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In Conversation with John Ridd


I would like to ask if you don’t mind, where did you grow up and did it have a bearing on you as an Artist?

I initially lived in Chorleywood near Watford where I was born, then at aged 8 I moved to Chelmsford. My real influence when I was young was my schooling, as I become involved in art at quite a young age, particularly pottery. I also taught myself to play the drums...music fuels my artwork a lot!

Describe a working day as an artist and do you work in a studio or at the location you paint?

Walking the dog is my first task of the day :-)
Then I tend to review any artwork I’ve done from the previous day to check it’s OK or it may need further input. I then start a new piece of art, generally 1-2 per week. I work on one piece at a time. I do a lot of thinking about a particular piece, sometimes over several weeks before I launch in to it. The actual painting can take several days depending on the paints & mediums / textures I’m using. I work from a small studio at home.

Have you had any previous jobs before becoming an Artist?

I previously had a career in financial services, but always felt that it stifled my creativity.


Are there any little tips or tricks you’ve learned over the years, that would help or inspire budding artists?

Don’t ever be put off by the rules. Art is one of the truest forms of self expression so just go with what feels right to you. Spend time watching and researching fellow artists.

What music do you listen to when you are working?

Mainly heavy industrial dance, metal and punk music.

What piece of equipment can’t you do without?

Palet knife


The main theme of paintings with Wonky Wheel are portrait and landscape in Acrylic abstract, what other themes inspire you to work on?

Pop Art, digital art, video art & street art mainly, but I also love some of the Great Masters, particularly the darker stuff (e.g. some of Turner’s surprisingly).

What do you enjoy most about being an artist?

Being able to express my thoughts on canvas & the journey it takes me on...plus the genuinely lovely people I meet through my art.

What have been your highlights or biggest achievements so far?

Exhibiting and selling my art at my first exhibition in Shoreditch. Also the reception to my collection was fantastic and very humbling.

How would you describe the life of an artist in just 3 words.

Dream come true!!

What advice would you give to younger self about starting a career as an artist?

I know it’s a cliché, but never give up on your dreams - take the leap, you’re a long time dead!

Author: Wonky Wheel & Artist John Ridd
Last updated : 19th March 2022
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