Kevin Hauff





2002 - IMAGES 26

After studying at Brighton Kevin has since enjoyed working with many varied clients. No project is too big or small and he relishes the challenge of a stimulating commission. As well as family and work, there are many things that make him smile - old Volkswagens, cacti, giant bugs, tin toys, space ephemera, snorkelling, cycling, running, movies, sea critters, designer vinyl, and of course - coffee.

The image is of a set of experimental images, initiated to explore a more direct, spontaneous painterly technique.

“In this profession there is no greater endorsement than having work chosen to be included in the Association of Illustrators Awards, where the accolade stimulates new interest and wider recognition of an artists work.”

BRIEF: To create a series of back to basic finished illustrations with no preparatory sketches. Each image to be based on either a newspaper headline/story or a radio broadcast, all chosen randomly and spontaneously, where the subject simply caught my attention as being interesting. A working approach with as little planning as possible was employed to give maximum creative risk. 

MATERIALS: Acrylic paint, collage, ink, pastel, biro, ruler, masking tape, stencils - whatever was at hand

RESEARCH: I usually research a project extensively both in terms of visual reference and subject background, but in this case research would have inhibited the process.

PROCESS: There was one rule - keep things simple. Once I had a subject list, I gesso primed twenty cardboard panels no bigger than A4 in size. I then went straight to creating artwork with no initial sketching. I set a goal of completing two finished images per day, working alternately on each.

RESISTANCES: The fear of the creative unknown is quite an interesting wall to push against, especially when the average commission has to be completed on the back of many drawings often over refined due to process, limiting the chance of spontaneity when rendering the finished artwork. This project proved the complete antithesis to that working method - some images simply refusing to come together due to having no sketches to follow (tomorrow's undercoat!), some like this one just had that spark of potential from the very first brush marks and came together beautifully, both in concept and craft.

INSIGHT: Although fraught with difficulty and frustration, this refreshing working process lead to unexpected gems that no amount of planning could realise, the one caveat being on balance there were more unsuccessful images created using this approach. Insightful alternative to having all of the solutions worked out prior to creating the finished artwork.

DISTRACTIONS: Exploring creative tangents that did not work, then having to repaint mistakes/clumsy ideas/marks/colour etc.

NUMBERS: Twenty paintings started, and about seven or eight successful images completed.

FINAL THOUGHTS: A thoroughly stimulating exercise - challenging, frustrating, liberating but overall very rewarding.

Hauff Hauff