Stepping Stones with Niall Grant
Written by: Anthony Hagan All Images courtesy of Niall Grant

Niall Grant describes his art as “traditional storybook illustration”.  However, as you examine Niall’s work, you realize that description does not fully do his creations justice.  Niall’s art is dark and brimming with soul and character.  Niall taps into the zeitgeist of seemingly mundane things and transforms them into memorable depictions of moments.  His color choices are sparse and this lack of excessive color helps increase the depth of his drawings.  Niall shows his humility by stating that he has not yet reached a pivotal moment in his art career, which we at Style.No.Chaser find very difficult to believe.  Niall’s humility and his focus on being true to himself and his art will surely catapult him to a moment he will call pivotal.

See the interview below.

” It’s a recreation of my interests and influences, tapping into my own personality and …”

Please tell us a little about yourself – your childhood, siblings, where you grew up, what you liked as a child, strange thoughts as a child/now, unique attributes, where you live now, etc.?

I was a quiet boy. Always daydreaming, playing with animals, Lego, toys. I was content in my little world. Not much has changed!  I grew up in Norwich where I now stay most of the time. I lived in London for a few years and go back often.

What does your art mean to you?

Like most others, it’s a form of expression. An expression of interests, feelings, identity….. The words people use to describe my artwork reflect myself as a person. I think this is one way that creating artwork can really help every individual’s understanding of the world they’re a part of.

Your art has an edge.  It is different and darkish with heart and soul – how do you describe your style of art, what tools do you use for the creation of your work and how did you create your personal style?

Thanks, that’s lovely to hear. I describe my art to others as “traditional storybook illustration”, which most people seem to understand. There’s a lot of other influences in there too, though. My personal style has been developed over years and one is never too sure if they’ve established it. It’s a recreation of my interests and influences, tapping into my own personality and trying to reflect those things all in one world. I use pencil, fineliners and inks to do that.

If you could use two words to describe yourself, what would those two words be?

Right now? Hungry and clammy… That question is too hard to seriously answer!

How do you balance the creativity/soul of your art and the commercial aspects of making a living?

I find you can put creativity into almost any artwork. I’ve done very commercial pieces before that I really enjoyed working on. I just don’t feature it on my site because it would create inconsistencies. It’s important to strike a balance between the two. How exactly do you do it? Follow your gut.

Where do you usually get inspiration? 

Mostly just daydreaming, doing the most menial of tasks. Sometimes when i’m traveling or listening to music.

What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?

It feels great to say that I can’t pin down a single best compliment. I’ve had so many, which drives me to create more. The worst critique was when I was studying. It’s quite a funny one. The tutor said that he would “never employ me”…Strange but brilliant, I thought.

What was the most pivotal moment in your art career?
I haven’t gotten there yet. I feel like it’s been like stepping stones. I’ve had a lot of attention since my work was published in Amelia’s Magazine: That Which We Do Not Understand. It was sold in The Tate gallery and worldwide, so a few people have seen it.

Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?

People say that ‘manners define the man’. It’s important to be a gentleman. Clothing wise, one should show sensibility and modesty, with flares of personality. 

What is your personal life philosophy?

Be good to people. Show humility. Live, love and learn.

Who dead or alive, celebrity or not, artist or not, would you like to go on a two week road trip with and why?

Too many to choose from. Da Vinci, Gandhi, Jesus. How about the first man that ever lived? I’d tell him about all the things that are to come.

How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?

My best work is featured on my site –  Updates are done through my Twitter. And I just started an Instagram too.  Thanks for looking.

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