Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives


Posted April 4th by Design Splat in Artists

What a treat we have in store for you! This week we have a range of different artists to feature, one every day! Today as our first Artist of Artist week we have Jill Tovey. Jill has had work displayed in many high profile galleries and exhibitions such as the Proud Gallery in Camden along with respected websites such as Her vibrant and colourful artwork jumped out at me when I saw her work via twitter.

Enjoy the interview and don’t forget to check out her website!

– Interview

Hello and Welcome to Design Splat Jill!

Now tell us how you got into Art?

I had an epiphany whilst at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Ireland! I was working in IT at the time having studied Computer Science at University and I made the decision that it wasn’t for me and I wanted to do something more creative. When I got home I started learning about graphic design which I felt was a more natural path from what I was doing at the time and eventually got round to doing more arty things and loved it.  It also really helped that my husband Andy kept encouraging me to do more, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have pursued it quite so obsessively.

How long have you been creating art?

About five years.  Although I loved drawing and being creative at school, it was never really explained to me that art could be a serious option for the future and as a consequence I took up the languages and sciences side of things instead.  I never really drew the way my art teacher wanted me to anyway.   I don’t regret not doing art at school as I’ve had the opportunity to do other things and it’s brought me to a really lucky position where I’ve had lots of different chances and I’m doing exactly what I want every day.

What does art mean to you?

It’s something I enjoy and don’t take too seriously, I don’t like to take other people’s work too seriously either so I don’t usually buy into the whole deep and meaningful side of art, I think if you like looking at something then that should enough.

Where do the images come from that you paint?

Anywhere and everywhere, photos I’ve taken, things I own like my shoes, friends photos that they want me to paint, the Internet.  I’m not good enough to paint without some kind of reference so there’s always something I’m basing it from, even if I’m doing something abstract I’m usually looking at something to help me.

What is your inspiration for these images you create?

I’m motivated by motivated people, so whenever I see someone doing something really well, whether it’s in business, sport or art it always inspires me to try and do something good myself.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I don’t want to plan too much as things change all the time, I’d rather have short term goals, so this year I’d like to get more original canvas work done and hopefully get some exciting projects underway.  I’m expecting twins in the summer and along with our 1 year old, things could get quite chaotic so we’ll just take each day as it comes.

What drives you/gives you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

I’ve always wanted to be really good at one thing, and I think it’s achievable for anyone that works hard enough.  I’ve gone though a few efforts at this however, the last one being Internet security and intrustion detection where I learned as much as I could about the area, obsessively for a few years but in the end it just didn’t fit with me, I think with art I’ve found something I enjoy now so it’s easier for me to keep going until I feel I’m good enough.

Can you recall the first painting that you created that made you go WOW!?

I don’t think I’m there yet, though I have plenty of things I’m proud of in my portfolio.

What is the most memorable painting that you have done and why?

One I did for an award entry that was exhibited at The Proud Galleries in Camden, there was an opening night with lots of respected people in the art industry such as Christian Furr who was the youngest artist to paint the Queen, and I had a chance to talk to them about my work.

Does fame attract you?

Not fame as such but I can’t pretend I don’t like recognition for doing good work.  Otherwise I’d just paint and never show it to anyone.

How do you rate yourself as an artist?

I’m on the first rungs of a very tall and wobbly ladder 🙂

What makes a good artist?

Someone who keeps themselves and their work a bit of a mystery.

Three words to describe yourself?

Red, blue, orange.

Hobbies and other interests?

I’m a family person so I enjoy any time spent in the company of my husband, son and animals. We go to restaurants for nice meals and take the dog for long walks in the forest that’s behind our house.  We moved out to the country a few years ago after living in the city and I love the lifestyle that brings.

Favourite artist?

I have lots of favorites, there’s about 50 illustration portfolios saved in a Firefox folder that I like to go and look at when I have time and I love finding new artists on places like flickr and ffffound.  A few of the more well known artists I like include Ian Francis, Joshua Petker, Dave Kinsey, David Downton, Stephen Wiltshire, Rolf Harris, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso.

Any Tips and tricks you want to share with aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to not stick to the rules of the people that pretend to know what you’re supposed to be doing.

Tools of the trade?

Everything! All types of pens and paints, pencils and textures with Photoshop and Corel Painter thrown in for good measure.

Best and worst painting you have done?

I’ve got more than a few unfinished paintings, I can usually tell about half way through whether they’re going to work or not and I’m quick to ditch them once I think they’re going wrong.  The painting I like the most is probably Bery, the one I use on my twitter profile, but in terms of what has made me the most money so far, it’s the Lips.

Contact Info:



Facebook Profile Link:!/Jilltovey


Other links: – my other life.


Here is a selection of Jill’s Fabulous Art work – Jill’s artwork can be purchased on her website.

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