How did you become involved in the Home Support campaign?
As someone from a very sporty household, the Olympics were a big part of that. So, when Purplebricks asked if I would be part of Home Support, it was very exciting. It’s an exciting start to the year and it’s great to be working with Vanessa Raw and Joe Joyce.
Explain your journey into art.
When I was young, I always loved drawing and making things. I studied art for GCSE and A-Level but doing art at the same time as my rugby was difficult; they were clashing, and I didn’t really have the right focus or mindset to do both. So, I committed to rugby and didn’t think about art for a long time.
It was only after I had my accident that I picked it up again. I was bedbound for a few weeks and couldn’t move or sit up very often. Initially, I started to draw on my iPad. I’d draw the same way I paint – with a mouth stick and a touch screen iPad. My early bits were very basic but the more I did it, the more I started to enjoy it.
When I was able to get out of bed, I started drawing with pencils. Then soon after that, I moved onto paints. That was in January 2015 – it’s been a process and a few years down the line, but it’s great. Without my accident, I wouldn’t have rediscovered that same enjoyment and love I had when I was that young boy.
Why do you enjoy art so much?
For me, it’s a few things that make art special. One thing I really like about art is the process – whenever it’s come to training and processes, I think I’ve always enjoyed those things more than the finished product. It’s odd to say it, but I enjoy working my way through a painting. I always have this image in my head of what it might look like at the end. Things always change as it goes through – it’s a constantly changing thing and that’s what I like about it.
It’s never the same thing over and over – you can change different things, use different materials, choose different subjects, and everyone finds their own way of doing it, which is great. That’s what’s so brilliant about art – everyone has their own style.
It gives me time to zone out from the rest of the world, focus on the image I’m painting and spend two or three hours of time in my own little world. Ever since my accident, I’ve always tried to challenge myself to do something different. I guess art gives me that challenge and motivation to keep pushing myself.
What are the similarities between art and sport?
When you paint and as you’re training, you must take it step by step. Obviously, your main goal in sport would be the next match, so you work towards that. Whereas when you’re painting or doing art, it’s the finished image you're working towards. In your head, you lay out what you think is the right path to it. Things might change, but day by day you must adjust and adapt.
Describe your Home Support painting