Artist Spotlight: Tim King


Written by Fin Murphy
08 Monday 08th May 2017

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We recently caught up with South East London-based illustrator Tim King as he exhibits Drawn On Real Life, an art project compiled every day over 2016. You can check out Tim's full series here and give him a follow on Instagram.

Hi Tim, how're you finding 2017 so far?

It's been refreshing, exciting and extremely busy. Although I'm not doing a drawing a day for 2017, I've been continuing the 2016 project by running a Kickstarter, plus getting a book and exhibition ready, which has been pretty hectic.

The exhibition is open now until the 4th of June at The Peckham Pelican. I'm now starting to send out book orders and working through Kickstarter rewards. 

Let's discuss Drawn On Real Life. You first undertook the project in 2014, what made you want to do it again?

When I completed 2014, I had an amazing record of time that detailed daily life in a way that would have otherwise been forgotten. The scenes and comments that drawing can capture aren't the things that get saved in our photos or recorded on videos.

I also realised that it didn't take a huge amount of time out of my daily life either, because the things I drew were daily life. So, I decided that the project should happen again, and said that I would do it every other year. By doing this, I want to build a library of images that record the subtle changes in behaviour, attitude, technology, fashion and everyday life in general. Working on it every other year not only keeps it exciting - but also gives time to reflect and work out what has changed when the next year comes around. 

Imagine having the next 50 years captured in daily visual stories and observations - pretty cool hey?

What changes have you found between the 2014 and 2016 projects, whether in personal life, artistic style, etc?

I think there are similarities in the places I've drawn in 2014 and 2016. This is probably because I'm working at a similar job, in a similar location and am traveling to where I live in South East London. But, the way I work has become a lot more free.

At the start of 2014 I was doing it as a challenge, with drawings being done for the sake of doing a drawing a day. But I soon became less concerned with the task and left the drawings to chance, waiting for the right moment to happen rather than looking for it. I've also stopped relying on paper as much. In 2014 I'd regularly buy pads of paper. Now, I will pick up any paper I have to hand and if there is none, I'll work on something else. This year has seen drawings made on bottles, pancakes, pizzas, chip forks and many more things. I think using things from the environment adds an extra level of flavour to the story.

I think it's too early to really compare the years properly. In 5-10 years time we will be able to look back and identity the differences easier. 

However, there are small changes I have noticed. 2014 saw the rise of the selfie stick - as the year went on there were more and more them pointing up along the London horizon. In 2016 it seems its popularity has reversed again. This year, though, there's plenty of drones about. If it's a warm summer day especially - you're more than likely to hear someone pointing at the sky whilst remarking about 'one of them drones'.

There's also increased chat about safety. One thing I found interesting was that even when the news felt big, scary and disastrous, people tended to carry on as normal with their daily routines and laugh it off.

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