About the Artist Stefan Marner
So to Marner, and what precisely do we know at this juncture? Well, we can confirm that he was definitely born in Plymouth, England in 1974, has no recollection of his father as he appears never to have met him (and is understandably very close to his mother), departed secondary school at 15 with no qualifications to speak of and was perpetually relocating in the UK during his formative years on account of his mum’s successful career which she forged during the 1980s.
Works By Stefan Marner
Perfect Ten II
Perfect Ten I
Our Family Is Weird
Big Gay Dinosaur
Bear In Bush
still, school isn’t for everyone let’s face it, and it’s not like Marner didn’t further his education thereafter as he eventually wound up at West Suffolk College which is, as luck would have it, based in the south east England county of Suffolk. Bury St Edmunds as it happened/happens. Marner won a place on the diploma course in Graphic Design at said establishment based on his portfolio work alone, because if you remember, the budding artist didn’t have the typically pre-requisitional GCSE or A Level grades that are stipulated.
None of this kept him back though, as Marner took to the Graphic Design course like the proverbial duck to water, and completed his studies with an A* in the discipline of Photography. There followed acceptance on a BA (Hons) Degree course in Graphic Design as offered on the college curriculum at Marner’s next seat of higher artistic learning; namely Cambridge UAE. Which he absolutely hates and chose to terminate prematurely barely a year into the course of study. When questioned as to why he jumped ship so early and decided not to give the course a chance, Marner retorts with a not altogether unfamiliar tale when he quips; “Because it was all computer work, which felt utterly soulless to me, adding, “I should've chosen fine art instead”. Trust us when we say we’ve heard this before.
Determined not to let this setback deter him in any way from pursuing a creative career, Marner instead set up and spearheaded a number of small businesses on unceremoniously departing Uni, whilst simultaneously plying his creative trade behind the scenes. Marner’s brand of art proved universally popular, and over the intervening years he managed to find buyers for his art work, both privately under his own steam as well as courtesy of a selection of local galleries who supported him and were more than willing to showcase his work thus far. Fate then took a turn of sorts, as Marner met the woman who was to become his future wife, who thankfully happened to love his quirky, innovative and playful art, and who singlehandedly coerced a reticent Marner into having the confidence in his back catalogue of compositional studies to approach art agents and/or publishing houses. One such art publisher Marner did pluck up the courage to knock on the door of was Washington Green; one of, if not THE biggest one of its kind here in the UK. Who obviously liked what they saw and snapped him up on the spot. Or at least, sometime thereafter. All of which set him on the fulfilling and rewarding creative path that he can be found treading these salad days.
Marner’s list of inspirations are, as you might anticipate, are ‘out there’ and generally unhinged (lol) and don’t comprise of any known artists. That’s not because he A) Has never heard of any or B) Hasn’t been influenced by any; it’s simply that there’s just too many to bullet point, apparently. Both dead and alive you’ll be pleased to hear. But the ‘elements/things’ which do inspire him to create on a routine basis are anything from toys, LEGO and animals to music, babies and BBC1’s flagship political debate show, Question Time. Naturally. And that’s largely because, as Marner underlines, his style of work means he can be moved by almost anything. Ever. In the history of things.
So what we wanted to ascertain next was how ideas popped into Marner’s head and how his signature compositions originally took shape. According to the artist divine (and not so divine) creative intervention can strike any time and without prior warning. And he’s forced to jot down and translate these oft-jangled visions then and there with whatever material he has to hand. Like a napkin, piece of paper, his T-shirt or even his own arm; affording him if nothing else, an interesting temporary tattoo. And far more quirky than anything Henna could dream up.
How Marner pieces his brilliant compositions together is another thing. And is slightly more organised than the above. As is the norm, a background is sought firstly, and once Marner’s content with that he’ll begin to rough out the image in terms of a rudimentary outline. Once this is done, he’ll position the canvas on a resolutely flat surface area and spoon the paint onto the canvas and then proceed to push and cajole and generally manipulate the medium into place using Marner’s preferred application tool; the rubber-tipped stick thing! It would be a ‘thing’, wouldn’t it? Marner takes up (and finishes the story) by concurring that; “People often ask me if I use stencils or if there's some trickery to my pictures, but I can assure you, every single line and block of colour is painted one hundred percent freehand.” Shortly before concluding; “I'm astonished that I haven't exploded, or gone mental, or chopped one of my ears off!”