Although the doors to the gallery at Colonnade House were closed to the public during lockdown, the studios on the floors above continued to be a hive of activity and we have since welcomed three new tenants – all of whom work in different areas of the creative industries.

 

We sat down with illustrator and animator, Sam Murdoch; painter Peter Allwright; and framer Mark Humphreys to find out a bit more about their creative practice, businesses and why they decided to rent a studio here; at Colonnade House;

 

Samuel Murdoch is a seasoned illustrator, animator, muralist & animation director.

Sam has spent half of the last decade working in house and the remaining working independently with award winning design studios, major NGOs, brands and organisations whilst living and working internationally from New Zealand and Vietnam.

These days, you might find Sam designing or directing animations, commercial illustration projects and large scale mural commissions. All under the umbrella of his creative studio, Ugly Duck Ltd.

Find out more;

Website    Website    Instagram

 

What does your average working day look like?

I wake up with the sun and my 9 month old daughter and we have breakfast together.  Once she goes down for her morning nap I hop on my bike and cycle over to Colonnade House. 

I usually arrive at the studio at around 9:30am, immediately get some coffee on the brew and open up the email inbox, any other routine admin stuff I’ll also get done first thing. 

I’ll then get stuck into any project work I have on , this might be animation, illustration or direction, I may have to hop on a call in the late morning or early afternoon depending on what I have on.

In between project work I like to explore personal work ideas, either developing new animation skills or escaping the computer and getting lost in a flow state,  painting while listening to my favourite music.

What inspires you to create?

Curiosity and progress.  Exploring an idea is always exciting to me, if something I do is successful building on it and seeing where it goes is also very encouraging.  I’m addicted to style… particularly in illustration, animation and mural art… Fresh contemporary work is created everyday in our global community and I’m always excited to see something new.

What do you like about working at Colonnade House?

The other residents in the building and management have been very welcoming since I arrived, it’s a wonderfully supportive community.  The location also couldn’t be better being so close to the beach and town centre with the lovely Steine Gardens just outside my window.

What equipment could you not do without?

I find a drawing monitor to be an essential tool working in animation today.  It’s such an intuitive tool and really streamlines the workflow.

Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming projects?

I’m currently working on an animated short which I can’t tell you too much about now as it’s still in the seedling stage and I would like to let it develop naturally.  

I have an exhibition booked at Colonnade House in May 2022!  This will be showcasing some of my illustration work and hopefully animation too.

What piece of advice helped you on your creative journey?

Explore your curiosity and if in doubt, keep making work and let your style find you.  

It’s too easy to lose confidence in creative work, I always thought as long as I’m making work I’m making progress and this has fared well for me. 

This quote by Andy Warhol always spoke to me: 

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

 

Since 2009, Peter Allwright has been a full-time professional after being tutored in oil painting techniques by a professional oil painter in evening classes.

One of his paintings titled ‘Loneliness’ was accepted and exhibited at the prestigious Royal Academy of the Arts 2018 Summer Exhibition. He had another of his works shortlisted for the 2020 exhibition too.

A lot of his work has come from commissions, with his paintings selling worldwide and his artworks can be found in galleries across the UK.

Peter is a member of the West Sussex Art Society, and in May 2021 he moved to his new studio at Colonnade House.

Find out more;

Facebook   Instagram   Website 

 

What does your average working day look like?

My day starts by walking along the prom to my studio. This is where I can think up ideas and get inspiration for new paintings. I then usually spend some time checking on Art Groups that I follow on social media, before I start on either sketching new ideas, preparing canvases or actually painting!

What inspires you to create?

I get inspired from looking at paintings of artists that I greatly admire, like Eric Ravilious, Edward Burra, John Nash, Edward Hopper and L.S Lowry amongst others.


I try to create something everyday – even if it is only thumbnail sketches of new ideas.

What do you like about working at Colonnade House?

What I like about working at Colonnade House is the art community feel to it, plus the gallery that I can exhibit my works in.


I also find that going out to work – rather than working from home with all its distractions makes me focus all my attention on my art.

What equipment could you not do without?

I could not do without my Mac computer as I draw all my detailed sketches directly on my drawing tablet using my thumbnails sketches as guides, plus I use it for research. I could also not work without my oil paints and brushes

Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming projects?

I am currently experimenting with a new abstract style, using a synthetic clay to form shapes sculpted onto wooden panels and over painted in oils in a relief style.

I am always applying to exhibit my works in national art exhibitions.

What piece of advice helped you on your creative journey?

 

I don’t think any single piece of advice helped me on my creative journey – as much as support. For without the total and dedicated support of my wife Mandy – I would not have had the success or be where I am today. We are a team.

 

Mark Humphreys founded Howell’s Frame’s at Colonnade House in 2020. Mark has mainly worked for the past 25 years as a chef.

But on breaks from the high pressured environment of the kitchen, he trained and worked with many experienced picture framers.

Now Mark wants to put his own stamp on bespoke framing, aiming to provide a high end  service. In the future, Mark is looking to provide a custom frame service with hand crafted mouldings which will be custom built to customer decor requirements.

Find out more;

Facebook Instagram

 

What does your average working day look like?

A working day usually consists of a breakfast shift at a local hotel, then into the framing studio to finish or start outstanding work. After lunch, I’ll check social media and have some time set aside for creating and experimenting new profiles concepts or finishes to frames. In the afternoon, I always check the stock and place any orders needed.

What inspires you to create?

Everything inspires my work; from a car painted in a strange colour, clothes, something from history, a book, music and even happy accidents.

What do you like about working at Colonnade House?

There’s a good crowd of people, a spacious environment, very quiet, lots of help and information available. A nice energy about the place.

What equipment could you not do without?

Definitely the mitre machine, as this cuts the perfect angles to create seamless framing, a must have accessory for any framer.

Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming projects?

I have recently taken an interest in the blockchain, and I am creating digital images (NFT’s) to sell. I’m also creating videos producing unusual frames and artwork which will be uploaded to YouTube, TikTok and Twitter.

What piece of advice helped you on your creative journey?

Believe in what you are doing, and take yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s the only time you will really find anything about your true self and what you are capable of.

Interested in having a studio space at Colonnade House? Visit the studios page on our website or get in touch for more information.