Kev Munday chatted to Artfinder this week about being listed as one of 'Five British Artists you need to invest in right now', the attention he received as a result and why he doesn't want buyers to buy his work for investment alone.
Kev describes work as colourful, vibrant and positive; we couldn't agree more! His 2D works are created using paint, pens and brushes and found objects from charity shops and are inspired by people watching, everyday life and the landscapes that surround him in Basingstoke.
Read on to find out more about Kev's practice and his exciting plans for 2017.
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm currently halfway through a cityscape, a crowd scene and a work which I'm not sure where it's going. Most of my art is created intuitively, so I never really know what I'm working on until it's finished! I have a couple of exhibitions coming up, so in general I'm busy making new pieces for these and my Artfinder shop.
The Telegraph named you as one of the 'Five British Artists you need to invest in right now' - wow! How did they discover your work?
To be honest I'm not 100% sure how they found me! I've been exhibiting and selling online for over 10 years now, so I assume someone's been keeping an eye on things!? I got an email the week before the article was published, asking for permission to use one of my images for a feature but I wasn't told what it was going to be about. I was super surprised and delighted when I read it!
Did you get a lot of attention from this article?
I have definitely noticed a difference since it was published. In the week following I sold literally every artwork I had and I've had a lot more enquiries and sales than usual ever since. Of course, I don't want people to buy my art as just an investment, but getting some recognition from such a prestigious publication was a great feeling.
What is life like as an artist in Basingstoke?
I really like it here. I rent a nice studio at an arts centre which is a short walk from my house. I share it with a ceramicist and there's a gallery on site that I occasionally exhibit in. I paint most of my messy stuff and 3D work from there and I have a spare room studio at home to work on tidier bits.
There's a lot of countryside around for inspiration and I'm a short distance from London and Bristol, where I try to exhibit regularly. There's a ton of great artists in the town and a bit of a community. Some who sell on Artfinder that you should check out include my partner Bex Parker, Kazland, Sian Storey, Tomasz Mro and Graeme Farragher.
How would you describe a typical day in your studio?
What three words would you use to describe your art?
Cheerful, vibrant, positive.
Your work is very colourful and animated, what inspires your work?
I get most of my inspiration from everyday life. I do a lot of people watching and sketching and then develop these into more polished drawings for my characters. I take a lot of photos and reference these in my landscapes and cityscapes. A lot of the time I just draw whatever is in my head.
Tell us about the technique you use to create your artwork?
I work primarily with acrylic paints and paint markers for my canvases. I think of myself as more of a drawer than a painter, I can't really do much with brushes other than filling in block areas; all of the detailed stuff and finished marks are done with pens. I've normally got a few pieces on the go an once. Some of my largest works are a couple of metres wide and can take up to a solid weeks work to complete, but I can produce my smaller works in a few hours.
Your sculptures are firm favourites with Artfinder customers, they are often quite bonkers! What materials do you use and what attracted you to sculpture in the first place?
The bases for the majority of my sculptures are actually reclaimed, so I don't do a lot of the sculpting myself. I mainly compose by cutting and shaping the substrates.
Painting on 3D objects rather than white rectangles definitely helps to push my work in new directions and I sometimes bring the ideas from these back to my canvas work. I spend a lot of time looking for items to work on in charity shops and I have a friend who does house clearances for a living, so he keeps interesting objects that he finds aside for me. Sometimes I have a clear idea of how it's going to look as soon as I see the surface, sometimes it takes a bit longer. I've usually got a few unpainted oddities lying around in my studio too!
Congratulations on having over 100 Artfinder customers! How would you describe your experience of Artfinder so far?
Thank you! I really like working with Artfinder, it gives me a great platform to showcase my work alongside doing exhibitions in physical spaces. In the last 2 months I've had orders on Artfinder from Hong Kong, Australia, USA and across Europe, so it's definitely exposing my work to people who wouldn't have found me otherwise. Customers on Artfinder always seem to be so friendly too; I think they appreciate being able to buy and communicate directly with the artist.
What do you have planned for this year and the future?
My next exhibition starts in a couple of weeks, at Number 90 Bar in Hackney Wick, London. I'll have several canvases on display and I'm painting a big mural in the venue.
Then in April I've got my first exhibition in Belgium which I'm really excited about! It's a duo show with a French artist called Skred and I should have around 20 – 25 pieces in it. I've built up a bit of a following online in Belgium so I'm looking forward to meeting some of my collectors at the opening.
I have a few public murals lined up for spring and summer too. I try to do some of these outdoor jobs every year in the warmer months. I've also recently got a sponsorship deal from Uni-Ball who make my favourite marker pens and I'll be doing a series of short tutorial videos for them throughout 2017.