Lynn Excell – An artist in community

I first became aware of Lynn’s Excell’s work through her contribution to the Global Doodle Gems group collaboration coloring books. I reached out to her through my blog and her incredibly detailed answers to my interview questionslynn today reveal an artist with a huge range of interests and a commitment to sharing her love of art with family, friends and strangers alike.

Lynn lives in rural Essex in the South East of England with her two adult sons, her two Guinea pigs, Apple and Cinnamon, her two cats, Crumble and Custard, and her dog Beatrice.

One of Lynn's pets, Custard the catLynn went to art college but didn’t complete her studies, and has only returned to it in the last few years. She enjoys a huge range of arts and crafts including pastels, painting, crocheting, embroidering, photography and colouring with a wide range of mediums especially her favourites, Faber Castell Polychromos. She has a voracious appetite for learning diverse (and sometimes obscure) art and craft skills including basket weaving and wig making.

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Lynn’s love of people, community and art makes her the perfect fit for the Idea’s Hub. Her involvement in this remarkable place has led to setting up a coloring club, joining a local art society, participating in a nationwide art project, and being commissioned to create an artwork for the ideas festival to be completed by the local community.

Lynn Excell's collaboration with her son

We asked Lynn some questions about her life and her art to get to know a little bit about what makes this inspiring, connected, community spirited artist tick.

 

 

 

How and when did you start drawing?

As I suspect with many artists, I starting drawing at a very young age-I love drawing fashion designs and my dream was to become a designer. As a child, my paternal Grandmother was very arty and would help me make pictures of lovely lady’s dresses with the coloured wrappers from sweets. My life journey has taken me a few twists and turns, but I’ve finally come back to the thing I love.

How did you get involved with the collaborative project, Global Doodle Gems?

I asked Maria if I could advertise my etsy shop lynniexDoodles in her Global Doodle Gems group and she asked if I would be interested in becoming one of thelynnie_etsy-image artists for the collaboration. Her idea was so unique, I had to get involved. The idea of being amongst other artists from around the world with different styles and ideas was such an incredible one, and I have absolutely never every regretted it. I have made new friends that I have never met in real life from the other side of the world, and been so inspired by them. We have a unique relationship, our lovely collaboration, and I’m am so, so grateful to Maria for making it happen.

What inspires you when you’re drawing?artjournalcanva

My inspirations come from everywhere. But if I have a theme, I have to try to think/research into the background of the theme-it’s not enough to me to draw the obvious, even though that may be the most commercially obvious thing to do. A LOT of my time is taking up in researching and deciding on how something should ‘sit’ on a page. If I didn’t put so much effort in and just ‘churned’ out drawings, it would no longer hold interest for me. Art and craft are part of me and the way I relax-I can’t imagine a day of not doing something along those lines.

Where do you draw?

I usually draw whilst on the sofa at home, but often get stopped by my dog (who is still a puppy!) or my cats, so I do have an art/craft section of my living room with a lovely big curved desk and a wall of shelving to hold all my things. The desk is big enough for me to have my drawing things, my laptop and my new large screen monitor, to use with my wacom tablet to ‘clean up’ my images. I prefer to draw alone-I become so immersed in my drawing that I wouldn’t be able to do it with others. I keep promising myself that I will one day take my drawing board and pencils to my local wood as being amongst the trees would be my choice for a perfect, calming studio.

What’s next in drawing for you?

punkrockercanvaNext in drawing for me is to finish my designs for my individual book. I am working on a book of the colourful characters I knew ‘back in the day’ when I hung around with a group of mainly punks. They have very kindly given me permission to use images of them back then to base my designs on. I’m hoping to promote it particularly to my local area, but it will have appeal to all.

I also have an on-going project of a reading book (don’t we all?!) and I’ve started forming the ideas behind it. It is about a very adventurous steampunk ferret called Montgomery Silk, and I will be doing the illustrations for it too.

Alongside that, I will be doing designs for Global Doodle Gems and I’m sure to be involved in some more community type events, as well as taking part in some art exhibitions.

Thank you so much for sharing some of your work, ideas and projects with us. We hope you’ll keep us updated on your novel and your exhibitions so we can share.

You can see more of Lynn’s work in her Global Doodle Gem books, both collaborations and individual.

She will be hosting a session at the Chelmsford Ideas festival on October 24th 2016. You can book tickets and see what other great events they have on their website.

You can see her individual pages for sale on her etsy shop LynniexDoodles and can follow her on her facebook page.

 

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