Can your doodles become masterpieces? Find out with Dom Heffer

Published: Tuesday 21st November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Hull-based artist Dom Heffer will lead an intriguing talk on his love and practice of drawing.

Dom appears at Hull History Centre tomorrow from 10:30am to speak about his use of freeform doodling combined with deliberate drawing, as well as answer any questions budding artists may have. We caught up with the creative to discover more ahead of this one-off workshop.

Fantastic to speak with you, Dom. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m a professional artist, based in Hull for the last 16 years, with a studio just off Beverley Road. I have worked in galleries, arts and research organisations nationally and internationally.

Most recently, I just returned from New York, where I was showing a recent work called ‘Crazy, Stupid, Talking Painting’ at the Institute of General Semantics Symposium.

Wow! So, what can people expect from your talk at the History Centre on Wednesday?

Drawing is such a huge subject, with a rich tradition. Participants can expect a brief survey of kinds of drawing and how types of thinking are expressed through the utility of drawing. Then, I will sketch and demonstrate how I use drawing in my own work.

How long have you been drawing?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I remember. I’m sure that everybody is the same; the first creative posture that you assume is usually when given a mark-making tool and a flat surface.

And what do you love most about it?

I love drawing’s flexibility and immediacy, but there are a couple of things I don’t like about it too. For example, I have never considered myself ‘naturally gifted’ at drawing, and the more ‘skillful’ elements of drawing are like a muscle to me, which I have to continually exercise. Otherwise, the skills go a bit flabby!

What tips would you give someone who wanted to get into drawing?

Drawing is an instinct when you are very young; a primary activity that seems natural when given a crayon and paper. It is about cultivating this instinct and incorporating it; seeing it as an extension of the way that you think, or as an aid to thinking.

It is about getting into the habit of drawing, whether you end up doing it more in the form of quick scribbles in a notebook, or long studies to cultivate observational skills… or both.

Do you have to start at a young age, then?

No, not at all. Although starting at a young age is usually advantageous, drawing regularly is the main key. Get yourself a small notebook and carry it everywhere; get into the habit of recording things in it, whether this is a seemingly spurious idea or a doodle – they could eventually become more advanced works.

Lastly, why should people pop along to your talk?

I hope that anybody interested in art will enjoy the talk and workshop. It is designed for people of all capabilities. Absolute beginners, who are just starting their curiosity, will be able to learn something. And hopefully, those who are more experienced will be stimulated by the references and ideas provoked by the day amidst the ‘Doodles and Drawings: Art in the Archives’ display.

Join Dom Heffer at Hull History Centre tomorrow from 10:30am until 11:30am. To find out more information about Dom, head to his website

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Published: Tuesday 21st November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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