dylan V Owen is a Games Design graduate from Leeds Met University. Following his studies, he took on a 9-5 job in a non-creative field, as a creative, he found it a real uphill struggle.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF ART?

The main style of my art is comic book inspired high detail, fine line pen work. I specialise in fantasy & horror characters inspired by classic monster movies, the Tolkein & Dungeons & Dragons universes in particular.

What inspires you to keep going?

There is no greater feeling than looking back on a completed piece that has presented a challenge to undertake, that feeling of achievement makes me pick the pen back up and revisit old works. Looking on classic comic artists like Steve Ditko's works, or newer artists like Phil Winslade or Dale Eaglesham, really makes me want to keep honing comic book techniques and better myself one piece after another.

 

When did you discover your passion for art?

My father has always been an artist around other jobs, my mother always has a creative project, of one sort or another, on the go. They nurtured my creative streak from an early age, and admittedly I spent too many hours laid back in classrooms sketching on maths books and English anthologies.

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

An artist's role in society is to stop people in their tracks, to have them imagining the characters or settings of a piece in motion. Particularly with comic art, people should be imagining the heroes living not just between panels, but from one issue to the next. Artists can make people think about questions or subjects that they wouldn't want to read about, protesting issues that some people may not realise exist.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

In 5 years time I see myself with an independent comic book published, a body of work I know I could not have creating without taking that initial risk and an art-style fully honed, that someone can see my signature in without me having to sign.

Have you ever reached a time when you wanted to give up on something you wanted to do? 

'Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again' - Henry Ford - There have been times over the last 5 years in particular where I haven't touched a pen and pencil for months, juggling time between work and life. There were times I felt like giving up on my creative ambitions. Finding the time to doodle on a till receipt or scribbling whilst on a conference call would always reignite something in me, to the point where I knew I had to make changes to prove to myself it could be done.

 

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

The best advice I have been given and would give to others is that 'If you can take a risk before it becomes a regret, take that risk.' Then you'll go through life without regrets of what could have been, instead, with memories of when you've tried.

@Dvowen 

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@Stokeandbear

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Jet Bailey  

Jet Bailey is a freelance fine artist based in the South West of England. She specialises in painting and have focused on creating art around her passion in motorcycling.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

In my paintings I try to capture as much detail and realism as I can of the image I am working with, but I would also describe my style as bold and colourful. I like to try and make images that pop when they are on the wall or in a frame. I like to try and focus my paintings on different aspects of motorcycle culture, and the people involved in it. 

 

ASIDE FROM MOTORCYCLE ART, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO PAINT?

I really love painting portraits, and learning more about the people behind the bikes, so I hope to incorporate this more into my work in the future. I am always up for a challenge and in the past have done landscapes, animals and other types of paintings too. 

 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT PAINTING MOTORCYCLES?

Painting motorcycles has really enabled me to combine my two passions naturally, but I have also really enjoyed learning the unique stories and creativity of owners, builders and riders around the world. I have found that my paintings have enabled me to meet and speak with so many incredible people, and it is so refreshing to see their passion and interest in their motorcycle and the motorcycle culture. 

IS THERE A STORY BEHIND THE NAME STOKE AND BEAR?

Not really an interesting one! There are two sides to Stoke and Bear - the art and also building motorcycles, so I needed two names in one! 

 

WHAT DO YOU FIND DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY?

I guess I can find it difficult to keep to a good routine and need to remind myself it's OK to have some down time. It's important to take things at a pace that feels right, and sometimes it can be difficult to consistently make work! I have found that there are so many incredible artists out there that it is important to have a good network around you. 

 

WHICH PIECE OF WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

Probably the recent Motorcycle tank I painted. I hadn't ever painted a tank before, only canvas, helmets and skateboards. I was really pleased with the result and it pushed me to challenge myself more. 

WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

I think what keeps me going is the continued support of those who follow my process and work. They have always been so supportive and that really helps in making me want to keep creating new things. I also think that art is so powerful, it can impact people in so many different ways, as well as being very therapeutic. My love of art definitely keeps me going.

 

BEST COMPLIMENT YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED ABOUT YOUR WORK?

Someone once said that they had studied my work as part of an art exam they were doing! That was a pretty amazing compliment! 

@stokeandbear

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May at The Pistonhead Foundation

May was full of photography, fashion and bikes for the Foundation, as we sponsored a number of amazing events from a host of creative brands. Read on to find out what we were up to…

Haven Studio Launch Party

Haven is a new creative space, studio, production team and more based in Ealing. They’re the place to go for big ideas, creative, creators and innovators, building a community of like-minded collaborators, high-end studio equipment and amazing coffee! We were delighted to sponsor their launch party on 9th May, so everyone could enjoy a Pistonhead beer whilst checking out the brand new space. Find out more about Haven here: https://www.havenstudio.co.uk/

Haven Studio Launch Flyer

Haven Studio Launch Flyer

There Are Still Good People Event

This fashion brand initially launched in the bright lights of New York, founded on a concept of starting conversations around mental health, specifically proactive suicide prevention. Luckily, it’s now made its way to the UK. To release their Spring/Summer collection, There Are Still Good People hosted a pop up in Shoreditch during Mental Health Awareness Week, on 9th-11th May. There was a pop-up store with the coolest of clothing, workshops on various wellbeing topics such as avoiding burnout and realising potential, and of course beers from us at Pistonhead! Read more about There Are Still Good People on their website: https://www.stillgoodpeople.com/  

Image: Haven Studio

Image: Haven Studio

Rebels Alliance Mc Co. Bike Shed After Party

Rebels Alliance Mc Co. is a store in Shoreditch born from a belief to produce desirable, well-made items that they, as members, would be proud to wear and own. These range from motorcycles, to skateboards, to punk music, to rag trade, to graffiti, born from their involvement in these subcultures, the spirit of ‘doing it yourself’ and doing it differently. This year they decided to throw the afterparty to Bike Shed 2019, the biggest Motorcycle event in London, on 25th May. There was mini-bike racing, live music, food trucks and Pistonhead Lager supplying the bar. Check out Rebels Alliance website here: http://rebelsalliance.com/

Are you an up and coming, independent creative, musician, artist or designer? Does your event, exhibition, collection or gig need sponsoring? Get in touch via our website and we’ll do what we can to help: www.pistonheadfoundationuk.com/support

@goblyncrew

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Dan Robinson

Dan Robinson AKA Goblyn Crew is a freelance artist, illustrator and full-time chef who is currently living in Manchester. The creativity behind his Goblyn characters stems from his childhood, where he would always create weird characters with his friends.  

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I draw inspiration from so many different places. Skateboarding, video games, music, lyrics, film, nature, architecture, other artists etc. I would say that creativity inspires creativity. If I see someone doing something original and exciting, it inspires me to also create new and fun things.

Who are your favourite artists?

I’d like to give a shout out to some of my favourite artists and some of my inspirations. 

Mark Gonzales 

Mark “Fos” Foster 

Richard “French” Sayer 

James Jarvis 

NeckFace 

Ed Templeton 

Craig Gleason 

Has art always been something you wanted to do since you were young? 

Yeah, I always remember in primary school me and 2 friends had a spare work book that we used as sketchbooks, we created so many weird characters. I would always draw characters from games and send them to the magazines too. I used to wish that was my job. 

 
What’s the story behind your goblyn characters? 

There’s a loose story I made up, but I try to keep it pretty broad otherwise I think I’d lose the creativity of it. The idea was that Goblyns came from the sewers, grown from mutated avocados that were dumped in the sewer, their ultimate plan is to discreetly take over the world by killing humans and wearing their skin. 

What difficulties have you faced during this journey?

Self doubt and crippling anxiety. These things make it very hard to have the energy and courage to create work, meet people, and put work on show to people who will judge you. The best way to deal with it I found is to just do it. What’s the worst that can happen. 

Most memorable response about your work? 

Being told “You’re one of my favourite artists” it really blows my mind when there’s so many amazing artists out there and people choose to like my work as much as I like some of my idol’s work. 

Advice to other aspirational artists. 

Grind away at your craft, perfect your style (although I like to change it up sometimes), keep pushing and keep creating. If you’re passionate enough you’ll do great things. 

@goblyncrew

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5 Places You Can Apply for Creative Funding

Image: Haven Studio

Image: Haven Studio

The arts: it’s a tricky space to be in, especially when you’ve only just begun trying to make it in the business. Becoming an artist or musician is only getting more expensive, and funding to start out or support an ongoing project is dwindling. We’ve done the hard work for you and found five great places you can apply for the all important funding and support from:

Arts Council England

Arts Council England is the biggest arts funding body in the UK. It awards a multitude of funds for arts and culture projects courtesy of the Government and National Lottery. Their funding is for artists, libraries, museums, creative projects, dance, drama, music and many more. They invest in art and culture for a lasting return. Find out more and apply for funding here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding

PRS Foundation

This is the UK’s leading funder of new music and talent development and they’ve been around since 1953. They aim to support songwriters and composers of all backgrounds to realise their potential and reach audiences across the world. PRS have plenty of ‘Early Career’ funding opportunities to apply for. These range from very targeted initiatives such as the Lynsey de Paul Prize for solo female artists and songwriters, through to our Open Fund. Find out more and apply here: https://prsfoundation.com/

Pistonhead Foundation

Of course, we had to include ourselves! We launched this initiative earlier this year, dedicated to supporting emerging musicians, artists, and independent venues across the UK. We’re a support network for creatives and aim to alleviate costs such as providing much needed stock for an event, exhibition, collection or gig. Get in touch via our website and we’ll do what we can to help: www.pistonheadfoundationuk.com/support

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Help Musicians UK

This charity was founded way back in 1921. Now, they help hundreds of emerging musicians every year to develop their talent and get their break. They invest more than £600,000 a year on this! Their funding is delivered in two main ways: tailored schemes offering funding directly to individuals and group, and development opportunities offered by partner organisations, funded or part-funded by Help Musicians UK. View all their live opportunities here: https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/creative-programme/current-opportunities

The Elephant Trust

If you have an art project in mind or have started one and can’t finish due to funds, this is the one for you. This was created in 1975 to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the fine arts in the UK. Trustees meet four times a year to consider applications, and grants are usually up to £2,000 (some up to £5,000). You can apply on their website here: http://www.elephanttrust.org.uk/docs/intro.html

@joelburden

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JOEL BURDEN

Joel burden is a British visual artist and illustrator based in Leeds. Although Joel has been mainly working on digital based works, his style is always evolving and is currently interested in moving towards more tangible materials such as paint and clay.

How difficult is it when it comes to working with colour rather than black and white?

Colour has always been my default, something that I am drawn towards, like a bee to a flower, so for me it comes more organically than a line drawing. Not that I always have, or do know, which colour should exist where upon first look, but I have always I think sub-consciously visualised things in colour. By that I mean when a piece of work presents itself in some kind of form inside my brain, fuzzy edged and lacking clarity but a beginning, it will most certainly be in colour, or at least I perceive it that way. Naturally then, making things in black and white, is something that doesn’t immediately happen. 'I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for’ - Georgia O’Keeffe. Recently however I have been experimenting with black and white line drawings. There’s a directness to them, and a clarity, which can be unforgiving if done wrong, but beautiful when done right. That part I still have a long way to go with. Ultimately, you follow where the piece wants to go, and if that means it takes you into areas you aren’t as comfortable with, you owe it to yourself and the image to at least give it a go. 

How do you get inspiration for your work?

Recently I’ve been exploring themes of shyness, vulnerability and sensitivity, through simplified visual metaphor. In other words I guess I’m experimenting with trying to say a lot by showing very little. I’ve been interested in work by Georgia O’Keeffe, Ellsworth Kelly, amongst others. I’m also reading a lot of novels by Haruki Murakami. The way he describes subtle human interaction and emotion makes them almost tangible. I find it really resonates with something in me. I’m also finding myself moving being more and more interested in abstraction, which is something I imagine I will explore further.

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

Big question! The kind of question you could write your thesis on. Art has so many different roles and responsibilities, it’s hard to say. In a world that feels more and more divided of late, maybe it has a responsibility to remind people they aren’t alone. That whatever you’re feeling, going through, striving towards, the big and the small, there are most certainly other people who are just like you. There is a magic moment when you look, hear or read something that stops you where you are and makes you think ‘that’s exactly how I feel.

You have worked with some big clients, how did those come about?

The majority seem to have found me via social media, especially Instagram. It stresses the importance of self-initiated work. The power really is in your hands. Make for yourself, share, and hopefully others will connect with what you’re doing. 

Any obstacles you have faced?

Of course, a spectrum, all of my own creation! Self-doubt, anxiety, depression, large intervals of lacking in motivation/commitment/confidence. I’ve spoken to many people who have echoed those sentiments. Who knew doing something you loved could be so hard at times! Luckily these are all things that can inspire and inform the things you create, it’s just about giving them the time and space they deserve to materialise. 

 

How did that affect you?

These things can be hard to put into words. It affected my sense of self, who I was and what I was doing here. You need to create to feel purpose, yet you haven’t the energy or confidence to do so, which in turn makes you feel worse, and so the cycle goes on. Speaking about being a shy child, and needing that outlet to express yourself, I’m not sure for me that changed fundamentally going into adulthood, and so you almost feel mute, and unable to share the parts of you that matter most. A fog envelops you, and for that moment you are within it, you cannot see out. In my experience, it is never really overcome, there is always a risk of it returning uninvited, but you do your best to make it feel unwelcome, and you learn methods to disperse it. Ask yourself what is making you feel this way, and do your best to make adjustments. It’s almost like creating your own escape roots, and once you know where they are, you feel some control has been restored. Then ultimately, you find that purpose again, and you wallow in it as much as possible. You put yourself into your Art, and suddenly things seem clearer, and you realise the fog has lifted. In my Art, I don’t directly reference the experience, but subtlety it can show through. Whether that be someone obscured from view, a snarling tiger or a falling glass, maybe we all consciously or sub-consciously draw from our own history. 

 

What advice would you give to other aspirational artists?

In many ways I still consider myself an aspirational artist, but I’ve learnt many things along the road so far. Make work that interests you, and put the time in. A lot of time. Be obsessed with what you do, do it as much and as often as you can, whenever you can, and be patient with yourself. Nothing will happen overnight. Don’t be drawn into doing things for likes, it will leave you feeling hollow and unfulfilled. You have a lot to say and give, value your own opinion.  

@Joelburden

April at The Pistonhead Foundation

April was a busy month for the Foundation. Moving from fashion to illustration, we sponsored three amazing events, heroing an array of fantastically creative talent. 

Here’s what we got up to:

SCRT Co Shoreditch Pop Up

SCRT Co are a UK independent streetwear brand. They initiated as a small project in 2010, working with local artists to produce exclusive runs of fashion. The brand has grown hugely, but they still work with up and coming creatives to produce designs. They’re still as independent and forward thinking as when they started out, promoting creativity through bold design and detailing.

We sponsored their pop-up shop in Shoreditch from February to April. It began with an insanely busy launch event, with free t-shirts, music from Keep Hush and plenty of Pistonhead beers going around. Our Pistonhead fridge then remained a fixture in the shop to refresh and support the team throughout the duration of the pop-up.

Find out more about SCRT Co here: https://scrt.onl/

Pistonhead Lager sponsored SCRT Co Pop Up in Shoreditch

Pistonhead Lager sponsored SCRT Co Pop Up in Shoreditch

The Ragged Priest X Kickers Launch Party

Originally an eBay vintage store based out in Essex in 2009, The Ragged Priest has grown to be one of the most creative and cool streetwear brands in the UK. Still independent, they bring a punk and grunge attitude to their designs.

When they asked if we could sponsor their latest collaboration with Kickers, the iconic, confident, stylish footwear brand, we were happy to oblige. The event saw a stream of people come through the London flagship Soho store, hydrated by Pistonhead Lager and given the first opportunity to buy the gorgeous new Kickers x The Ragged Priest shoes.

Check out The Ragged Priest on their website: https://theraggedpriest.com/

Pistonhead at The Ragged Priest x Kickers Launch

Pistonhead at The Ragged Priest x Kickers Launch

MM… FOOD: Blue Monday Press Exhibition @ The Studio Brighton

On 27th April, Blue Monday Press hosted MM…FOOD at The Studio in Brighton, an exhibition to celebrate food in pop culture. A multitude of work by emerging illustrators was on show, from a variety of local and international artists.

Food from Smack Tacos was provided, as well as beer from us, of course. A big turn out led to an immensely successful event.

You can follow Blue Monday Press on social @bluemondaypress

Are you an up and coming, independent creative, musician, artist or designer? Does your event, exhibition, collection or gig need sponsoring? Get in touch via our website and we’ll do what we can to help: www.pistonheadfoundationuk.com/support





@brucey.parker

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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.

@brucey.parker

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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

@blvck_skvll

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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. 

@blvck_skvll

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