Hailing from the UK, Rob Bartley has a knack for drawing bold, quaint pieces of art that have always made me go “hmm?”, while at the same time cracking a smile.
Getting to know Rob:
Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
Derby, a city straight in the middle of the UK. In a small town called Ripley, where absolutely nothing interesting ever happens
When did you first take to art?
I think I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, or so my parents tell me. But I only really got seriously into art a couple of years ago, after seeing some amazing art for DC Snowboards by an artist named Mark Penxa, who has since become a good friend and mentor. That kind of kick started me into thinking maybe drawing was something I want to actually start spending a lot of time on again after not really drawing anything at all for a few years previously.
Who inspires you?
It probably sounds cliché, but literally everyone I know. Mark Penxa as I mentioned before is a huge inspiration, as is another artist; Mark Kowalchuck who I talk to most days and helps me with what direction I need to be heading in, talking about both of our art in general and generally telling me if I’m doing something really stupid in relation to getting illustration work in the skateboarding and snowboarding industry, which happens a lot of the time haha! Aside from that other artists such as; Matt French, Scoph Schophield, Ben Tour, Daniel Curtis, Don Pendleton, Jono Wood and the Zero Friends collective.
What do you use to create your art?
I mostly use Faber Castell’s PITT range of pens, but I also use Calli india ink when I feel like using a brush. As for pencils I was using Derwent’s graphic series, but I recently switched over to a Faber Castell mechanical pencil with blue lead which I’m liking a lot more than traditional graphite pencils. As for the digital side, I use my Wacom tablet with Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.
Who have you worked with in the past?
I’m pretty much just a one man show, as the vast majority of the artists I’m friends with and admire all live in Canada or the USA. But in the future I would like to work with any of the artists I mentioned as inspirations. Additionally I’d really enjoy working with brands such as Volcom or RedBull. I think they’re the absolute game changers of their industries and really enjoy their whole company philosophies and attitudes.
What do you do in your spare time?
Mostly I draw, so I don’t know if that really counts as spare time, but when I’m not drawing I try to get into Nottingham to see friends, maybe catch a Panthers ice hockey game or go and ice skate. Apart from that, I snowboard when I get chance in the winter, but that’s quite a challenge with the UK being awesome for rain but rather crappy for any significant snow or mountains.
What kind of music do you listen to?
So many different things! It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I’ll feel like listening to something like Bloc Party, but it can seriously range to stuff like Rammstein or Eminem.
What kind of music do you listen to while creating?
Again it depends on my mood, usually I’ll try to listen to something pretty upbeat, so recently it’s been switching between Die Antwoord and Blur. Pretty eclectic as mixes go!
Pizza, definitely pizza. I could give the ninja turtles a run for their money on their love of pizza.
I don’t actually eat cereal, but Cheerios are pretty nice?
What do you think about Toronto?
I love it! I visited my friend in Burlington in 2010 and got to explore Toronto a little while I was there. I really would like to visit again, and potentially move to Canada in the future. It’s my absolute favourite country in the world.
Where can we contact you or find you on the internet?
I’m most active on instagram where you can find me under the username “@_robbartley”. Unfortunately I don’t have a website just yet, but that’s hopefully going to happen later in the year! If you would like to contact me though, you can email me at: email@example.com