Sheffield Artist Mark Turner
So just who is showcasing their talent in October’s “Fellow Sheffield Creatives” feature, it just happens to be Sheffield Artist Mark Turner.
We came across Mark’s work at this years Art in the Gardens preview night and we “signed him up” there and then. His work has a lovely clean, bright, contemporary feel with a distinctive graphical style.
Volta: Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Mark: I always wanted to paint and draw, and hopefully make a living from doing so.
I was running my own exhibition design and build company up until about 5 years ago, when in the recession I had to cease trading. We had a small print on our wall at home, which utilised a technique I had frequently used myself commercially, so I decided to do something similar of the area we live in, and see if any one showed any interest.
Volta: Were you self-taught or have you had training?
Mark: Very much self taught, I did art up to A level, then went into industry as a designer, working for a sign company and then into the exhibition business, as an apprentice I suppose, so I learnt on the job.
Volta: How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Mark: It originated from when I was designing exhibition stands, a quick sketch and then apply some simple blocks of colour in photoshop, to give a client an initial idea of a concept which could then be worked up further.
I then used this way of working for my first foray into producing my own artwork. This has developed further with more detailed work, resulting in a more complex finished piece.
We should all be constantly learning new things, and every illustration I do, I experiment with new techniques and ideas, which should result in a continuing development of my style but where this will lead is any ones guess, which keeps things interesting.
Volta: What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Mark: When I started out I had no idea there were so many brilliant artists in Sheffield. Doing art events to sell my work opened up a whole new world to me.
Seeing the range and breadth of artistic achievement in Sheffield is incredible. This undoubtedly inspires me to keep going, and develop my style.
Sheffield is just a great place to live – I don’t have to explain that, people that live here know.
Volta: Why did you settle in Sheffield?
Mark: My parents came to live in Sheffield when I was 9 years old, because of my father’s work [architect]. We moved from Sussex.
Volta: What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Mark: When the Tour De France came to Sheffield, it inspired me to celebrate this occasion, and was definitely a new departure for me. I tried out some new ideas – some almost by accident – but it resulted in two illustrations, which were [are] well liked and sold well, which was a massive boost to my confidence, and has lead me on to attempt other subject matters, which perhaps I might not have done.
Volta: Do other areas of creativity have any influence on your work?
Mark: I love music and have a very wide taste from classical to punk, and virtually everything in between, but I can’t honestly say that it influences my work. My main influence is the environment, rather than other areas of creativity.
Volta: If you could lay claim to one piece of creative work in any area what would it be and why?
Mark: There are so many great works of art, pieces of music, books and films, I would find this impossible to answer.
Volta: What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Mark: It’s journey/how it’s evolved – where it’s come from to where it’s going to.
Volta: What advice would you give an aspiring fellow artist who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Mark: That all depends on your definition of the next level.
As an artist you should be true to yourself, and produce the work you feel passionate about. Create a definite style if you can, it won’t suit everyone, but you can’t please all the people all the time.
When starting out (if you want to sell your work) you have to think about who might want to buy your art, who your target audience might be, and accordingly the subject matter.
Nearly every other artist I speak to is self critical, (I know I am), but just find a way to get your work “out there” I started out by asking the Post Office/cafe at Low Bradfield if they would consider showing my work (with a commission for them obviously), and they still consistently sell my work.
Sheffield Artist Mark Turner
Want to find out a little more about Mark and his art?
Here are a few links to his site and social media. Interested in Mark’s art? Contact him through his site (linky thing below).
View our previous Fellow Sheffield Creatives