Brian Smith is a Sheffield born artist and illustrator with an uncommon breadth of expertise in an unusual variety of fields; here are some of them.
An inquisitive observer of all that goes on around him, he paints for the joy of it, describing in watercolour whatever takes his eye; rural and urban scenes; interiors; portraiture, people at work and at their leisure; all are ripe for record.
A compulsive plein air painter and sketcher who carries a kit of materials everywhere with him “just in case”, the immediacy of an impromptu rendering is irresistible.
Commissioned work has taken many forms, each accepted on the basis that any new challenge is a heady mix of observation, innovation, determination, research where necessary and applying the ability he was given . “I have never taken on anything which I did not believe I could do to at least a high professional standard. Many of the projects which have given me and hopefully my end users the most satisfaction, have come from quite casual inquiries and have been untrodden territory.”
His work in schools, writing, costing and delivering Art and Design residencies began with an invitation from a Primary school head to teach his Y6 pupils how to see life differently. Subsequent A & D programmes have stimulated children at all Key Stages to do the same, working in a host of different media, with a class, a year group or mobilizing an entire school, together with staff, parents and governors to contribute towards a grand outcome using a progression of age and ability-related skills while ticking every box in the national curriculum, Music, Humanities, Maths, English, D and T, Citizenship and Computing skills have all been expertly woven into one project seeing the connections between them all and having enormous fun at the same time.
Teaching the art of watercolour, which he does in three highly structured courses each week, came from requests to share his knowledge, experience and understanding in an organized way to help others fulfill their potential. This link to a demonstration streamed live from the SAA studios is typical of an artist in complete control of his medium and who can communicate that knowledge to other aspiring artists.
Regular lecturing in Design Technology Drawing Skills and later in Visual Communication for Interior Design at Hallam University began with a similar casual invitation, from a student at one of his classes, his suitability bolstered by a former career as an architect.
Murals for domestic and commercial clients; calligraphy for special occasions like family lineage and remembrance plaques; fast track caricaturing at corporate events or considered studies for special occasions; tutoring in life drawing at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery; workshops and troubleshooting surgeries for Art Groups; book illustration; storyboarding; product illustration; publication of two ranges of greetings cards celebrating his home city; architectural illustration; jigsaw design; one to one tuition; teaching of GCSE Graphic Products and Art & Design at an Independent school; the list goes on and all with the underlying premise that quality will be at least commensurate with that of any other professional working in one of these fields.
If you have a project you would like to discuss, be it one of the above or the next new venture, visit the contact page and arrange to talk through your ideas with Brian Smith.