James Hobbs is a talented artist whose distinctive sketches are full of movement and colour. He is the author of ‘Sketch Your World‘ and has a new book coming out soon ‘Dream, Draw, Design My Garden‘. As part of our series ‘Celebrating Skylark Galleries’ we caught up with James and asked him to share his thoughts on his Skylark Galleries experience.
Skylark Membership Timeline:
October 2008 to January 2014
What did you learn from your Skylark Galleries experience?
I joined Skylark just as Lehman Brothers crashed and the credit crunch set in. I remember wondering whether to turn the offer down with all the economic uncertainty and financial meltdown happening just across the Thames, but you have to take your chances, and that often involves a risk, so I did it anyway. You have to make things happen; even at Skylark, sales and interest don’t just happen. And it made me look at my work in another way, a more commercial way, and that in turn affected the way I made it, and opened up other doors. I had five very enjoyable years at the gallery.
Most enjoyable Skylark Galleries experience(s)?
The sense of community is what I really liked about Skylark. Meeting buyers and selling work is great, obviously, but it’s the artists who show there who make it special. People are always stronger together than apart. The fairs in particular were especially exciting times, but hard work.
Since leaving Skylark Galleries, what do you miss?
When I had to take new work to the gallery, I would do it very early in the morning while the roads were quiet and before the congestion charge kicked in. I do miss being by the river as the city woke and the sun rose, with a rising hum of activity. The galleries are in such a fantastic location and that’s reflected in the attitude and mood of the people who come in to look at and buy the work, I think.
And I miss the other artists at Skylark and working with them, of course.
How did your Skylark Galleries experience influence where you are today?
Other opportunities came up while I was with Skylark that I knew I had to try. I’m still selling my prints and drawings, but fitting it around other projects. My book Sketch Your World was published soon before I left, and is now translated into six languages, and a new one, Dream, Draw, Design My Garden, is out in May. Things build on other things in ways it is often quite hard to recognise, but being part of Skylark was a catalyst, and I’ll always be grateful for that.