Dronfield Digital interviewed local artist Luke Prest. Instead of sitting down in a nice hotel lobby, drinking coffee, pretending to write things on a notepad, with him answering questions awkwardly whilst I pry a little too-far into his private life, it developed more into brief email correspondence. This is the result:
- What Should I know about him? I’m 27 years old, married and have two kids who are sending me grey at a rate of knots. I spend most of my time either painting or drawing in some form or another.
- Dronfield Lad?4th generation. I’ve lived in all corners of it at some point but I grew up on Holmesdale Road and spent most of my childhood kicking footballs about on Gladys Buxton school. I’m living down in Barlow now but all my family are still in Dronfield. I’ll probably end up back before too long.
- Art Style? Cartoonistic. I paint with solid colours and use heavy black outlines – its pretty naive and a bit slapdash if I’m being honest. I’m not trained in any formal way at all – I just picked up some brushes and away I went! I really try not to take it or myself to seriously. If you ever find me painting pictures of bowls of fruit then shoot me! Whilst that has its place, its not for me and I’ve no interest at all in being part of any art ‘scene’. If you took my paintings into a posh gallery in London they’d probably turn their noses up at it and I like the thought of that.
- Influences?I tend to paint what’s going off around me but I like to give it some humour. People compare my work to Pete McKee a lot which is a massive compliment as he’s a fantastic cartoonist and artist. I can see why I get that a lot because of the solid colours and bold outlines but I like Joe Scarborough and Lowry and I can see bits of them creeping into my work aswell as the great Pop Artists like Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
- Love Dronfield? I’m a home bird, so definitely. It was better before all the pubs turned into restaurants but its seems to be going through a bit of a renaissance at the moment with the real ale scene pushing a bit of life back into the night life. I’m still fairly involved with Dronfield Town FC so I suppose thats my bit back into the community. There’s also few of my paintings up around the town.
- Where are you going with it/ hope to go with it? I never really set off to become an artist if I’m being honest – I just started painting, stuck it online and there was some interest, so I just rolled with it. I still work full time in architecture as well as doing my artwork. Its getting to be a bit of a struggle fitting everything in with my work commitments but I’ve got two young kids and my wife is a full time student so I’m not in any position to be able to give up the steady income stream of that comes with employment. That’s frustrating at times because there’s so much I’d love to do but don’t have the time and it takes me much longer to get things finished because I can only commit evenings and weekends to it. I’d like to open a gallery one day and teaching kids appeals to me but I’m years off that.
- Other stuff in the pipeline, including not related works? My work seems to have gathered a bit of a football bias mainly because of the way Sheffield United have been backing me, so I’m concentrating on some more generic stuff at the moment. I’ve just started working on some Chesterfield images which I’m hoping to have ready to exhibit towards Christmas. I’ve also got a few irons in the fire with one or two Dronfield business’ which you might see cropping up around town in the not too distant future.
Luke enjoyed our article about the Cliffe Park slide so much, he drew us a nice picture: