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We TAKE FIVE to catch up with Belfast-based artist Angus McBride and find out more about what inspires his creative practice as he shares his latest series of Illustrations, “From the Sub-Conscious”.

What does your studio look like?

My main Studio would be my room for the most part, but Its important in any creative space that I find myself in to have inspiration set up around me, such as other artists work, my own work and books/magazines that I can draw from for ideas. Some assortment of plants and a natural light source is important to keep yourself sane and let in some saturation for your work to be in the right state of reference. I will always be listening to music when creating as I find my mind needs to be relaxed into a familiar zone to start working, I’m currently listening to Brockhampton, Travis Scott, Shlohmo, Knxwledge and Aphex Twin. I used to share a studio space in my garage with my Mum which was pretty interesting as we would help each other out and she would give me some much-needed advice as she’s a Print-Maker herself! I had access to a drying rack, washing basin, various inks, and some screen-printing equipment but I mainly dabbled in making some marbling backgrounds as this was a few years ago. 

What is your favourite aspect about living and working in Belfast?

Belfast has a unique blend of political bigotry and progressive scenes that tends to create of artistic narrative, I find the street art scene in Belfast quite strong and it’s nice to keep up with new pieces popping up around the city as its always changing. I grew up skating in Belfast and especially around Bridges skatepark where the park itself is used as a canvas for whoever wants to create, although something you’ve made could be painted over again by someone else but that’s the part of the territory. 

Who inspires you creatively?

As my art has progressed over the years I have gradually moved towards street orientated work, looking at artists such as Jean Michel-Basquait, Keith Haring and the more contemporary work of Illustrator Ben Horton. All of the aforementioned artists have work that push a political agenda where they are typically anti-establishment and don’t conform to traditional art techniques and visuals which I identify with strongly. 

What is the concept behind your current series of work? 

This is a collection of work that I have created over the summer which concentrates on an automatic approach to figurative drawing, created using acrylic markers and ink pens. I find drawing subjectively has become rather stale to my style of creating work and I have always enjoyed not knowing what direction my work can evolve into while I’m looking for a lane for it to conform to, not focusing on one direction can let the drawing transform into something sub-conscious and original. It doesn’t always work it out so working back into drawings with new layers is always an option, I have started a habit of vectoring my work into digital form as it adds a new dimension of sharpness to my work. 

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