I am proud to present Featured Artist of the Month Richard Macwee. You are not going to want to miss this! After you are done reading the interview go and visit Richard’s sites and book mark this post, you will want to keep coming back to see his work again. Be sure to follow him on social media!
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Featured Artist of The Month Richard Macwee
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HUDSON BAY WOLF
This is my most recent work, done in soft pastels. I think this
painting sums up my style of art. I really enjoy working on portraits
It’s sometimes nice to work without the distraction of colour. This
tiger is an example of one of my pencil portraits.
PORTRAIT OF A RABBIT
Although lions are tigers are amongst the most popular subjects for
wildlife artists, I like to try and paint all types of creatures. This
portrait of a rabbit was done in soft pastels.
PORTRAIT OF A CAT
Most of my recent work is wildlife but I still like
to draw domestic animals. This pencil portrait of my cat was done a
few years ago.
Hello Richard, I am so happy you could join me today. I am a big fan
of your artwork and looking forward to learning more about your art
journey and your artistic style.
Dave Nevue – Where are you from?
Richard Macwee – I am from the city of Stirling in the UK.
Dave Nevue – How long have you been involved with art?
Richard Macwee – I have been drawing all my life, but it was after I
left school that I began to take art more seriously. I am a
self-taught artist and have been trying to make a living from my art
for several years now.
Dave Nevue – What inspired you to be an artist?
Richard Macwee – I’ve always loved art but when I was younger I
never really considered making a career out of it. A few years ago I
bought a book about how to draw lifelike portraits from photographs by
an artist called Lee Hammond. That book really taught me how to
improve my drawing skills and eventually I was starting to produce
work that I thought might have a chance of selling. Combined with my
love of animals I wanted to try and become a wildlife and pet artist.
Dave Nevue – You specialize in graphite and pastels, have you always
worked with both mediums or did you just start with pastels?
Richard Macwee – It was graphite that came first. It’s the medium
that I started my art career with. I actually did a lot of oil
painting after that but I was never really happy with the results I
was getting so I abandoned using colour altogether and decided to
concentrate on graphite. About 3 or 4 years ago however, I saw a
Youtube video of an artist painting a horse in soft pastels. I had
never considered pastels before but decided to give them a go. I loved
using them right away.
Dave Nevue – Do you prefer one over the other?
Richard Macwee – Recently I have been working a lot more in pastel
then graphite because I want to keep improving more as a pastel
artist. But I certainly have not abandoned graphite – in fact I am
planning a new graphite piece very soon.
Dave Nevue – I can see that you have a strong heart for wildlife,
what message would you like to get across with your drawings?
Richard Macwee – I love animals and animal welfare is one of my real
passions in life. My work can be very detailed and I try to get across
the unique character of each animal. A lot of the subjects that I draw
or paint are endangered species. I would really love for my art to
help out animal charities in some way. I know a lot of artists are
doing this and it’s something I would really like to be involved in
Dave Nevue – You state on your website that you started working on
commissions, are you still taking commissions?
Richard Macwee – About a year ago I decided to move away from
commissions because I wanted to try to market and sell my own work. I
particularly wanted to concentrate on drawing and painting wildlife,
as this is the type of work that I enjoy the most. I still
occasionally take commissions on request however.
Dave Nevue – What advice would you like to share with young artists
Richard Macwee – I think it’s all about finding your own style.
Whether you paint abstract landscapes or detailed wildlife studies,
work in a style and medium that you feel most comfortable with. It may
take a while to find your own style – I’ve been drawing and
painting for years but it’s really only recently that I’ve settled
on a way of working and an approach to art that I am happy with –
but I’m still always learning.
Dave Nevue – I have visited your blog Illustrated Animals and I
really enjoy what you are doing. Can you explain to young artists how
important blogging is for selling art online?
Richard Macwee – I’m a self-taught artist but I’ve learned so
much from art blogs and video demonstrations etc. Blogging can be
great way of promoting your work. It gives you the opportunity to
interact with fellow artists and customers. It can help you make
connections to the art world in general. As an artist you can talk
about your work in a more comprehensive way than social media allows.
You can run contests or giveaways and a successful blog can generate
huge amounts of exposure.
Dave Nevue – Do you have any tips you could give them on how to get
Richard Macwee – You can start up a blog at absolutely no cost.
Places like wordpress.com  or Blogger make it very easy. Blogging
can be a great self-promotion tool but it’s important to write
engaging content that will make people return to your blog. Whenever I
post a new work on my blog I always try to offer tips and advice on
how I created the artwork in the hope that it will help beginners to
have a go at art. Be consistent as well with your blogging is another
tip for young artists.
Dave Nevue – Where can people purchase your art?
Richard Macwee – You can buy prints and digital downloads of my work
on my Etsy store https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/R
I’m currently in the process of having more prints made. You can also look
at my Redbubble site https://www.redbubble.com/peop
I don’t currently have an outlet for selling my originals but that
is something I am looking into for the future.
Dave Nevue – Where can people view your art and learn more about you
Richard Macwee – You can visit my website at www.richardmacwee.com
 or my blog at www.illustratinganimals.com  you’ll find
galleries of my work on both sites.
Dave Nevue – What social media sites can people follow you on?
Richard Macwee – I’m most active on Twitter and Instagram, both of
which I really enjoy using.
Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/artof
Dave Nevue – Do you enjoy the business side of being an artist?
Richard Macwee –Business, marketing and self-promotion are areas
that I sometimes struggle with. I’m not really much of a salesman
and like most artists I prefer to be working at my easel. It is a
necessary part of being an artist however and I try my best at it. I
have really enjoyed using social media which is an invaluable
marketing tool. I was a bit skeptical about social media at first but
on Twitter I have found such a friendly community of artists and I
enjoy retweeting other artists work. Instagram also is a great place.
Dave Nevue – What advice could you share with young artists trying
to learn about the business side of being an artist?
Richard Macwee – There is a wealth of information online, including
your own excellent site here Dave. Young artists should also try to
utilize social media– it can be a terrific promotional tool for your
art and you can make a lot of contacts through it. Artists copyright
is another area that I would recommend looking into. I always like
reading magazine interviews with experienced artists; you can pick up
great amounts of information about how they have dealt with the
business side of art.
Dave Nevue – Thank you Richard.
Dave Nevue – What advice could you share to young artists about
following their dreams?
Richard Macwee – There are huge opportunities out there for artists.
I think it’s important to have a clearly defined goal about what you
want to achieve with your art. For example you may want your work to
hang in galleries or exhibitions. Maybe you want to take portrait
commissions. Working in the illustration side of art such as greeting
cards, book covers etc. could be an option. Maybe you want to be an
art blogger. Or possibly you may want to teach art. I think if you ask
yourself these questions and decide what kind of artist you want to be
it will help to focus your goals and give you something to aim toward.
Thank you so much for joining me today Richard. I look forward to
seeing more of your work in the near future.
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