We had a quick catch up with Jack Smith to find out what he's bee up to for the past year.
How has the past year been for you? What are you up to?
I'm mostly working on commissioned pieces for private collectors and selling more paintings online. The good thing about the pandemic is that it seems like more people are buying art online now, I've had a lot of new clients from Germany especially.
How have you been building your collector network online? Are there specific platforms you are using to sell work or are they coming to you through IG etc?
Most of the buyers and collectors have come from Facebook and my website. They are, not all, but mostly gay men... In fact, I even used to sell paintings on Grindr (the dating App). But not anymore since I met my partner! Some paintings sell on Instagram but I think because a lot of my clients are slightly older, they often don't have instagram. I've also kept in touch with patrons in the UK and I'm sending paintings over (Brexit has made that more complicated than before, it's annoying! But still possible).
Yes, you moved to Barcelona! How is that going?
I've been painting a lot of Barcelona landscapes since we moved here... I'm really looking forward to painting Barcelona Pride parade when it starts again... In the long run I would love to do a series of LGBT+ Pride paintings. My Oxford Pride painting will be exhibited in the new Museum of Oxford (when it re-opens after refurbishment, I'm not sure when that will be).
Have you felt a difference between UK landscapes and Spanish landscapes?
Spanish landscapes are very different! Because I'd never been to Barcelona before we moved here, it seemed completely new and exotic- very different from the UK. I don't think I ever painted a palm tree before coming to Barcelona... they're everywhere here (and a bit difficult to paint too). The main advantage is the sun- usually everything looks better when it's sunny, and it means I have been going outside to do paintings in plein-air more. The thing I miss is the lushness of the UK landscape. It's unusual to see grass here. But there is a lot to paint! And the architecture is beautiful. Hopefully we'll be staying for a while so I will get to know it well.
What are you most looking forward to in the next 6 months?
We have a wedding in the UK in November that I'm looking forward to. I will hopefully be able to see friends and family then. But other than that I don't really have anything because I don't normally look that far ahead- more like 1 month ahead. Career-wise I hope I'll be a better painter of course and to 'fingers crossed' continue selling pieces. I will also be looking for galleries here and to have real-life exhibitions again! I'm definitely looking forward to the MA's 100 years of justice exhibition :)