Five questions for creatives
Oliver Winconek was born in Bedford, England. Having chosen to not go down the route of formal Art education; he is primarily self-taught. His work is always based around people, cities or a combination of both. Over the years Oliver’s work has continuously evolved ranging from bold, graphical cityscapes, pen and ink drawings and oil-painted portraits. He prefers to let his working style be semi-dictated by the subject matter that he is portraying, this allows him to have an organic method towards his work that keeps things interesting for both the Artist and the viewer.
How did you get into the creative industry, and was there a defining point in your career that led you on that path?
I don’t think there was a specific defining point, more of a natural progression towards it. I became very aware of the fact that painting and Art in general me was a compulsion and that I always had the desire to create. My main outlet has always been painting and drawing so it seemed only natural to approach galleries with my work, once I had signed up with a couple this then gave me the freedom to make new work and know that there was the chance of it being seen by a wider audience.
Is there anything you would change in your current career and if so why?
It’s difficult to talk about things I would change in my current career as I believe everything happens for a reason, even things that initially seem negative can present themselves as turning points. Like all Artists I long for a bigger studio but then I guess I would only fill it with junk. Probably the only thing that I would change is I wish in the early days I hadn’t been so keen to please everyone else but instead concentrated on being happy with my own work. There’s no point in painting for a gallery or the public if what you create differs from what is in your heart. I have definitely been guilty in the past of second-guessing my audience and so I would probably change that part of my career.
Where do you see yourself, and your career in five years’ time?
Hopefully more of the same, I want to travel and experience more and allow that to influence the paintings. I try not to have things mapped out too far in advance as to be honest you never truly know where your career will take you, especially with the power of the internet and the fact that it opens so many opportunities to you and allows your work to be seen by a world audience. All I can hope for is to be happy, healthy and still painting.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
When I first started out I used to work slavishly, spending every waking moment in the studio, eating there, sometimes sleeping there. It has taken me a very long time to realise the importance of taking regular breaks and days off. I now make sure that I have at least one day off a week, make time for family, have regular sleep patterns and eat very healthily. It has made a huge difference to how I feel and the way that I create my work.
What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in the creative industry?
Perseverance is key. The downside to us all being so connected and having all these wonderful social media platforms to display our work on is that it’s easy to get your work lost in the soup of it all and give up before you’ve started. Anyone starting out in the creative industries needs to have a thick skin as sadly it can be a very daunting experience taking those first steps. The sad perception by some is that it’s about being ‘lucky’ or getting a big break but I don’t believe that is primarily the case. It is about creating the best work you can and showing it to as many people as possible. Networking is key as is confidence in your own work, don’t be afraid to shout about what you do.
You can view more of Oliver’s work on his website www.oliver-winconek.co.