Craig McDermott is a self taught artist working in London. His works are vibrant and thought provoking as well as a direct expression of his inner thoughts. Craig’s interests and influences are that of genetics, life experiences and people’s wrong doings and failures. His current series here at Debut are based upon the Seven Deadly Sins, creating atmospheric, textured and refreshing works.
From what age did you know you wanted to be become an artist?
When I was in infant school aged 5 I had drawn a ‘Boat” which I remember like it was yesterday and I remember the other kids in class admiring my work and from that response I started!
How has your past affected your work?
I’m not that obsessed with making representations of ugliness; everything I have seen is beautiful. It hasn’t affected my work it’s enhanced my work in ways which my feelings and emotions are shown in the canvas.
What or who is your main inspiration?
My art is very personal to me, spiritually it is my way forward, I suppose like a religion in itself. There are many established and well-known artists who inspire me, ones who have changed the way we look at art which is what I am trying to achieve as I develop as an artist. My late designs and thought process for my future Artwork has in a way inspired me personally and as an artist I look at my sketches and comments and have a sense of euphoria and smile at what’s to become reality on canvas.
Did you have a famous artist you looked up to or aspired towards when growing up?
Not really; I sort of appreciated a lot of artists work and at the same time some artists I didn’t enjoy then, I do now. I think you mature towards art as you get older and becoming an artist gets you possessed in the creation of all works whether good or bad. I just love Art.
Do you have a current favourite artist?
I am both a curator and a collector of art whereby all of my collection have their own appeal to me either their style or the use of colours use. However, I do love a story behind the artist or how they have achieved global recognition.
What would you say the most challenging part of your career has been so far?
I’ve been a professional personal ”bodyguard” security advisor for many years now mostly specializing in hostile environments; taking care of an individual’s life so they can fulfil their important job in an unpredictable environment that is challenging. I believe with determination and with an astute mind you overcome the challenges and everyone comes home safe. My Art career has only just begun and like many things in life there are hurdles to overcome, knock backs and triumphs but I am very determined to make a success of myself as an Artist
What is your favourite part about being an artist?
I know its early days but when someone sees my work and are affected by it or if it provokes a personal emotion and they can’t forget about it “They remember me.” I think my work is about what we all face one way or another I am fascinated in the human condition. As humans we are drawn to the brutal things in life as we are to things of beauty and I want to achieve a mix of both.
What do you hope to achieve with your artwork?
My Artwork is primary meant to be decorative otherwise they are pretty pointless regardless of the subject matter. I want them to look nice on peoples walls and to have a life of their own. My end goal for my work is that people enjoy it and know it’s a Craig McDermott piece. I want them to take it away and hang it, appreciate it, and talk about it.
You have a very unique process of building up of colour, shape and texture. Can you explain the processes and techniques used behind your work?
Time is not on my side as I work outside of the UK a lot and when I am home I know I have to produce a series of works to a high standard and quality ready for the gallery. There is something wrong with everything I paint and that’s me wanting to make people feel both engaged and discomforted by my work. After I have chosen my subject matter it is transferred to my canvas and blocked in a dark silhouette. Each layer of paint is then added gradually to separate tones; the face is almost complete before the background colour is added I want the viewer to feel the message; the emotion. Critiquing every brushstroke finishing off with a high gloss finish, which draws the eye as it interacts with the light drawing the viewer in.
What have been your highlights at Debut Contemporary so far?
I suppose for me personally it’s the professionalism of the gallery and the concept, it is humbling for me to be recognized by the gallery superiors and to be given the opportunity to be represented by them also to represent them. My standards are high which is a fault of my personality or is it?
Where is your favourite (West) London hangout?
The Wallace Collection located just off Oxford Street in the heart of London’s West End and Debut Contemporary of course…However I'm sure I will get to know the area very well.