The Nudes & Toons Collection Laid Bare
If you follow me on my socials, you probably will have spotted me posting several artworks from what has fast become one of my favourite collections I’ve ever produced – The Nudes & Toons Collection. I was so overwhelmed by the public’s response to these pieces that I wanted to give you a bit of an insight into their creation.
One of the most common questions I’m asked as an artist is where I get my ideas from. It’s always a tricky question to answer. As a creative person, you can’t manufacture inspiration. It needs to strike organically. You simply need to be ready, waiting, ready to capture lightning in a bottle whenever it hits.
One day last year, I was holed up in my gallery, feeling a little uninspired by all that was going on in the world. So I decided to cheer myself up by revisiting some of the classic cartoons, which have delighted me ever since I was a young boy – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny, and co. As I watched these classic characters get into all sorts of mischief on my laptop screen, I was struck by their timeless quality. They are, I thought, even more iconic than the biggest Hollywood actors and super famous rock stars, because they’re immortal, forever young and exuberant, never changing with fashion.
In that moment, it hit me: what if I were to juxtapose these timeless cartoons with another love of mine, that of real-life figures and nudes. It was certainly an odd idea, but it got my creative juices flowing. I began experimenting, creating wooden board and canvas paintings where cartoons were set side by side with nude female figures.
Almost immediately, there was an energy and vibrancy to the pieces that captured my imagination. The cartoons began to stand for positivity and happiness, so I painted them vividly in figurative poses using acrylics that I accented using a palette knife. The nudes, on the other hand, began to embody fragility and the fleetingness of beauty. So, I drew these in stark, grey tones using charcoal.
So many themes began to emerge on the canvas – the contrast between colour and monochrome, fiction and the real, mortality and immortality, innocence and sensuality. It was a real joy to see them come to life. Each painting sparked more and more ideas, until I finally had a fully-fledged series, which I titled Nudes & Toons.
When I saw the response the series was receiving, I decided this would be my first collection to launch in limited-edition prints. I’ve gone to great lengths to ensure that each artwork has been accurately reproduced in print-form and I couldn’t be happier with the end results. You can explore the reproduction process in greater detail here. I hope they’ll brighten up many homes and offices around the world.
And remember, if you need any help or advice with framing ideas, picture sizes, shipping options etc, feel free to get in touch. I’ll be happy to help.