Blog: Artist Focus | Studio Interview | Aaminah Snowdon
Animal Portraiture Artist
“I strive to produce paintings that create smiles and laughter and that the viewer can relate to.”
Visitors to the gallery will be familiar with the endearing work of Aaminah Snowdon that we are always delighted to have on display here. Whether it is capturing the character of a beloved dog breed or depicting the behavioural traits of the elusive hare, each animal portrait that Aaminah creates brings a smile to the viewer. An accomplished drawer, Aaminah has combined her understanding of the anatomy of animals with an expressive artistic flair to create her own distinct style that is instantly recognisable and admired. Here is our studio interview with the artist.
How did you come to be an artist?
My avid interest in art started at the age of 7 when I won a school competition by painting a rather surreal whale blowing out multi-coloured water spouts. In 2012, after earning a 1st class honours degree in Ancient History at The University of Birmingham, I decided to pursue a career in art, with a focus on developing my own unique style that would combine my interests: animals, humour, eccentricity, bold colours and energy.
Visiting art museums is a favourite pastime of mine and also inspired me to become an artist. I appreciate the vast array of painting styles, composition and subject matter and I favour the eccentric and unusual.
Describe your work in three words
Quirky, fun and witty
What draws you to creating in your chosen medium?
I began by experimenting with 3 main mediums- oil, watercolour and acrylic. Of the three, I was drawn to acrylic because I found it produced more bold and vibrant colours than watercolours. Also, unlike oils, I found acrylic paint drying almost instantly and this allows me to build up layers without having to wait.
Does the area in which you live, or other areas influence your work?
I am Yorkshire born and bred. I've been brought up around British wildlife and animals so it's reflected in my work in that it focuses exclusively on all things British, and a lot of my designs so far are of animals that I have seen in Yorkshire- cows, foxes, pigs, squirrels. I love any opportunity to get up close to animals, I'd constantly visit farms, wildlife centres, zoos and through my close proximity to them I began to see the individual personalities and traits of each animal. I try and incorporate this into my paintings. I'm waiting for Mad March hare season next year as I would like to join a photography workshop and go take my own photos of the hares boxing in fields.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Banksy inspired me to actually switch from leisure painting to professional artist. I am a huge fan, I love the way he interprets the world and expresses it through his thought provoking and witty work. I have one of his prints on my wall, it shows a sign saying "WARNING- ANTI CLIMB PAINT" and he's painted 3 rat silhouettes wearing parachutes climbing up the wall (these also happen to be my favourite animal!). I also admire the works of street artist DALeast, whose work shows such movement and energy and Hua Tunan who specialises in intensive splatter ink animal art.
Do you listen to any favourite music, radio or podcasts while working in the studio?
I always put Netflix or youtube on to listen to in the background. If I do put music on it is always happy, uplifting music which gets me in the right mood to paint fun, quirky designs.
If you could invite three artists or art influencers (living or deceased) to dinner who would they be?
I would be very happy meeting Banksy (and I wouldn't mind if he was wearing a disguise to protect his identity!), Salvador Dali and lastly Vincent Van Gogh (to show him how much his work is admired and loved around the world).
What are you most excited about artistically in 2020?
For years, I have been working in a spare room but my dream has been to have my very own art studio and gallery. I am so happy to say that this dream can now become a reality. Due to all the lovely customers, galleries, stockists and publisher support, my studio is currently being constructed next to my house. The existing detatched garage has been knocked down and a 28 sq m, pitched roof, fully insulated building with french doors and a large window at the side for lots of light is currently being built. I hope to have it completed by the end of this year and for customers to come visit early 2021.
We have a snippet below of Aaminah applying the finishing touches to a badger portrait. You can view Aaminah's full collection here.