Beyond the Studio with Simon Bull

Beyond the Studio with Simon Bull

Written by - Jessica McFadden

Spring in DC means Cherry Blossoms! To celebrate, we’ve invited Simon Bull, official artist of the 2019 National Cherry Blossom Festival to help us kick off the season with our Beyond the Studio Workshop in the Luce Foundation Center this Saturday, March 23rd from 1-3 pm. In preparation for the program, we asked Simon a few questions to learn a bit about his experience as an artist.

From start to finish, what’s your creative process like?

I start with an idea and then develop it. After all, you may not be able to say everything about a subject all at once. Good ideas are worth exploring and inevitably lead to better, more interesting ones down the road. As a result I often work in series. This Cherry Blossom Festival Project is a good example of that. I look at, sketch, study, and think about my subject - basically I just sit with it for a while. Then, when I’m ready, I start work on the backgrounds. I can paint many backgrounds at once, but typically they are the same color or variations of two colors. That’s all I do. Then, when everything is ready in a day or so, I start to work on the structure layer. Once again, I limit myself to a couple of colors, maybe black and silver. This elimination of complexity gives me great creative freedom. I can do anything I want during this stage, as long as it’s with say, black and silver. Then finally, I add the detail and color layers. I limit my options, in order to discover an infinite number of nuanced variables. I strip away as much complexity as possible from the process and, as a result, experience pure play.

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