Glenn Mossop is no one-trick Pony. The lead singer of Bonjah also makes great big, beautiful artworks. His work can be intricate and detailed; bold and broad. He also makes and produces films. One of which he starred in, created art in, edited and produced all in a short 24 hours- no small feat for a one man operation. He spoke to us about his artwork and how art and music have long been a part of his life and his enjoyment.

Have you been drawn to art since a young age?
What is it about creating artworks that you enjoy the most?

Yeah, I’ve always been into creating art since I was young, I was never that academic so I guess this is what I got given. Both my parents and brother are very creative in different ways, I can remember my dad helping me to draw this picture of a cricket player when I was very young and him explaining that you got to get the proportions right before you start colouring in. When I’m creating art the best thing about it for me is that time literally disappears. It stops.

glennmosDid you enjoy your time at the Otago School of Fine Arts?
Is there where you envisaged your career going or was music your first love?

I did enjoy my time yeah, and learnt a lot of things but I guess like a lot of students I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do and at the time music was more interesting to me not art history. So I quit art school and started a band with the rest of the guys from BONJAH. I’ve always loved creating what ever the form.

Do you enjoy the early process of making an artwork? Where do you begin?

To be honest I don’t really have a process, I just start. Creating is the process. I love the spontaneity of art not the research but that is just how I like do it.

glmDo you set aside windows of time to make art and treat it like a job, or do you try not to force it and instead wait until inspiration strikes?

I do get lost in it so it’s good if I’ve got nothing much else happening but I’m learning to manage my time better now…hopefully that will lead to more art. The inspiration is always there for me, I just have to begin. It definitely doesn’t feel like a job.

How long has it taken to compile this body of work for your upcoming exhibition?

I’ve been working on the works for this exhibition for about three months. Once I get started it really flows for me, a lot of hours go in to it and a few sleepless nights but like I said time disappears when I’m creating, so it doesn’t bother me to go into the early hours of the morning.

It can be a hard life sustaining yourself as an artist. How do you juggle music and art (both of which are time consuming ventures)?

A lot less nights out I guess, I also do graphic design and videography which helps income. I like to juggle, it keeps things interesting. There’s not many dull moments. Whatever it is as long as I’m creating, some how it all fits in. I guess prioritising is a good way of looking at it.

What are your favourite mediums to use? Charcoal/pastels/oil paint/water colours?

I’ve always loved using charcoal. I like the mess it makes, it feels really organic and earthly and it makes me feel a lot closer to the work cos’ you get it all over your hands some of it ends up on your face, you really feel a part of the artwork and can end up looking a bit ridiculous but I love it. I do use acrylic at times and have used oils but very rarely. I always go back to charcoal, I guess I’ve got a bit of a love affair with it.

How do you tackle the big canvasses? By the looks of it your work seems to be large in scale. Do you prefer it that way or is it interchangeable?

Procrastination. it can be quite overwhelming doing really large pieces it’s kinda like building yourself up before you do something that makes you really nervous but once you start it’s the best feeling in the world. I just love the impact of large pieces I want the viewer to really adapt a feeling from my work, that is my aim. I am not a conceptual artist. I want to create feeling in the viewer not thought.

How do you choose your subject matter?
What inspires your work?
Who are some of your favourite artists?

I have always been fascinated by the human form and portraiture mainly because of the infinite amount of emotion we all carry in our eyes, lips, expressions and charcoal for me deepens it even more. I love black and white photography and the way you can change a feel of an image by just adjusting the lighting its almost similar to the moods we go through as humans and that is what I try to do with my work. Bring a different kind of emotion to who ever is viewing a piece.

You also do your own filming and production (very impressive ‘Honey’ film clip). Do you like alternating between the different processes of production?
Do you like completing all the different parts on your own and feeling a great sense of accomplishment at the end of it?

Absolutely, It’s all art to me at the end of the day and that is what I love to do. I get a big kick outta progress.

gmosHow do you feel about collaboration, or do you find your artwork to be more of a personal and introspective process which you enjoy doing in your own company?

I would love to get more collaborative, I think it’s important for growth as a creative because there’s no wrong or right answer to art whether you’re making films creating visual art, music or dancing, whatever it is, everyone has got there own ideas and it’s essential for artists to keep learning for us to keep creating.

How important do you think visual accompaniments are to music?

I guess it depends, in some cases people remember a video clip more than they do the song. A great song will always stand up to a not so hot clip but everyones views are different. I personally think of it as giving sound another dimension and the more you can tell from an artist point of view the better there’s always going to be two sides to the coin but that’s the beauty of it.

Do you take a while to decide on the visual components to go with your music?

There is definitely a lot of preparation and brainstorming but for me it’s not about walking someone through the meaning of a song as it is the emotion you want to bring up, sometimes I don’t even know if there is meaning to the songs I write or if they even make sense and I like that. Charlie Chapman once said that we feel too little and think too much and thats what my goal is for any art I create. How does it make you feel?

Glenn Mossop is having an exhibition for one night only at Paterson Gallery in Fitzroy. There will be good wine, good cheese, good tunes- and all these things will surrounded by Glenn’s beautiful art pieces- enjoy.