‘Nobody really knows what they are doing’ — Spenceroni, artist

Some adults never really out-grow their child-like playfulness, lust for life and creativity. Spencer Harrison, best known as Spenceroni, is one of these alleged grown-ups. His spirited, happy-go-lucky approach to art is refreshingly accessible and incredibly fun to observe. We asked Spencer about his cheerful career and imaginative work. Here’s what we discovered:

We love your vibrant creations. What’s the philosophy behind your work?

My main goal with my artwork is to share the colourful, joyful, playful side of life and hopefully make people smile. The world is sometimes all too serious and dark so I want to create work that reminds people of the brightness and beauty in the world.

The subject matter of my work is normally associated with an idea or concept that I’m interested in at that moment and I then look for a way to express that idea through my artistic lens. I like to explore lot’s of different mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture and digital art, but what ties it all together is my love of colour and pattern, which seem to make it into every piece.

Where did your love for bold colours and patterns begin?

I really try to follow my intuition in my artwork and my love of bold colours and patterns has really just evolved through that process over the years. I don’t know exactly where the love for them began but mainly it’s just been the case of seeing something that’s caught my eye and then wanting to explore that in my work. I’ve been exploring colour and pattern for about six years now and keep falling more and more in love with it every day, as there is still so much more to explore.

Did you always want to become an artist?

Not initially. Growing up I thought I wanted to be a scientist, following in the footsteps of my grandfather who was an industrial chemist. I actually studied a degree in Nanotechnology first, before realising that my heart kept drawing me back to more creative outlets. As a child I was always an artist, so now I’ve just been trying to get back to that place I was as a child and become that artist again.

Spenceroni

Where does your inspiration come from? And do you ever get designer’s block?

My inspiration usually comes from my interests and curiosity, experimenting and playing around with imagery drawn from the world around me. I do lots of sketching in my sketchbook for ideas, which make their way into my artwork. Visually I’m influenced by many artists that have come before me such as Joan Miro, Picasso, Matisse, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Fernand Leger and many more.

I like to investigate these artists, and look at their creative processes, ideas and how I might explore elements of these in my work. Yes I do get a bit of creative block from time to time, and generally it’s a sign that I’m a bit worn out and need to take a break from my work. After a bit of a break I normally come back refreshed and view the work in a new light. I also try to just start making and experimenting and find that helps break through any blocks, and ideas start to flow.

Do you have a favourite pattern of all your creations? And is there a particular colour palette you love working with most?

I think one of my favourite patterns would have to be the Jungle Fever pattern, as it reflects one of my favourite subjects: plants. I also love the colour palette. I’ve been a bit obsessed with colour palettes containing pink over the last year but I’m trying to push away slightly and broaden my palette. My new obsession is primary colours, so I think there will be some new works exploring this soon (with a dash of pink in there still).

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

My proudest achievement was probably having my first solo exhibition, Hello Play last year. This was a personal milestone for me as it was my first real leap into the world of art and exhibiting my work.

Spenceroni

What’s next for Spencer Harrison?

I’m about to head overseas to speak and exhibit at the ING Creative Festival in Dubai, then a couple weeks to recharge and get some fresh inspiration in Europe. When I return I’ll be doing a residency in a high school, painting a mural with the students, then off to Queensland to paint a mural at the First Coat Festival. Phew busy month! After that it’s back in the studio to work on new artworks for an exhibition later in the year.

Any advice for would-be artists?

Don’t worry so much, nobody really knows what they are doing and we’re all just trying to work it out. Just make art for yourself and your enjoyment, and don’t care about what anybody else thinks.

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WRITTEN BY:
Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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