Friday, March 18, 2011

"Art of a Nomad" Sue Pownall

Sue Pownall is a nomad, always traveling for work and inspiration. Sue is also one of the first artists I interviewed for Trade Your Talent and we have been in touch ever since. Since we both travel a lot our exchanges are not very frequent, but somehow our creative projects keep us connected and linked in a very special way. Sue captures her surroundings in realistic pen and ink drawings. Her sketchbook is Sue's constant companion during her travels. In January 2011, a book of her illustrations and photos of Khartoum was published. In April 2011 she participated in the Trans-Siberian Arts Centre group exhibition, last December she had her first solo exhibition in Oman. With Trade Your Talent she speaks about her travels and why new places and experiences are the source of her inspiration.

Your blog is called "Art of a Nomad". What is it like being an artist that travels all the time? 

Sue: It has its good and bad points, although overall it's a positive thing. Changing countries provides new places, sights and experiences, so you are never stuck for inspiration. On top of that, as a member of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers , I can often find new people to sketch with, which brings creativity in itself. With others and alone I can discover both out-of-the-way spots or snapshots of everyday life to draw and paint, which I probably wouldn't if I stayed in one place.

How has the path of being an artist been like for you? 

Sue: I have always drawn since my mum and dad gave me my first crayon and piece of paper. I attended art college in Colchester, then Plymouth, UK way-back-when and then worked as a graphic designer for about 8 years until I left the formal art world. After that, I continued to sketch and produce the occasional finished artwork in a limited way until September 2009 when I returned to being an artist and illustrator. 

What inspires you most when you are visiting a new country?

Sue: The architecture, the culture and the people. As an artist I find decay fascinating and have drawn crumbling building all over the world, however as I do not like the cold so I prefer to draw them in the summer or in warm places. 

What does Africa mean to you and how did your travels there influence your art?

Sue: Until last year I had visited only a small part of Africa having hiked in Morocco, and had holidays in South Africa and Tunisia. Then early last year, I was fortunate enough to get a short contract to work in Khartoum, Sudan and fell in love with the people and the city.  In every country I travel to I always carry a sketchbook and use it it more often in some places than others. I found Khartoum to be a very peaceful and simple place to stay with beautiful people, so it allowed me the time to sketch and draw without the normal distractions of life and it provided a constant source of inspiration.

Which countries are next on your list? 

Sue: I loved my time in Khartoum and the other places I have visited in Africa, so I plan to return to Africa soon, possibly Ethiopia. However, Cuba is at the top of my list of destinations and I hope to go there this summer. Also, I want to see more of the Middle East specifically Syria. I'd like to go to Sri Lanka... the list is endless, which is why I call myself a nomad.

More of Sue Pownall's art:

  Sue Pownall

Sue Pownall 
Grey day on South Broome beach. South Africa

Sue Pownall 
Hluhluwe Game reserve. South Africa. 

Sue Pownall

 Sue Pownall
Khartoum chai ladies 

 Sue Pownall
Seeds henna peanut sellers 

Sue Pownall

Sue Pownall
Tutti Beach

Sue Pownall 
Fatma 1

Sue Pownall 
View from Work

1 comment:

  1. Sue's work always has such an immediate, warm and emotionally personal quality to it, which makes it easy to connect with and appreciate. Great to see so much of it and an interview in one place. Thanks, Sue and Susanna!



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