LIONEL SMIT - Sculptor and painter

“My father is a sculptor, so growing up I was confronted with the idea of creating - this was a big influence for me. I’ve been working professionally since leaving school in 2001. 

My work is mostly based around figurative art and portraiture. I focus on the idea of identity and explore different gene pools and races - which I find quite fascinating. I use a combination of techniques. I use abstract and naturalistic qualities - and have them merge in a way.

I get to the studio in the morning, which starts off with a staff meeting in order to prioritise and do the day’s planning. I guess it sounds strange for a creative to plan his day, but in this case, I have exhibitions planned two years ahead, and therefore have to work to a schedule to make sure I meet deadlines. On a creative level though, what I create is completely up to me. The rest of my day comprises of moving between the various disciplines, such as painting, sculpting and print making.

I think what people don’t realise is, that any creative person that wants to succeed, ends up working harder than usual and also has constant tight deadlines and financial pressure. But once I am in front of a piece of clay or canvas, everything seems to fade away and it helps me escape all those stressors. It all becomes worth it, and you are reminded about why you love what has now become your job.”

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