From historic party animals to the rules of surviving your infant children, artist Dylan Floyd shares some insights into how he masters his own creative practice.
Like a number of the Old Masters, Modern Master Dylan Floyd has painted walls (albeit in the dead of night) created fantastical beasts and played with the contexts and symbols of religious iconography. We caught up with him ahead of the exhibition at our Brighton gallery to talk everything masterful – from heroes and villains to getting a firm grip on creativity.
AR: Just for a moment, put our Modern Masters aside. If you could exhibit your work alongside any Master – modern or historic, dead or alive, well-known or lesser-known – who would it be?
DF: Well firstly, with a title like that I’m flattered to be asked to take part in this show so thank you for the invitation.
Who would I like to exhibit alongside? I think I’d pick Caravaggio. Obviously I’m massively inspired by chiaroscuro and he was an absolute master of the technique, so aesthetically it might work. But aside from the art side of things, apparently he was an absolute hell-raiser, so you know the opening night would be a lot of fun.
AR: Beyond the art world, who do you think is a master of their industry?
DF: It’s not really an industry but I’d have to pick President Trump for being an absolute master of the long con. A con artist extraordinaire. Fair play to him for being (in my opinion) the biggest lying, narcissistic, racist, misogynistic shit bag this planet has ever produced. Impressive.
AR: Getting back to integrity in your work – do you have any studio rituals that help get you started each day?
DF: Well, my studio is at home in the garden and I have a 10 month-old daughter who doesn’t like to sleep much, so my ritual consists of ingesting as much strong coffee as I can handle, turning the radio up and getting my head down while I can. I try not to make eye contact with my daughter when I’m working or I can’t help myself but go and play. That’s the secret, don’t look into their eyes.
AR: Got it, no eye contact! If you're feeling uninspired, what do you do to regain your creative mojo?
DF: I just keep drawing. Draw anything, draw terribly, make mistakes and don’t worry about it. And when you eventually look back on them, you sometimes find that you can see good things in those bad pictures. Mistakes can be incredibly rewarding.
AR: In fact, that’s a great piece of advice. What’s the best advice you were ever given in relation to your own work?
DF: The best piece of advice is what I tell myself every day. Don't stop. This path I’ve taken does not end, you never retire from making art, you can always improve, so don’t stand still, don’t rest on your laurels, don’t stop.
AR: And finally, finish this sentence: When I was little, I always wanted to...
DF: Be taller.
Dylan Floyd is exhibiting his work as part of our Modern Masters exhibition, visit the exhibition, between 13th July to 15th August 2018 at our gallery in Brighton.
Read other interviews by artists taking part in the Modern Masters exhibition: