Learning To Paint Like An Actual Human With Bristol's Kazland


Written by Fin Murphy
08 Friday 08th April 2016

Featuring a menagerie of warped bodies and scribbled phrases all within a stark colour palette, 25 year old Bristol-based artist Kazland's work is often eye grabbing and graphic. We caught up with him to chat working in the city, upcoming plans and transitioning into an art career full time.

Hi Kazland! Could you introduce yourself and give us a brief background?

Hello! I'm Kazland, a 25 year old artist living and working in Bristol. I've been painting for about 8 years and have been a full time artist for just over a year.I've had exhibitions in Europe and the US and have collectors all over the world - which I still find kinda strange.

How do you find Bristol as a city to work in? Are you inspired by the places and people?

I love it so far! Everywhere has a different atmosphere, it's fun to just wander round and draw in different places. Everything's smashed together in a very pleasing way.

Is art something you're pursuing full-time at the minute? What're your thoughts on pursuing such a difficult field

Yeah, I do this full-time now. I've had a string of bar jobs but it really got in the way of my wanting to paint all the time. I get pretty restless when I can't make a mess. I think the hardest thing is to make that initial leap from part-time to full-time. When you can dedicate all of your time to it, it gets easier. 

How do you think your style has progressed over time? How do you challenge yourself?

It's become a lot more controlled I think. I never used to like mixing colours or blending anything. I'm slowly learning how to actually paint like a real human. 

Who do you draw from in terms of influence?

Recently I've been really into Philip Guston, Giulia Gentilcore, André Masson and Klipok. Also a book called "Images from Medicine" which is full of amazing old engravings of medical practices, weird babies, severed limbs and whatnot.

How do you taking on commercial projects, do you feel you have to compromise much?

I don't really get asked to do commercial stuff that often. Album covers are probably my most common commission. The bands I work with tend to just let me hear their music and then do whatever I like, which is fine by me.

Have you much lined up for this year, exhibitions, collaborations and the such?

I've had four shows so far and I have another two currently planned. The next is at Hamilton House Gallery (in Bristol) from 19th - 25th May with the ever wonderful Ziggy Hill with whom I frequently collaborate. I'm also working on some stuff with the illustrator Tinhead... I'm pretty jazzed to see how that turns out.

So are we, cheers man.


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