Will has art in his veins after growing up with artist mum Lyn Thompson, founder of Whistlefish. He remembers her hand-painting cards on their kitchen table, later, he went along to craft fairs and trade shows to show his support. Today, whenever Will pops by Whistlefish Head Office, he's always full of energy and excitement, ready to share his passion for a book he's just read or a show he's just watched. This love for creation comes across in his work, whether it be a Cornwall coastal scene or a portrait of the late Robin Williams. Read on to hear what home means to him and what his coolest 'pinch-me' moment has been so far...
Where are you currently based?
Originally from Cornwall I now live in London where I paint and create my memories of home from my studio in Ladywell.
Where did your artistic journey begin?
As Picasso once said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up". Art, for me, has always been an escape, an outlet for me to fully submerge myself in thought and express those thoughts through imagery.
A great man that Picasso. We like your thinking! Any favourite mediums?
I love to paint when I’m feeling open and expressive, this way I can throw the paint around and really make a mess and then I love to create detailed illustrations when I’m feeling focused with a level of control.
That sounds like the best of both worlds. How would you describe your work?
I try and make each piece of work represent something that communicates a message. The art of communication is so important to me in everything I try and create. Whether it be something intricate and detailed like an illustration or a huge messy painting, I believe it is the message that is key.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspirations comes in all shapes and sizes for me, from other artists work to moments in history, a landscape or my current feelings towards the world we live in.
It sound like life in general captivates you. How about home, what's that like?
Family, friends, the sea, the air and everything in between. I grew up bouncing from one little Cornish town to another, always by the sea and always feeling a sense of freedom. Running through St Ives with no shoes on, racing to jump in the harbour and watching holiday-makers faces light up with amazement at our boldness to battle the cold waters.
Life by the sea at its best! How about home-from-home? Any favourite travels?
I love a combination of city and country life. I’ve been fortunate when growing up that I’ve seen a number of different places in the world, but travelling to the West Indies tops that list, Barbados is and always will be my favourite place in the whole world.
Barbados sounds dreamy! And in-keeping with your love for the sea. What’s been your coolest ‘pinch me’ moment?
I created a video of me painting Paul Walker which I uploaded to Facebook and to my amazement over 40 million people watched the painting come to life. That was a moment I won’t forget.
Forty million. That's incredible! What’s next for you Will?
Life is short and I try never to put a limit on anything I do or want to achieve whilst I’m here. I’ve grown up with an ambitious and motivated family who have always encouraged me to follow my passions and dreams. I hope one day my paintings will be featured in a top gallery in New York and on the way hopefully I'll inspire others to recognise their capabilities in art and design.