Meet the Maker - Steve Broadway

Thursday, November 21, 2013
Joining us at the Christmas Design Temporium at the Architecture Centre is local illustrator Steve Broadway.  We feel that Steve is the perfect person to exhibit at the Architect Centre, as he used to be one! 

Steve's pen sketches of iconic Bristol scenes, we are sure, will prove a popular choice for people with a love of Bristol and it's wonderful buildings.  We caught up with him to find out more...

Could you tell us a little about yourself...
I was an architect for more than 30 years. After retiring from my successful practice in Buckinghamshire in 2005, I worked for six years with young people in education. Now I live in Bristol with my wife Moira, and love spending time with my family and friends. I also love photography, art, music, books, looking after my grandchildren and red wine. My current work consists of pen/pencil drawings of Bristol buildings (and boats). 

How did you start your business?
“Business” sounds far too grand for what I do! I’ve drawn for most of my life – but mainly in connection with my career as an architect (when, before the introduction of computers, most perspectives and sketches were hand-drawn!). After retiring as an architect, apart from the odd holiday sketch and art trail scribble, I virtually stopped drawing altogether… taking photographs was SO much easier! That was until the summer of 2012. I spent two months on the beautiful island of Iona in Scotland and, during my time there, ended up producing forty postcard sketches (entirely down to my daughter Ruth’s suggestion) and sending them off to family and friends. It provided a wonderful focus for my “down-time” on the island and I really enjoyed the discipline of creating quick sketches (postcard size is rather useful in this respect!). As a direct result of this experience, I decided to commit myself to producing a new blog Onedaylikethistoday with the aim/discipline of posting a drawing or a painting or a photograph for each day. I started the blog in September 2012 and I’m still continuing to enjoy it. The drawings at the CDT shop are some of the results. 

Can you briefly explain some of the processes behind creating your work? 
Somewhat predictably, the quality and style of my drawings vary – the important thing for me is to draw regularly. My pen (and, sometimes, pencil) sketches can be anything from 5 minute scribbles to (occasionally) drawings that might take me 90 minutes to complete – 45-60 minutes is probably the average time. Again, the subjects vary but frequently include cafes, figures, boats and buildings. I would love to be able just to sit down and produce a very quick sketch of a location or a group of people but, although I continue to persevere, I find it really hard to do this – my default characteristic is for rather careful, disciplined drawings! Whenever possible, I like to draw “on location” but, for various reasons (weather, nosy people looking over your shoulder/self-consciousness etc!), I also often end up working from photographs (or finishing off my drawings from photographs).The good thing is that the discipline of drawing regularly has definitely speeded up my technique and also, over the course of the past year or so, I think I’ve “loosened up” a little too! 

What is your biggest design inspiration? 
Light, line, shade, water, buildings, the work of other artists and designers… and “seeing” things in the ordinary. As young architect, I was always fascinated by the influential Italian architect Sant’Elia’s seminal, iconic architectural perspectives (produced nearly a hundred years ago!) and, as a student, I used to get the books of architectural perspectivist Helmut Jacoby out of the library on an incredibly regular basis (I think our local library stocked just two of them… and that I was the only person who ever booked them out!). I came across images of their work again quite recently and realised that they’ve continued to be a lasting influence. Hardly anyone will know who I’m referring to! 

What is your favourite part of your making day? 
I’m definitely a “morning person” and (on fine days!) love walking around the harbourside with my camera and sketchbook. I’m also a great morning café man – and had work (a series of café sketches) exhibited (and sold!) at the RWA Drawn exhibition earlier this year. 

What would YOU like for Christmas? 
A new camera perhaps or a few days in St Ives (they’re not going to happen!)?

Thank you Steve!  Your drawings of Bristol are truly inspiring.  You can find Steve's work (along with the work of his daughters, Ruth and Hannah) at the Christmas Design Temporium in addition to 'Britain's Smallest Gallery' in our Made in Britain shop in Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus. 

No comments:

Post a Comment