Artist OTW Interview: Beth Hobbs


by Abbie Fowler

Beth Hobbs is a Manchester-based artist who specialises in illustration and animation with a keen eye for Surrealism. We invited her in for a chat at the studio after her week-long artist residency with us back in January.

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Tell me about yourself? I grew up in Somerset and moved up to Manchester for university, I was a typical country bumpkin down there and so it was quite a big contrast for me moving to the city. I’m now in my second year at Manchester School of Art studying Illustration.

Is the music industry something you’ve wanted to get involved in? Not really. I have always kept my options open, but doing promotion art and poster designs around Manchester has helped me a lot.

What software do you use? I go to and from mediums. I used to stick to pencil and using traditional techniques but over the last six months I’ve got back into digital a lot more. For my digital work I use a software called Paint tool Sai and Photoshop.

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Have you always been into art? I’d say so, yes! I am always in my own little bubble drawing and it helped me a lot having arty parents. It was always the thing I wanted to do when I grew up.

What was your inspiration behind your series for the residency? They don’t have links from an outsider’s perspective but their link is that they’re all from my dreams. I have a fascination for human anatomy so I had a weird thing for eyes that week. Day to day life is always an inspiration!

Is there anyone at the moment that’s inspiring you in your work? Probably the Surrealists; so Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Francis Bacon, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso. To be honest I need to find some more locally …

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Do you do anything to get into a creative flow? I suppose it depends. Usually some of the drawings that I do I just act on, if it’s an emotion I’m feeling say if I’m angry I will draw it out or if I’m upset, I will draw it out. That’s in difference to the poster designs I do however, it really varies, and it depends on what mood I’m in.

I feel obligated to ask as we are sitting in the studio, what music are you into? It’s changed a lot since coming to Manchester. I used to only listen to rock music, now I feel I’m genre fluid, I will play heavy rock one minute and then it will be some nice jazz the next. Manchester has certainly broadened my horizons in regards to my taste in music.

What can we expect from you in 2020? I say it every year but I really want to push myself this year. Creating more content and creating more Surrealist pieces. Even if it’s just general observation drawings from day to day life. I’d also like to do some collaborations!

Insta: @hobbsartworks

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