Ag Cain

Ag Cain

Tell us a little about what you make.

I’m a painter, illustrator and lettering artist and produce my own versions of spoof advertising posters, some, allegedly, with a wisp of humour.

Ag CainWhat inspires you and where do you find that inspiration?

Whilst working as a lettering artist on period film sets back along, I acquired numerous reference books on pre-war posters and enamel signs. I came to admire the skill and the humour of the artists and designers who created those marvellous illustrations, and they eventually inspired me to create my own.

Tell us about your favourite medium.

Mostly I work with water-based vinyl paints (not a standard artists medium), but it’s quick drying, very durable, and it suits my approach.

What are your favourite and least favourite parts of being an artist or maker?

I love the physical process of creating whatever image I’m after, to make something with my hands and my imagination, and to see it evolve. Hand painted lettering is a very tight process, compared to painting, but being creative is an everyday thing for me with no down sides.

What does being a member of the Ceredigion Art and Craft Trail mean to you?

Being a member of CACT has really helped to promote my work over the years, be it through the exhibitions, sales through the website Market Place or being in the CACT directory. It’s also been great to meet so many other creative souls who are also members throughout the county.

What are you working on at the moment?

Presently I’m finishing a 5’ x 5’ commission which will hang in our village chapel / community centre. It’s a landscape full of small detail, and has taken a long time to complete – quite a challenge and a change from my usual work, but I’ve enjoyed it enormously.

How do you know when your work is finished?

The journey can be unpredictable, and if the result is not what I wanted, or if the work is not acceptable in any way, I will scrap it and start again. Also, when to leave a piece as ‘finished’ and not fiddle any further can be a tricky decision. The urge to ‘fine tune’ must be resisted!

What is the biggest challenge of being an artist/maker?

The biggest challenges I think, for any artist or maker, particularly with regard to earning a living, is to establish a niche in a very over-crowded market place.

What advice would you give to new artists or makers at the start of their creative journey?

Refine your own individual style, work hard with it, and be realistic about also needing to have a day job while you progress. And of course, don’t forget to join CACT!