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Q&A with Luke Drozd

Artist and illustrator from London who likes using his hands

Hi, my name is Luke Drozd, and I am a London based Artist and illustrator who likes using his hands. This takes many forms including sculpture, print and drawing. Alongside self-inittited projects I also work on a mix of commissioned illustration work that includes the production of screen-printed gig posters, T-shirts, comics and more, for clients ranging from Jameson’s Whiskey to comedian Stewart Lee. I'm also the mouth part of performance duo Reet Maff'l and one half of curatorial team 38b. I also spend a lot of time thinking about how I don't want to die.

How did you get started in art & illustration, what is your background? 

For as long as I can remember I liked artistic pursuits. My parents, whilst not working in the Arts themselves, always did creative things with us as children and were always supportive of me making things with my digits. This ultimately led to me doing an Art Foundation course after my A-levels, which I loved. It helped me to realise the breadth of possible creative output that existed and it was the first time I think I realised that I wanted to do something 'arty' for a living.

From here I studied Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University, where I met a host of like minded and excellent humans, such as Drew Millward, Graham Pilling, Andy Abbott, Eva Rowson and many many more. These were some of the people that would be pivotal to what I now do. Drew and I formed a record label which led to us both making gig posters. Graham and I, along with Bobby Evans and Chris White, would form the UK Poster Association which has led to us exhibiting work around the world, Andy would welcome me into Black Dogs art collective which would lead me to think about making art in totally new and collaborative ways and form a series of amazing friendships. Eva and I would end up forming 38b Projects, which is a curatorial project born from us putting on shows in our London flat and which has in turn led to new and exciting relationships in London and beyond.

From Leeds I moved to London in order to study towards an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art. This again led to new ways of working, thinking and making. I still live in London and spend my time juggling the various projects I have on.

Looking back, would you recommend your path for beginners in art?

That's a hard one to answer. There's no right path and while this worked for me, I'm sure someone else would have hated it. I think what I would recommend is to get the most out of whatever path you do take. Work hard, meet people, share and collaborate, because that is where the interesting things come from. And have fun. You're allowed to have fun. I recommend it.

What is a turning point in your professional career?

There have been many, and I'm sure there will be many more. Starting the record label and beginning to help put on shows was one as it led me towards the world of gig poster design. But equally things like playing in a punk band in my teens, working in art collectives in my twenties and deciding to use my flat as an occasional gallery in my thirties, have all been turning points for me. It's really just about being receptive to the opportunities that pop up.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you prefer to work in your studio all day long or prefer to mix a few activities? 

It all depends what I'm doing. I have a home studio which I use for illustration and smaller work, but I also spend a lot of time in my living room drawing and listening to music. I also have a separate studio in North London which I use for most of my sculptural and messy work. Each environment is suitable for a different task, so it's not about preference but more about the right space for the right work.

Where are your favorite places in your city or outside?

I like my living room, it's a nice place to draw, play music, put on shows and nap. I'm a big fan of going to the pub too and London has a wonderful selection of booze holes. I often feel spoilt by the choices London offers in terms of amazing art spaces, parks, music and comedy venues. To name favourites feels too vast a list to even begin making for fear of leaving people and places out.

And as for outside of London, where do you start? The world is full of fascinating destinations and I have had many fun adventures out there. I will say this though, I've had a lot of fun in Bradford recently....and I really don't like the idea of outer space. It seems too big. It makes me feel anxious just thinking about it.

Who are the artists and illustrators, colleagues in your city/country or outside you admire most?

Again, this would be a vast list so I will just say this; the people that I admire the most are those that I work with through all the projects I'm involved in. These are the people that inspire me and push me to keep making stuff and trying new things. I salute them all!