After a life changing moment at 36, Paul Lock realised everything he understood about reality was untrue, his perception of himself and the world around him changed forever. At the same time Paul picked up a paint brush for the first time.
Able to see who he was clearly for the first time, he began to be able see, love and paint others. He uses colour in a brand new way, to break down and rebuild his subjects, in what’s now become his signature ‘mapping’ technique. After two successful shows, he’s fast building a fan base within the indie art community.
1. What has been your Best Life Project to date?
Leaving my career in sales, in 2014, to initially help others to find the best version of themselves. I ended up spending time with people from all walks of life from long term serious offenders in prison to CEOs. All the time I was continuing to paint from home and then in 2017 I transitioned to becoming a full time artist, and moved from my kitchen to a studio. I tried working with a gallery but I quickly realised I had strong views on how I wanted my work presented. So I decided to self-promote my first solo exhibition in 2018, the show was so successful that I followed it with another show in 2019, both were in Fitzrovia, London. www.paullock-art.com
2. The unknown … what challenges did you have to overcome?
For my second show, I put myself under too much time pressure to create, plan, promote and setup the exhibition. With not having much experience, I misjudged the amount of time I would need to create all of the new pieces. I ended up painting so much that I even dislocated a bone in my wrist, thankfully it was my palette hand!
3. In hindsight…..what would you do differently?
I would definitely get more help with organising and promoting an event!
4. Next steps?
Over the past couple of years I have been investing in producing high quality fine art prints. In addition to producing more original pieces, I’ll now be offering limited edition prints. I’m also working with Laura Scott PR to try and promote my work to a wider audience.
5. What lifestyle changes has lockdown made you consider?
I’m being more mindful of my health, especially around my diet. I now make a green juice every morning: celery, spinach, ginger, cucumber, mint and apple – it’s delicious! I also learnt more about fasting during lockdown and tried a 5 day water only fast – wow that was an experience!
6. Kissing frogs …. is there an unexpected person who has helped you and, if so, how did they do it?
I’m a big fan of Bill Nighy and I had the opportunity to say hello in Deliciously Ella, he was so gracious and kind to me. I explained I had just turned professional and said how much I would love to paint his portrait. To my surprise he agreed and we went out the back of the restaurant for an impromptu photo shoot.
7. My Inspiration ….who or what inspires you?
Wow, so many things. The teachings of a philosopher called Sydney Banks have been so life changing for me. I love Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gerhard Richter, Jenny Saville and Damien Hirst, too many to mention. When I was still working in sales, I’d sneak off to the National Gallery and sit staring at ‘Gladioli in a vase’ by Renoir. I’m hugely inspired by music too. However, I think my biggest inspiration is nature, the colours and the shapes are just breathtaking.
8. How do you relax or do you struggle to relax?
I definitely don’t struggle to relax, I probably find it a little too easy! I love nothing more than my cat sleeping next to me and having a cuddle, I find that the most relaxing thing ever.
9. Guilty secret pleasure?
10. Words of wisdom
If you think you are, you are.
Rarely is anything as it seems.
Be kinder to yourself.
And … smile just that little bit more.
Paul Lock portrait: Pal Hansen