Where do you come from and in which places/counties did you grow up?
I come from England and grew up just 10 miles from Silverstone Circuit, in Northamptonshire. I have since lived in London, Melbourne and Dublin.
From which age did you became interested in painting, drawing and art..
Ever since I can remember, I wanted to do something ‘arty’ when I grew up. This manifested in eventually spending six years at art college, followed by a 20 year career as an art/creative director in advertising, until I took the plunge to become a full time artist – only 3 years ago.
Did you start with Motorsport art or did that come later?
I started working in hand cut vinyl with the idea of creating racing car artworks, from the very material that created many iconic liveries. Plus vinyl has the same finish as car paint – thus enabling a totally unique finish to the work. I have since broadened my subject matter to include everything from architecture to swimming pools. Though, auto art remains my first passion.
Did you learn the technique to work with vinyl by yourself?
I actually learned the skill of hand cutting vinyl while working for a sign company based at
Silverstone – in between leaving school and starting college. We created the liveries for many circuit-based teams and often had to hand cut logos that couldn’t be produced on the basic vinyl lettering machine. The seed of using hand cut vinyl as a medium was planted, and took a further 23 years to finally bloom.
From which age did your passion on automotive art start? And why do you think?
I have always drawn cars and trucks; mainly thanks to my father being in the haulage business and him being a self-confessed petrolhead! So to put a precise age is difficult… it was as soon as I could draw.
Do you nowadays decide by yourself what the next artwork will be? Or are you mainly working for customers on request?
This all depends on the shows and exhibitions I am doing each year. My workload is generally a mix of collections for shows, commissioned works or personal pieces.
What is the biggest change between now and when you just started? Did more doors open, along the years?
Cliché as it is, but exposure really is the key to developing the business. So every new piece that is commissioned, sold or featured is seen by fresh eyes and therefore the possibility of new doors being opened. So the major changes, I feel, are still due to come, but the advantages of becoming ever more well known all help to create a strong demand.
Which art piece is still missing? So what can we expect in the future?
I always have a hundred ideas rushing through my head at any one time, so it’s almost impossible to say what is coming next. For the moment, I am focusing on the upcoming shows, plus various new car art commissions.
What will be the next event where your audience can meet up with you and/or your work?
I will personally be attending shows in Oxford and London, over the coming months, along with my gallery (Historic Car Art) showing my SpeedIcons work at various motoring shows throughout the UK.
Joel, many thanks for this interview and your passion for Motorsport.