Jeff Simp­son

This con­cept artist likes to break art’s long-es­tab­lished rules…

ImagineFX - - Back Issues -

With a mother who worked as an art teacher and a cre­ative fa­ther, Jeff Simp­son has al­ways felt he was born into the life of an artist, “I grew up as the ‘art kid’ as far back as I re­mem­ber. I never re­ally ques­tioned it!”

While Jeff earns a liv­ing as a con­cept artist, it’s his per­sonal paint­ings that catch the eye. His por­traits break the rules: they’re a col­li­sion of colour and shapes that merge forms and be­come an ex­pres­sion of some­thing broader.

Jeff says he hasn’t worked on hon­ing his style. “I think peo­ple have as­so­ci­ated me with hav­ing a style sim­ply be­cause I paint what I like to paint,” he says. “I like cer­tain colours, cer­tain shapes, cer­tain lev­els of de­tail… I feel as though I’ve been blessed with a brain that has the abil­ity to be in­ter­ested in some­thing as sim­ple and ab­stract as a shape or a tex­ture, and just ob­sess over it.”

When paint­ing, Jeff ad­mits his process is a mess, and spends far too much time tin­ker­ing with colour ad­just­ments and minute de­tails many peo­ple won’t no­tice. “I don’t think I’ve ever made an im­age that looked ex­actly the way I wanted it to in my head,” he says. “I’ll usu­ally start ren­der­ing some­thing rel­a­tively re­al­is­ti­cally, then tear it apart. I’ll crop, im­port, cut, flip and in­vert my paint­ings dozens of times be­fore I fi­nally get bored of it and call it a day. This is how I like to work; when I’m paint­ing on my own time I like to have no di­rec­tion at all. Be­cause mis­takes and happy ac­ci­dents are part of my process, it’s re­ally hard to be fast or con­sis­tent.”

De­spite his chaotic work­flow, Jeff’s art is ad­mired by the online com­mu­nity, and it’s some­thing he’s al­ways loved. “Ev­ery­one seems to know ev­ery­one now thanks to so­cial media – it’s hard not to feel a part of the com­mu­nity,” he says. “There are so many more artists now show­ing their work, it’s ac­tu­ally re­ally in­tim­i­dat­ing and I’m very glad to have started out in the smaller, more closely knit groups from five or ten years ago.”


Artist tip

study art’s progress

“It’s all good to learn the core skills and tech­niques, but look­ing at work that breaks the rules is also im­por­tant. Learn the history of art, of paint­ing… see where it’s gone, why it changed, and where it’s go­ing.”

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