Artist Focus: Paul Broomfield – Visual Artist
We took the train out of the Fens and into our capital for a day spent trailing Paul, to understand what a day in his shoes looks like and to see how an upbringing in the Fenlands prepared him for a fast-paced career working in one of the busiest cities in the world!
After kindly meeting us at Euston Station, Paul took us to his favourite cafe, where he had a meeting later scheduled that day. Steaming cups of coffee were a welcome respite from the hordes of hurried business people outside and Paul looked as relieved as us to take a break from it…
It’s a madhouse out there! How do you deal with the daily stresses of living somewhere so busy?
It’s part and parcel of working in this city. I’ll admit it took some getting used to at first, but after 6 months or so I’d just about got my head around it. It’s certainly a lot faster paced than life back in the Fenlands, but I simply wouldn’t have the kind of opportunities back there, so there’s really no choice in my mind!
On a day-to-day basis, I find that regular exercise is a great stress-reliever, it keeps me focused and ensures that I don’t get too glued to my laptop. I also try to wake up as early as possible to beat whatever traffic I might have to contend with at rush hour.
What does your work as a visual artist involve?
I’m fortunate enough to have some really valuable connections with some great companies in the city. My work is partly commercial and partly creative. On a creative level, I’m involved in a number of collectives which leads to some really exciting collaborations, and often these little exhibitions will lead to commercial work.
The commercial work is where I pick up my money and that’s where I’ll often team up with local firms to create advertising and branding work. This is really a fantastic place to work really, whether you’re looking to get some vinyl decals printed in London, or a graffiti artist to work with, you’re just a phone call away from the best in class!
You’ve been in London for nearly 10 years now, do you miss the Fenlands?
I really do! There’s nowhere else like it on Earth and certainly not in London! I spent so much of my childhood exploring those stunning landscapes that I still surprise myself when I wake up here in the city. Thankfully, I’ve still got plenty of friends and family back there who are happy to host me for the weekend, so whenever I find myself at a loss for inspiration, or pining for some fresh air, I hop on a train and breathe it all in again.
Even though it’s been so long, do you still consider yourself a Fenland Artist?
Absolutely. No matter where you end up, or how far your travel, I believe that an artist’s work is always rooted in their heritage and mine will forever be entwined with the Fenlands. Whilst my work and art may well have drifted away from traditions espoused by the local artists, but I still look back to my youth for inspiration for my work today – the Fens are an integral part of who I am!