I've come across quite a few graphic designers who have gone on to other career paths - as photographers and product designers, mainly. But Guy Peppin has gone a different direction. Back to his roots, in a way. After seeing the work of Cy Twombly and others in Italy, he returned to university. The National Art School in Sydney invited Guy to do an honours year in drawing, and his skill in this area is obvious - just look at these works on his website. But he became interested in abstraction. Since then he has twice been a finalist in the
RBS Emerging Artist Award. Most recently received the Storrier Onslow Cite Internationale des Arts Paris Studio Residency.
Which five words best describe you? Tallness, vulnerability, uncertainty, passion and creativity. The tallness is probably the first thing that people would notice about me. I think that to be open and vulnerable and to live life uncertainly are strengths. Passion and creativity gives me my energy.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started off as a graphic designer, but after a few years I admitted to myself that it wasn't what I really wanted and went back to art school.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To be more intuitive, take risks, and not try to control everything!
What’s your proudest career achievement? Receiving the Storrier Onslow Cite Internationale des Arts Paris Studio Residency. Last year I lived in Europe for four months saw a great deal of art and had some amazing experiences. What I found refreshing was that people in Europe are not threatened by creativity, they respect it deeply.
What’s been your best decision? To go back to art school; I think it really broadened my creativity, admitting what you really want to do with your life is quite terrifying, but also life changing. After my honours year I was picked up by Liverpool Street Gallery. And I’ve just had my second solo show; Voyager, with them.
Who inspires you? I draw inspiration from just about everything, but artists like Lucian Freud who defied fashion and were ignored for most of their careers and had the guts to be only themselves and are now international names are an inspiration.
What are you passionate about? Politeness, authenticity and connection, the kind of things that eroded so easily in our busy modern lives.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Cy Twombly, seeing his work showed me that art could be different and have it's own language. But I'm not sure we should ever meet our heroes.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would like to do some lecturing, and I want to travel and see more of the world. I think you should have two dreams, one for other people and one for yourself.
What are you reading? I worked for secondhand book dealers for years, so I always have a huge stack of unread books. I like to have a couple of novels, poetry, art history and biographies. At the moment I'm dipping into: Jon McGregor's So Many Ways to Begin, Michael Cunningham's Specimen Days, Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies, Daniel Farson's The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon, Anthony Blunt's Artistic Theory in Italy 1450-1660, The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh edited by Charlotte Mosley, Lesley Blanch's autobiography Journey into the Mind's Eye.