Nov 12, 2019 | By Joanne Thomas
Color Diaries is a series of short documentaries on creatives working interestingly with color. Created by Coloro, it’s our way to celebrate our love for color and people who share this love with us. First guest in the series, Coloro met Sam Mills, an artist residing in London, to further understand his creative process, inspiration and connection to color.
How long have you been painting / creating art?
From a young age but I think I started to take things more seriously around 11/12 years old when Art History and Fine Art became my main subjects of interest. I went on to study Illustration and screen printing which ended up being my focus for some time; it’s only in the last 3/4 years or so that I’ve progressed to larger scale, more ambitious projects.
Have you always created / felt the need to create?
Yes absolutely, I think it’s always been there. I’ve been fortunate in that I have been able to direct my life in one way or another into finding time and the freedom to do so.
What inspires you?
I draw inspiration mainly from personal experiences/ passing of time and the subsequent emotions, thoughts and moods derived from those. I feel its import to lean on these things to help provide justified context for my work – I guess it is also a useful tool for contemplation and reflection.
What colors are you drawn to time and time again?
It’s hard to say exactly. The most emotive colours for me are blues and reds typically within the cool and light cool ranges but working with color is an ever-evolving experience. I spend a lot of time thinking about and experimenting with color and tone before starting a new piece, so that I am able to convey exactly the mood I want.
Who else do you admire?
Too many to say, but Joe Bradley’s recent exhibition at Gagosian Gallery was particularly stunning.
What do you get out of it?
It’s a really important part of me. It gives me focus and an expressive ability. I love having something tangible left over at the end of the day that I can reflect on and eventually share.
How often do you manage to create/ get to your studio?
Typically, I am in my studio five times a week. The creative process is very trial and error; immediate and expressive. I don’t like to plan my marks too much – I end up keeping on average only about 1 in 4 canvases so this means I need to be paint fairly regularly.
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