Industry Spotlight is the name of a new series of weekly interviews dedicated to sharing the inspirational stories of key individuals within the entertainment industries.
This past week has been rather memorable in terms of the content I put up on the site and the amount of visitors it attracted. It began last Monday with Marcus Troy’s Industry Spotlight interview and then I wrote this post as a way of thanking Twitter for how it had helped me get to where I am today. Therefore, thank you if you commented, retweeted or simply just visited out of interest.
I am pretty excited about this week’s Industry Spotlight. She comes by way of recommendation but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t aware of who she was before.
In the words of Mr. Seth Godin:
Being creative means immediately going to the place the last person left off.
…and this week’s Spotlight is all about creativity.
I love an artist, I love how an artist can take an a thought, an image, a piece of text and transform it visually into life.
I grew up drawing cartoons of Sonic the Hedgehog, Mario and various other characters. My parents littered our hallway with my illustrations and I excelled through art up until my GCSE art teacher said I wouldn’t be an artist because I couldn’t paint. Way to spoil the kids dream. That was enough for me to say ‘fuck you granny, I can play an instrument and I’m a popular DEEJAY in these ends, so I’m going to Music Academy’.
And look where that got me… Digital Marketing.
However, I am pleased to announce that this young creative spark has flourished within art and design and her work is quite remarkable. She has produced illustrations of some of the world’s best known celebrities and those that know of her, speak very highly about both her work and her personality.
You will see in this interview that Sharan aka Peatree is as creative with her words as she is with her work. She has a down to earth way about her that immediately warms you and it is that fundamental innate trait that has no doubt allowed Peatree to excel as a artist.
This week’s Industry Spotlight is Sharan Dhaliwal known to mosts as Peatree Bojangles…
Who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Peatree Bojangles and I’m an illustrator. Ok, my real name isn’t Peatree Bojangles, but it bloody well should be. I have considered Deed Poll, yes. Real name? Sharan Dhaliwal. Bet you wish you never asked now. Let’s pretend it IS Peatree Bojangles.
How did you get into this industry?
It’s mostly the fault of comic books to be honest. As a child, I was obsessed. I used to read X-Men, a bit of Fantastic Four and the occasional Hulk. (The films are terrible btw). The older I got the less I wanted to read about how Massive Tits fought off an evil big-titted Doppelganger with the help of Abs Fab and Bicep Bob.
I moved onto Batman soon after, and then eventually onto Vertigo comics and other misc graphic novels. I soon realised that I wanted to be a comic book artist. I wanted to be a ‘Dave McKean’ to someones ‘Neil Gaiman’.
I’m still working on the doing an actual comic book though. Still haven’t found my Neil Gaiman. Currently doing portraits of celebrities and other random people, mostly commissioned.
Was this how you had planned things to go or are you capitalising on opportunities and simply rolling with it?
Oh, am I very much ‘rolling with it’, as you say. I haven’t a clue what I’m doing half the time. Things come my way and I snatch them up. No one tells you how to work your way around this industry, so I’m just kind of sitting here bewildered, hoping someone will say: ‘HERE PEATREE! A MILLION POUNDS! DRAW A COMIC! HUZZAH!’.
What do you consider to be your biggest achievement to date?
It would definitely be when I saw one of my posters in the Misfits TV show. It came as a complete surprise. I heard a lot about that show, but never bothered watching it until a few months ago. And there it was. In Season 1, Episode 5 you see the characters ripping down posters from the community centre and LOOKY! MINE!
Robert Sheehan (the beautiful Irish hottie) stands right in front of my poster. I literally jumped out of my seat and ran around screaming for about half an hour. It was a brilliant feeling. I didn’t know about it because that poster was a competition winner from Don’t Panic online, and they didn’t need to ask me to use it. Didn’t care. Was/still am too happy to care.
We’re in a new era where anyone can create opportunities for themselves. Do you agree?
Oh, I would agree. But I would say ‘We’re in a new era where anyone can create opportunities for themselves, as long as they have LOADS OF CASH’. So…yeah.
Would you rather have 100,000 twitter followers to market to or an extra £10,000?
Twitter has been brilliant. I’ve sold a lot of work via Twitter, so yeah I would like a lot more followers. It’s all relative though, I don’t want 100,000 followers if they don’t shower me in compliments or buy me a multitude of expensive gifts. Actual people though. Spambots are literally the WORST invention.
Is who you are in reality the same persona you represent online?
No. I’m much nicer. And much more beautiful. And definitely MORE awesome.
What one thing can you not live without?
Jacob Creeks Merlot.
If you wasn’t in this field, what would you be doing?
With so many talkers and gamers out there claiming to be experts and influencers. Do you consider yourself a smooth talker, a real talker or a don’t talk to me i’m not a talker?
I’m a talker. Not a smooth talker…maybe a bit more like a real talker. I do just tend to say what’s on my mind. Controversy’s my middle name. Peatree Controversy Bojangles.
Name three people who have inspired you in your life.
- Dave McKean – in my opinion, the best digital illustrator around. (http://www.mckean-art.co.uk/)
- Adam Jones – guitarist from Tool who does the music videos. (http://www.toolband.com/)
- Jamie Smart – funny, amazing comics. Following him on Twitter gives me the kick I sometimes need to do some work. (http://www.fumboo.com/)
If you were a superhero, who would you be?
Psylocke from X-Men because she is FIT.
What cool projects are you currently working on?
I have an exhibition coming up in Manchester on 13th April at Kraak Gallery. It will be my first ever show. I’m very excited, and terribly nervous all at the same time. YOU SHOULD ALL COME. PLEASE. THERE WILL BE BOOZE.
Do you have any regrets about anything?
Not starting that damn comic book I keep harping on about. Soon though, I promise.
And finally, if you could give one piece of advice to young creative minds, what would it be?
Probably just to keep going. Don’t stop moving. Find your own way to it. Listen to the music. Taking you to places that you’ve never been before. Yup. You heard right. That’s S Club 7 with ‘Don’t Stop Moving’. Insightful, no?
Honestly though, keep at it no matter what. It’s a brilliant feeling when you create something and people say lovely things to you about it. It’s kinda worth the stress and financial insecurity for that. Kind of.
I hope you enjoyed that! To contact or stalk Peatree, be sure to follow her on Twitter. You can also check out her full portfolio and find out all the ins and outs about what else she has got going on over at her personal space. http://www.peatreebojangles.com