28th July, 2016
This month we’re meeting Casey Allum
Where are you from/based now?
I’m from The Langdale Valley, Lake District and now based in Brailsford, Derbyshire.
Tell us about your work
I draw fine pencil work with a crisp contemporary edge.
Can you describe how and why your career as an artist began?
I always wanted to be an artist, for as long as I can remember. I studied art throughout school and through A-Level but didn’t take it any further as I couldn’t stand the ‘box ticking’ process that went with it. Everyone’s work looked the same; it was as though you had to be a certain type of artist to get the grades. So after years of working in business and sales it finally clicked, like switching on a light bulb one day and I knew it was a now or never situation so I went for it… I quit my job, drummed up a few commissions and sat in my tiny little studio drawing solidly for months creating the limited edition print and card range and that’s where it all started, three years ago. I’m now a mainly commissioned based artist, now booked up until June2017. I sell my prints and cards to galleries up and down the country, even abroad and I also illustrate for books and commercial works.
How long have you been a member of PDA?
I’m a new member to the PDA. I moved down to Derbyshire last year and looked for an art group to be involved with and found the PDA. I was immediately bowled over by the diversity and talent throughout the group, so was ecstatic to be accepted after my interview in October.
What do you think people see in your work - what draws them to it?
I look to create a lot of light for the subjects in my works, so that they can breathe and have the space any living creature needs to be content in life. In term, I hope that this draws the eye of the beholder to the actual details in the subject, the textures, the finer details, the movements and characteristics that are sometimes lost with complicated compositions. The negative space I use in my work is a real source of controversy but it certainly catches the eye, especially to those who understand my goal.
What / who inspires you? Is there anyone specific that inspires you – either from the arts world, or on a personal level?
I’ve been inspired by many people and artists throughout my journey so far but on a completely unrelated artistic level. I continue to be inspired daily by my Mother, who is certainly not an artist but a formidable business woman. She keeps me grounded, even if I don’t want to be! She has worked extremely hard all her life to be where she is. We are polar opposites but we do connect on a self-employed level and I truly admire her dedication and strength, I don’t think I’d have mustard up the courage to become a full-time artist without looking at what she has achieved in her business.
What’s your typical working environment?
Lots of music….my taste is massively diverse, just so long as there’s something playing around me, I’m happy. My studio is light and (mostly) organised, it itself is a blank canvas which I find keeps my head clear and undistracted so that I can focus on my work.
Do you have a favourite or defining moment during your career as an artist? Can you describe it?
This year I was asked to participate in the 150th Beatrix Potter Exhibition up in The Lake District as an artist who is inspired by her. Growing up in The Lakes I was surrounded by wildlife and the stunning landscapes that Beatrix drew a lot of her inspiration from. I copied her work when I was young, playing with characters and animal illustrations which obviously is now prominent in my work. It was a huge honour to be approached for this and I was delighted to enter four large original drawings for the exhibition which is on at the Kendal Museum until mid-October.