art and design with darcy woods

Hi Darcy, how are you?

I’m great thanks, I think I need sleep though..but coffee will soon fix that.

Who first opened you up to the world of art?

My family I guess? Growing up mum would write & illustrate stories for me and my sister, when her grandfather died she inherited an art satchel filled with sketches from his late wife, I would try redraw the portraits found within. I remember the satchel had the acronym carved into the leather “D.A.L.D” (Dream A Little Dream).

How did you first decide to become an artist? What medium do you usually like to work in?

I guess I never made a proper decision to become an artist (I wanted to be an archaeologist), art was something I just did for fun. I dropped out of school at 15 because I was bullied a lot, it was while I was trying to earn extra credits at a local Polytech that a lecturer took notice, she pulled some strings and managed to get me into an art course for free, I owe her a lot, because the rest is history.

In terms of medium my favourite paints are oils, but I like most mediums, digital art is also a huge passion (plus it takes up less space in my tiny house!) I’m a trained photographer too but I find weddings a bit tedious, so graphic design & art suits the introvert within me.

Are there particular schools, artists, movements you find you are drawn to? Why?

NYSS (New York Studio School) has been a big influence, I got the chance to paint there back when I was 17, what I learnt sort of stuck, comics are  influential too (not like DC or Marvel) more like slice of life indie comics, experimental stuff people like Michael Deforge, Chester Brown & Sammy Harkham. If we are talking old masters I adore Titian and Velásquez but I’m also inspired by Basquiat, Morandi & Soutine to name a few because these are artists that treat paint as paint; raw, juicy and guttural.

Do you have a particular affinity for music when creating your art? Is music a part of your artistic creative process?

Yes! Music is a core part of my process, sometimes I can listen to the same piece on repeat 18 times or more if I’m trying to get a drawing just right, if I stare at the drawing years later I am reminded of the piece of music. I listen to anything from classical to trip-hop, low-fi, cinematic music is good too, (just anything with no words usually) it helps me form ideas without being influenced by spoken word. My favourite pieces right now are Villa-Lobos Jet Whistle & Sleep by Eric Whitacre (this is a new one for me, Voces8 in 2020 are performing this piece, I can’t wait!)

You’re the person at CMNZ responsible for how things look: the art and design of our season brochure, our posters, our flyers – and of course, for Theme! What role do you think does imagery play in trying to convey what we do?

Haha oh heck, that’s a big question.. well art and music fit hand and hand, everyone as their own interpretation, and art… well it hits a part of the brain that sparks imagination right? or at the very least a reaction, where as sometimes formal shots of musicians can inform but may not give the mind anything to chew on, although the music speaks for itself, visuals help continue the dialogue. Does this make sense? Maybe I need more coffee.

When coming up for imagery for say, a Season brochure, what are your considerations? What are your inspirations?

Well I make sure colour is involved because music and colour are unmistakably connected, but in terms of considerations I try not to fall into the realm of the predictable. I think chamber music is already stereotyped by some as being a bit straight laced, but music regardless of genre is all about expression, musicians interpret and respond to the world through their music so it’s important to use a similar approach when conjuring up collateral that encapsulates the essence of the Season.

Do you have any projects outside CMNZ that you are involved in?

Well I’ve been participating in Wellingtons chapter of Zinefest (if you don’t yet know what a Zine is, well it’s pronounced “Zeen”, a self-published often illustration based booklet that emerged from the punk scene) also I’m currently getting back in to creating 2D animation.. but if I’m not painting/drawing passion projects then I’m freelancing as a graphic designer.

If you are wanting to discover more about Darcy’s art then you can find him here:
Instagram: @darcywoodsart

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