Have you seen the fantastic Folksy shop - Boy in Park? If you haven't you should go and take a look.... now. Their work is beautiful, and thought provoking, inspired by travel, politics, culture, and art.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Boy in Park is made up of me (Emma) and my boyfriend Mark. We currently live in Oxford but are aiming to move up to York in the next few years. We love Yorkshire (the Dales, Moors, Coast) and can’t wait to move. We are both passionate about travel, art, politics and beer! And we hope this is reflected in our work. We both produce photographic art but the painting side of the business is all down to Mark (Mark Edward).
What do you make?
We produce photographic art & contemporary paintings in acrylics.
We draw a distinction between Photography and Photographic Art. We call our work Photographic Art as we don’t try to provide an accurate photographic reproduction; instead we manipulate our images to evoke emotions and to communicate our experiences of a place.
Why do you use that medium?
When trying to capture a moment, or a detail, that will not be the same just a few minutes, or even seconds later, there is nothing like the flexibility of a camera. As long as we capture the moment we can then edit it on a computer to transform it into a Photographic Art piece or interpret it in a painting. Using a combination of painting and photography to create our discourse really gives us the best flexibility.
When/ how did you start crafting?
We started crafting properly after Mark created a number of prints using photographs from our European road trip (including ‘Love Locked’ which can be found in our folksy shop) as a present for my birthday.
When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell?
We started to sell our art about 6 months ago. We sell at craft fairs, through our own website, www.boyinpark.com, and through our Folksy shop. We also have a Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/boyinpark) which we advertise through.
Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job?
I’ve spent most of my career working in the charity sector, predominantly for Oxfam. I’m currently unemployed but only looking for part time work so that I can spend a big chunk of time making Boy in Park and our other business, Gold Star Bear, a success. Mark works in IT as a functional developer (don’t ask!).
What do you love about your medium, what do you hate?
Photography: I love the flexibility of photography and how you can capture a moment that lasted seconds and freeze it in time. The only thing that I dislike is the growing view that technology means anyone can produce a good photograph. Whilst digital cameras and software such as Photoshop make it easier for people to produce decent photographs this doesn’t always translate into great art. Creating an inspiring composition involves skill and an artistic eye, just like any other medium.
Painting: I love the way so much can be communicated through a painting, not just through the subject but through the style of the painting, the texture and brushstrokes. I hate the cleaning up after painting and the paint stains throughout our flat! Mark gets the paint everywhere!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
We love to travel, whether it’s on a road trip across Europe or a weekend trip to the seaside. Travelling to new places and finding that one thing or event that defines a place, or just makes you wonder, is a real inspiration. We believe art should provoke an emotional response from the viewer or spark interest, otherwise it’s just wallpaper.
What is your favourite music to craft to?
Personally I like silence when I’m working; I can’t concentrate with any noise! Ironically, Mark’s the opposite and likes to turn up the volume. He often listens to punk music when painting- the louder the better. The bands we both love are Two Gallants, Okkervil River, The Thermals and Micah P. Hinson.
What is your favourite piece of your own?
Our best seller is ‘Love Locked’ but my favourites are ‘Penny Pusher’ and ‘My British Seaside.’ Mark’s favourite is ‘Incandescent Dom’. It’s hard to choose because they are so different from one another.
Where do you do your crafting?
The computer and printer are in the study so most of our work is done there. However, Mark tends to paint at the dining table with a view of the television (It helps to keep him from wandering off and not finishing what he’s started).