In Conversation With.... Will Thompson
Hi Will, Great to be back chatting with you again! It’s been a while since we last spoke, are you still based in London?
I’m still based in London, I now have a studio in an old artillery factory in Woolwich on the river Thames. The building is a hive of creativity and I race to get into my studio every day!
That sounds like an incredible space to be creative in! We love the resin paintings that you publish on willtheartist.co, what gave you the idea for these style of art?
I spent a long time trying to figure out what my ‘unique’ contribution to the art world could be. It’s been a turbulent road full of ups and downs to say the least! I was putting an enormous amount of pressure on myself to be original. I began to realise though that nothing is original, nothing! New ideas are just a mash up of two or more existing ideas. I began to do lots of research into artists that interest me and I merged different techniques and artistic expressions together to form the foundation for all my work using the simple idea of resin and paintings.
Well we think that you've clearly come up with something a fantastic original concept with them. The recent Ed Sheeran painting is proving hugely popular, what inspired you to produce this?
I’ve been a fan of Ed Sheeran even before he ‘burst out on the scene like an Opal Fruit’ and one of the main aspects of me creating these portraits is that I have to be inspired in some way by the person I paint. Ed Sheeran ticks that box in so many ways so it was a no brainer. I also met Roman Kemp on a shoot we were doing together who gave me the idea of engraving the plectrums with all of Ed Sheeran’s awards. There are 351 engraved plectrums in this piece!
Which of your range of Resin paintings did you enjoy producing the most?
I think one of the most satisfying paintings to date was the David Attenborough piece I created. I painted the portrait, placed the canvas in a frame, surrounded the face with real plants and ethically sourced bugs (died of natural causes) and submerged it all in resin. The picture is so heavy that it takes two strong people to lift it!
That sounds like a monumental piece of work, created in the spirit of its subject! Thinking about all things environmental, we also absolutely love your new range of Chilly’s bottles, how did this collaboration come about?
I created a customisation video of 5 Chilly’s bottles to try and raise awareness for plastic pollution in the ocean, when I found out that 8 million tons of plastic is thrown carelessly into the sea every year I had to respond! Chilly’s saw the video and called me in for a meeting and the ‘Sea Life’ range was born! It’s only been out for just shy of 2 weeks and all ready 3 out of the 4 designs have sold out, so we are all supper happy. With 10% of each sale going to the non profit organisation ‘City to Sea’.
What a fantastic cause to be supporting. With our base down here in the South West this is something very close to our hearts. Is this anything you miss about your home county Cornwall?
There is a list as long as my arm about all the things I miss about Cornwall, I think when you move away you begin to really appreciate even more just how beautiful it is and I often feel a very strong pull to come back. London is where I live by Cornwall will always be my home.
That is so true, there really is something special about our lovely home by the sea that always draws you back! Is there a specific place down here in the Duchy that you find particularly inspirational?
My favourite place in Cornwall has to be St Ives. I spent a lot of my childhood running around with bare feet with my best friend Deets, swimming in the harbour and having pasties daily! Which isn’t recommended, but highly tasty! I find a real sense of calmness when I’m by the sea so for me there is always a sense of inspiration as it’s where I go to relax and think.
That sounds like a fabulous place to grow up! We absolutely adore St Ives, and not just as it was the place where it all began for us! What talented things can we expect to see from you next?
I can’t tell you, you’ll have to wait and see! Lots more resin paintings and lots more customisations!
Ah that's a tease!
Thanks for your time today Will, we can't wait to see what creative delights you bring to us next!
You can see the full collection of Will's stunning resin prints here
There's even more to read about Will's collaboration with Chilly's here