What is the key tipping points in my career?, how did I end up becoming an artist?

©2016 Stuart Bush, Hopes and Fears, (2007) oil on canvas 150 x 85 cm
©2016 Stuart Bush, Hopes and Fears, (2007) oil on canvas 150 x 85 cm – £3,800 enquiry

Hopes and Fears (2007) symbolises a key tipping point in my career.  It was the most successful painting from my work of this period, when I painted with a representational figurative style.  It has been exhibited in many places from London to Los Angeles and has won two prizes.  Needhams Open in Cambridgeshire in 2008, and X-Power International Art Competition in Beverley Hills, California in 2009.

It is up for sale here or alternatively contact me directly through email or Facebook.

Background to the painting.

“The piece ‘Hopes and Fears’ by Stuart Bush is profoundly influenced by London’s city streets.  In the foreground, a well-dressed man blends into the city, giving it a dreamlike quality somewhere between fact and fiction.  The work obsessively documents a personal psychological journey relating to themes of guilt and obsession with everyday consumerism.  Space, structure, angst, alienation and juxtaposition are all key elements with this work.”

Back to the story…

I was born in the UK in 1978 and while growing up my family and l moved to several different parts of the UK. Moving around the country had an impact on my education, and l only put effort into the classes l liked and ones that came easy to me, like art and design.   
 
My first ambition as a child was to be a stunt man, as l was a big fan of The Fall Guy, The A-Team and Airwolf!   But my passion and talent for art started at an early stage.   I had an interest in drawing and it seemed to come easily to me, I soon realised that being a car designer or an architect might be a little more realistic.
 
At 16 when l received my final grades l realised l had to reconsider becoming a car designer or an architect as l would need to be good at all subjects to meet university entry requirements.  Nevertheless, l continued my education studying Art and Design ‘A’ levels with the intention of being a designer of some sort.  However, after my ‘A’ levels, the foundation course in Art and Design l studied meant that rather than having a design portfolio to get into a design course at university l ended up with an art portfolio!  The foundation course l studied was not Art and Design it was more like  Art and Graphic Design.
 
Nevertheless, l enjoyed the course even though l ended up in a different place than l intended.  I received advice from my college tutors who suggested that l studied Illustration at university.  I didn’t know what l wanted to do and l didn’t think too much about my future as an Illustrator but l took their advice and gained a place at Wolverhampton 
 

I got off to a bad start at Wolverhampton when l didn’t get into the halls of residence. This meant l had to find a shared house to live nearby.  

Not getting into halls of residence limited my number of people I knew significantly.  My friends were mainly the people on my course, and I lived with 3 of them. In my second year, I also realised it was the wrong course at the wrong university.  Things went from bad to worse and I wasn’t happy and wanted to leave Wolverhampton and change classes.
 
I was determined to make a change and make the most out of the situation.  I approached my University and said I wanted to transfer universities.  I meet with a lady in an office, and she told that the university has additional places on an international transfer to America.   The were places available to go to ISU Illinois State University near Chicago in January.  At the time this was only nine weeks away, and I was given one night to decide. I was lacking self-confidence and very concerned about going, but I was determined to make a change, and this appeared as my best and only option.
 
After a very long conversation with my family, I applied the next day to go to America on an international transfer. I enrolled in painting and photography classes. It was very different from Illustration course at Wolverhampton. It suited me better, and I gained a great deal of much-needed confidence in my self and my abilities.
 
In Chicago l started three studio classes including Painting, Drawing and Photography which wasn’t easy as there was a heavy workload.   I quickly made two main groups of friends and lots of other friends in the inernational halls of residence.  One group who liked partying and another group who liked a good time aswell as making art.  I was torn between the two.  I took me a while to realise who my real friends were and thankfully they were the hard working artists.  This tough decision was a central life changing decision.
 
I enjoyed both the painting and photography classes l was enrolled in and they have both become a major part of my Art.  This life changing trip had a fundamental effect on me and l was helped by being able to travel to many parts of the US.  I returned to Wolverhampton to finish my degree with ‘A’ grades from Illinois State University and with a new passion for painting and photography and a new self-belief!
 
After university l had the confidence to go travelling on my own for six months visiting Hong Kong, China and Australia. During my travels l carefully thought about how l was going to make a living when l returned to the UK.    I realised that l was not in the position to make a living as an artist, so l thought carefully about getting the right type of full-time job that suited my needs.  I ended up choosing a job with a four days on and four days off shift pattern that l have grown to love. This crucial decision was base on my determination to become an artist and it has paid off.
 
After a few years of full-time work l started an MA in Fine Art.  I now rent a painting studio a few miles from where l live and happily paint at every opportunity.   The decision to go to America was certainly life changing.  It was where l found my passion for art.  I now look forward to everyday with my varied and exciting life.

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