“The mice came from a really interesting time in my life, which at the time was incredibly traumatic. Over the summer my wife became seriously ill and was on the verge of not surviving. She is fine now, but back then it was incredibly disturbing and scary. Once she got out of the hospital and out of the danger zone, I had a moment of clarity. My work has always been based on wildlife and the natural world, and I’m very lucky to be surrounded by where I live in Devon, however, it was a really profound moment when I realized that all the wildlife around me has a life of its own , his own story.
“The mice appeared. They were beautiful and small, quite vulnerable. I think they’re just the epitome [of] a survivor. It’s those little beautiful things that the whole world is against. They seemed to be the perfect reflection of what had happened. And scary, I saw one the day I decided to paint one; it went through my foot.
“I am delighted when my work can do good. I hope it will make a lot of money for the magazine.
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My dog sighs
“I’ve always been fascinated by birds and how they have the ability, if they choose, to take flight, travel to new places and start fresh. The character I produced for The Big Issue, like many of us, has a desire to travel to new places and explore new possibilities.
“With its attached beak and scabby feathers, you can tell it is at the start of its journey. But he is a judge. He has hopes and dreams. And with time, courage and many failed flight attempts, he will achieve them. I’m sure and certain.
“There have been many times in my life where I’ve been picked up, dusted off and helped get me back on track and I wouldn’t be where I am without that support. Big Issue provides the same opportunity to those who need it most. To be able to use my art to support this is a privilege.
“My piece is called Tall and it is a message of peace, love and hope. It depicts a woman rising above the negative forces of the world and finding her inner strength. The image is based on a portrait photograph of a model which I abstracted to create an interesting and mysterious composition. They display an ethereal, translucent quality, which can take the viewer to another place and evoke a deep emotional response.
“I have always believed in using my art to help others. I am a trained educator who has spent many years teaching graffiti art to vulnerable youth and using it as a tool for personal and social education.
Empowering people who have experienced homelessness through photography and art.
Were you saying something?
“Maybe it’s conversation-based, an attitude, or maybe it’s a reminder that listening is important. Consider the other. Everyone has interesting things to say. Give ourselves the opportunity to be listened to.
“I don’t think you can spend your time better than helping someone else, as long as you’re okay. It’s a good thing to watch over people. The Big Issue represents this philosophy. Big up The big problem.
There are signed, limited edition, single-image sheets of each artist’s design, priced at £39 each. You can also buy a five-sheet pack of plain wrapping paper for £7.99. Browse and Shop Christmas Wrap Designs Here