Gromit Unleashed - Artist Interview, Amy Timms

Monday, September 02, 2013
With under a week left of the Gromit Unleashed Trail (ends on 8th September) we bring your our final Artist Interview in the Gromit series.  Amy Timms is one of Drawn in Bristol members, based in Hamilton House. Over to Amy to find out more about her dog...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work? 
Hello "Made in Bristol", I am Amy Timms, an elusive member of the Drawn in Bristol studios, located within Hamilton House. Principally I'm a natural history- fine artist (and a part-time scientist), who has a particular fondness for the wildlife of the British Isles. Deer and foxes hold a special place in my heart and they repeatedly find themselves the main subjects of my work. 
Why did you want to get involved with the Gromit Unleashed project? 
After the huge success of the Bristol based "Wow Gorillas" trail a few years back, the opportunity to be involved in another event, only this time with Aardman's much loved canine Gromit as the focus, was all too appealing. With so much artistic competition, I doubted my design would be selected, so it was a lovely surprise when it was. It also granted me the task of designing a header for the Bristol Post (one of the events sponsors) which went to print on the 19th August. 

Where did inspiration for your design come from? 
From the beginning I knew my design would involve animals (for obvious reasons) and I was naturally drawn to the recognisable British species. Bristol is a very green city, most people experience nature here on a day to day basis, in some way or form. Be it a passing butterfly, a savvy town fox, or one of the squirrels from Brandon Hill park. My design is based upon the animals that can be found in and around Bristol. The trail is open to all people, regardless of age, gender or race, therefore I wanted to create a motif that everyone could identify with in some little way. 
Please describe how you designed your Gromit? 
My usual style of painting is very detailed, so I had to modify it to sit well on a 3D sculpture and to reduce rendering time. Each animal was simplified to a graphic silhouette with an emphasis on complimentary colours  
Where did you paint your Gromit? 
I was allocated an area in the artists shared painting space, as I wanted to meet and work alongside my fellow soak up the feel good, Gromitty vibes. Even if I had wanted to work in my own studio, I wouldn't have been able to do so, as Gromit's ears were too wide to get him through the door! 
Was it a challenge transferring your style of work to a 3D dog? 
I'm not particularly confident or quick at drawing free hand, especially on a non flat surface. I worked around this problem by drawing out all the silhouettes individually, then modifying them digitally and editing them to scale. This enabled me to print out my animal shapes and transfer them via trace down, directly onto the sculpture. 

Where can we find your Gromit? 
My Gromit "The Wild West", can be found at Cribbs Causeway, guarding the entrance to Harvey's the furniture store 

What is your favourite Wallace and Gromit film? 
It's difficult to pick a favourite Wallace and Gromit film as they are all charming, however I think it will have to be The Curse of the Were Rabbit. I'm an avid gardener and come from a village background, thus I can relate to the pastoral politics going down in this feature...never cross a vicar and his prize winning courgette! 

Can you tell us any behind the scenes Gromit secret? 
The Gromit Unleashed team employed a small troop of mice to make us tea and bring us biscuits (only with minor nibbles). 

Thanks Amy!  Cor!  It really is amazing your Gromit.

Look out over the next week, here on the Made in Bristol Blog, for a Gromit round-up - there is still time to get out and visit them all!

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