Every Friday you have the pleasure of being acquainted with a whole bunch of amazingly talented people. I’ve asked an array of creative souls to answer a handful of questions to give you an insight to their colourful life and to fill you with inspiration for your weekend!
This Creative Friend Friday we get to meet Ernest Otoo, one half of Plume – Birmingham based artist collective.
I love what you guys do! Your work is so beautiful and vibrant! How would you describe your creations to someone who’s never seen it before?
Thanks, it’s always nice to get positive feedback! Our current work and recent projects have been an exploration of the hypnotic, often therapeutic nature of different coloured paints in water, through the use of high-speed medium format photography.
Do you view your creative ability/process as unusual or unique?
Our process nowadays is quite pragmatic, there are moments where things are a bit manic due to the unpredictability of the medium. I suppose there are some idiosyncrasies we’ve developed through working with a medium which is unpredictable and not widely used. But in terms of actual ability applied to the creation of the pieces – Andy is a photographer and I’m an art director/designer so the skills applied are those we use daily outside of our collaborative projects anyway.
When you begin to create, do you have a finished product in mind?
We have an idea about composition, colour palette and the overall mood we’re aiming for. We’re moving more into the realm of really challenging ourselves to create exact compositions in order to have more control over what the images are portraying. This has only recently become possible now that our understanding of the medium has grown and we are able to predict and manipulate the material with a lot more ease. Till now it’s been more about knowing our desired outcome then setting up the environment in a way that best suits reaching that end result. Then we let the paint do it’s thing (to a certain degree) and captured that until the desired outcome or something better came out of the session.
What motivates your creative ideas and creative activity?
Personally I find creativity the most worthwhile and fulfilling use of my time and will do anything to engage in creativity in one way or another. So the act of just being creative is motivation enough for me to sit and crack on with some new ideas and work, it feels good. Seeing killer work by other artists is also always good motivation to go out and crack on with something new.
Are either of you creative in more than one area?
Yes, both of us are. I’m hugely obsessed with music and it’s another area in which I like to express creativity, through playing records or experimenting with and learning music production. Art and design allow for me to create a snapshot of a moment or an idea from which a narrative can be derived – however it’s static. Music allows for the creation of a story over time, both serve a different purpose and allow for different modes of expression which connect with people in different ways. The effect music has on me personally is deeply visceral; I enjoy exploring why/how that is and trying to replicate some of that ‘magic’ via sharing music with people and hopefully in the future through writing my own music.
Which creative people do you admire and why?
I admire anyone who is creative for reasons which aren’t vacuous. Any creative person that is producing work for the right reasons I have admiration for. Even if I’m not particularly feeling their work I admire any creative who is driven by the desire to express some truth within themselves or genuinely creates for the benefit of others and uses that drive to become a master of a craft in order manifest their ideas. If their work is authentic and well crafted I tend to have some level of admiration and appreciation for an artist.
Can we see your work up close and personal anywhere?
We’re in the process of finishing the second of two collections which will be exhibited this Autumn through Washington Green & Castle Galleries. There aren’t exhibition dates yet, but if you keep up with our social media you’ll get sneak peeks of the work and also release exhibition dates etc.