Sonny has spent the last year locked down in his studio, focusing on the canvas works for his upcoming To The Bone exhibition. As this is his first body of canvas paintings, not to mention his first time even using brushes, every step of the way has been an exciting learning curve. From conceptualisation and planning, to sourcing materials and painting, Sonny’s creative journey has been a true adventure.

We chat to Sonny about the thinking behind the project and the process he follows to create the work.

"Having never picked up a paintbrush before, starting the project was both daunting and exciting."

Sonny

“At the start, a lot of time was dedicated to research. I wanted to fully understand the complexities of the subject matter, so that I could best portray this in the work. I also wanted to narrow down exactly what I wanted to achieve with the work and map out how I would do this. It can be a bit frustrating to start with, as so much time is spent planning before even so much as stroke is made. But it’s all worth it in the end.”

"Using brushes opened up a whole new world. The options were endless."

Sonny

“I conceptualised and designed all the artworks digitally first, allowing me the chance to chop and change without the risk of damaging one of my canvases. As I built each canvas box by hand, I knew the time and effort it would take to build a new one. Once I began painting, I quickly felt myself falling into a routine. I’d start my day with some early morning exercise, breakfast, coffee and checking emails… and then would go straight into 10-14 hours of solid painting!”

“The beginning of the journey seemed so long ago. Setting up the studio initially and building the canvasses was an exciting time with only an idea in my head of what I wanted to achieve.”

“It seems counter-intuitive, but painting a canvas, although only a fraction of the size, takes far longer than painting a giant mural on a wall. It takes a different kind of determination. Where painting on the streets is very physically draining and hard on your body, painting in the studio can be far more mentally challenging.”

“I don’t want to limit myself to just one style or genre. At the moment I’m enjoying discovering different mediums that force me to push my creativity in new directions. And I’m interested to see where it takes me…”