Five questions to Tim Fowler

Five questions to Tim Fowler

Tim Fowler was born in Leicester, UK in 1985. He works out of a large warehouse studio in Leicester City. He completed a BA in Contemporary Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University in 2007.

How did you get into art?

Like most artists I’ve always had a passion for art. However I didn’t start to take it seriously or picture it as a career until I stumbled across the ‘Basquiat’ film as a teenager. Up until that point the only famous artists I really knew of were Picasso, Van Gogh and Da Vinci. So seeing a young black artist, who looked similar to me and build this amazing career from nothing, made me think this was something I could do too.


How would you describe your style? What makes your art special?

I try not to think too much about defining my style or placing myself in a box. However other people tend to use words like urban, modern, semi abstract, colourful and contemporary to describe it. To me I’m just an artist. The main recognisable factor about my work is my colour palette. I tend to use certain colours, which a lot of people dub ‘Tim Fowler colours’. I use various tones of pinks, blues, teals and pastels. There isn’t any specific meaning behind my colour choices, it’s merely a palette that has developed of the years that I like and think sit well together. This combined with my subject matter, marks, brush strokes and semi abstracted style or painting had led to my identifiable style. 

How do you go about developing your work?

I find the best way to develop your work is to keep painting. Use ideas you liked from previous paintings and change what didn’t work. If you feel the work isn’t challenging or you’re simply not enjoying the process then change things up, take risks, try different mediums or subjects. Don’t be afraid to paint over something that isn’t working or let it become too precious. I find working on numerous pieces simultaneously helps me relax and not overthink a single piece. If I’m struggling with something I can put it to the side and focus on something else. Over the years of working in this way my work has organically developed into what it is today.Who or what influences you? 

I’m influenced, to a point by loads of artists I’ve come across over the years. However I think it can be dangerous to look too deeply into them because you can end up copying someone else's style, even if it’s subconscious. I see it a lot, especially on instagram. Artists put their favourite artists on a pedestal and their work ends up imitating theirs. My main influence comes from the botanical world. It started out with an interest in banana plants, which led to me research crops grown in the development of the Caribbean Islands and the links with Africa and the transatlantic slave trade. Such as tobacco plants, cotton, sugar cane, coffee and other cash crops. This has since developed into an overall interest in the botanical world, focussing on the more unusual plants that wouldn’t usually appear in artists depictions like Deadly nightshade or the unwanted weeds in and around urban environments. I sometimes paint flowers but I prefer the leafy plants or plants that have an interesting history or meaning.

What are you planning to do next?

I’m currently working towards a few exhibitions for the end of this year and 2024. These will range from large scale paintings to smaller works on paper. I’m also working on an Arts Council collaboration project with a glass blower called Graeme Hawes @grhawes. We are creating a series of hand blown botanical glass sculptures based on my practise and colours.