An interview with Katy Fryd

Katy Fryd is an artist. Chances are though you haven’t heard of her. If you bear in mind it took 300 years before anyone liked Vermeer, and Van Gogh died penniless and alone, you have still got time to catch up. Anyway we like Katy’s stuff so here is a feature about her.

Did you always want to be an artist?
I have wanted to be an artist ever since I can remember existing. I was always drawing on endless reams of paper from a very early age. I was lucky to have a good teacher at secondary school who encouraged this desire. Although I never considered needing to make money from it.  I think I thought I could just paint in a hut somewhere and live on beans.

Do you have a name for your you style of painting?

If I had to describe the style I would use the term Expressionism as I am trying to capture and express feelings in many of my paintings. Although I don’t want to be tied to a particular-ism, it would be quite good to invent a new one at some point in my career.

What inspires you to paint are there a recurring themes in your work?
Life is one big inspiration! A lot of my work is based on emotions and I’m just expressing that emotion visually. So love, death, sadness and depression will keep cropping up. Though I do find the ‘love’ paintings sell better.

Have you had any formal training?
I have had formal training in respect of gaining top grades in GCSE’s and A-level Art & Design. I also have a Foundation BTEC where you try all different kinds of art but after that went to study Fine Art specialising in Time Based Media at the Hull School of Art, part of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside. However I didn’t complete the course.

I have always been a self motivated learner and will pick up new skills as and when I need to, such as learning about Cascading Style Sheets when it came to building my own website.

Who is your favourite artist?
It’s very difficult for me to choose one particular artist over others. However David Hockney is definitely one of my favourites and has really struck a chord with me. I first discovered him when I was seventeen and was into photography at school. I’d produced something similar to his style and my teacher showed me his work. I then went to visit a retrospective of his in London. It was fantastic.  I love the way he changes the tools he uses and the type and style of work he does. So many artists get stuck in doing the same thing over and over again. I like to play, chop and change what I do and have many ideas on the go at one time.

Is it difficult being an artist?
Yes and no! I got to the point in my life where I realised I needed to be an artist. It wasn’t possible not to be one. It sounds funny but I think it is my vocation. I don’t think I would live long without art in my life. Once you realise that, there isn’t really a choice about it. But surviving financially is difficult.

What is the story with the Zebra?
Well, I don’t know the laws of this country well enough to know if one could get a criminal record for graffitiing something on a road twelve years ago, but I expect you probably can. Suffice to say, somebody sprayed a zebra on a road in the highstreet of my home village in 1998. This was definitely a piece of anarchic, political art, a comment on the fact the local council refused to put a crossing in the busy highstreet until it became an accident blackspot. I like to think the art highlighted a problem that lead to petitions and finally a traffic light crossing was installed. But the culprit remains a mystery to this day.

Who is better Picasso or Leonardo?
Picasso! I do love Leonardo but looking at Picasso’s work gives me the feeling of freedom to do as I please in my own work.

Would you ever cut your ear off and send it to someone?
Ha! No, I don’t think so. I have so far survived periods of depression and they can make people do the oddest things. I would rather express my desire to cut my ear of in my paintings, than to actually do it. That would be the next stage. And I’m not sure who I would give it to, maybe Damien Hirst and he could get one of his minions to pickle it for me.

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Katy is currently  focusing on creating and building up a substantial amount of new work, she is currently working on a piece that she hopes to get in the BP Portrait Award Exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery for 2011.
You can see more of her art on her (pink) website

We have a fantastic competition to win an original piece of art created by Katy. Click here to enter >>

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