An Interview with Lloyd Hobbard-Mitchell
Lloyd paints and makes sculptures, he also heads two online platforms dealing in fine art; he is, by definition, a modern day ‘creativepreneur’.
Found in his house/studio, an hours drive from central Bangkok in Thailand, one would be forgiven for thinking that Lloyd’s life is idyllic. With his fragrant Frangipani trees, Bougainvillea lending brilliant splashes of colour, banana and mango fruit trees, all growing in his garden, and the sun intensely beating down from its tropical heights as we drink ice-coffee to have this chat.
Surrounded by his four-dogs of various shapes and colours, and with his young son Sebastian mucking about providing much laugh-inducing antics we get settled under the shade of a large mango tree in the front garden.
Lloyd works making his own creations whilst promoting and selling works by other artists . He is the creator of the curated online gallery and fine art agency – ‘Stopped & Stared.com’ and more recently he developed the artists-driven/free-market online platform – ‘ArtMarketDirect.com’. He is also promoting the Bangkok Art Biennale together with the complementary ‘Odd-Year Biennale’ art event in the coastal town of Ban Phattha Ya in the Province of Chonburi.
Q: First question off the bat, how did you end up doing what you do?
A: I probably owe my present to quite a few people in my past. Credit should go firstly to my late mother who provided me with a varied diet of visual input by visiting almost every museum, gallery, stately home and creative exhibition in the UK from a very early age. As children, my sister and I were encouraged to create with plasticine, FIMO, pencils, paints and in fact anything else we wanted to turn our hands too. Outside my immediate family I must credit two people, one of whom will remain nameless, a ceramic painter and lost love (AKP) and more recently still; my late friend, the British Fine Artist Brett Neal, who unnecessarily passed away in 2017. If not for them, I most certainly would not be here now.
Q: Tell us about inspiration, your style and the message your conveying.
A: There is no higher meaning to my work other than the process of creating and simple aesthetic. Do I think something is fun to make? Is it fun, good or interesting to look at when it’s finished? Those are the two questions I ask myself. It does need to be fun or as a minimum fun for me to do. Of course, if anyone wants to explore the deeper meaning, if that makes them happy, good for them. The work tends to be a Pop-style, but like all creative disciplines it is evolving. I am not sure where it will end.
Q: Do you work in the UK or SE Asia all year round?
A: I do work in the UK. When I am there I tend to stay at my late fathers house with my step mother, in the art-town of Whitstable on the North Kent Coast, not too far from London and not too far from the emerging creative hub emanating from Margate. I prefer to work in Thailand, in SE Asia; not least, because of the weather.
Who would blame him, sitting in his old ’99 Cornwall Eclipse’ t-shirt, knee-length denim cut-offs and flip-flops on his feet, whilst the folks in Britain are living in barely-above freezing temperatures, waiting for Spring to be sprung, summer to come and go, before the descent into winter once again.
Q: You didn’t just land here, what have you been doing for the last 40-odd years?
A: I get quite passionate about things and it can become a little all-consuming. I have had an interesting professional life exploring various avenues whether that was social welfare, domestic politics in the UK and simple trade; I think now I am settled and have found my most comfortable rut to date. I don’t answer to any committees any more and if anything I say offends, it won’t lose anyone any money or their job except for me and mine. The reality is, I have very little to say about anyone or anything anymore. Most recently the only thing to disturb my serenity has been the Brexit debacle which I would rather not get into – it gives me a headache.
Q: What’s the best thing about working in the world of art?
A: What’s nice is that I can plan to create, start to focus and get distracted, follow that thought down the rabbit hole, synthesise the two ideas and have something even better than I originally dreamt of. I also tend to only meet nice people, either artists or collectors, both groups are thought provoking civilised peoples. When I’m in the UK, I get invited to lots of decent parties, which I do attend when I can, and enjoy to the best of my ability.
Q: Are you creating full time?
A: I tend to dedicate 75% of my time to my own creative process and 25% to the online platforms. A couple of creative studio assistant now help me, which is a blessing.
Q: If there is anything you want to say, but you haven’t said already, what would it be?
A: I am lucky and I know I am. Someone I once met is often quoted as saying that ‘when things go right, it’s normally due to other people whereas, when things have not gone to plan, it’s normally been down to me’, like so many others before, I’ll use his words. One way or the other though, I do believe it all seems to work out in the end; it always does.