Alex Davies introduces Helen Madge: an artist to keep an eye out for in the future.
Helen Madge is a name you could be forgiven for not knowing. She does not promote herself at all, and her naturally hugely modest nature means that she has no ego regarding her doodles. Indeed she would not have been known about by myself if I had not traversed high-school beside her. She has never been boastful, balshy, or bitchy. She is the kind of person that fills you with jealousy, that have such an amazing personality that it is almost sickening.
That is not why I went to the editor’s desk though… that is not why I braved the room that so few return from, that sees so many of the vultures eaten by the immortal glutton that is Mr. Donnellan.
It is Helen’s very modesty that has kept quiet something quite extraordinary about her life. Chiefly, that of an unexpected, and incredibly impressive talent. The mastery of drawing a sketch that is both beautiful, and so seemingly effortless, that to call it anything less than art would be the greatest of slights.
Each pencil stroke looks practiced but in no way thought about. Indeed looking at the lines of the drawing give it the feel that anyone could do such a thing. A picture paints a thousand words, that is true, but it would take me more than twice that to explain to you how perfect these drawings are. How envious I am, that I cannot produce something with such grace, such simplicity, yet such beauty. My widely-ranged vocabulary is not adequate, so instead I will simply show you:
Hi Helen, what’s new?
Not much is new!! I can’t lie! Excitement isn’t my thing! When did you discover this brilliant talent, and why have you never tried to put it out there?
To be quite honest, the ability to draw runs through the family! We’re arty farty! And I’ve always seen it as a pass-time,more than anything else!! Just a way to focus the mind for a few hours if anything!
What is your process of drawing? – do you start with an image in your mind, or do you just draw anything that catches your eye?
I don’t really go with a process! It’s not really how my brain works! I like to take inspiration from what I see when I’m walking about! I’m a bit of an observer of life… Which probably makes me sound creepy. I don’t lurk around in dark corners! Promise!
What would you say is the key to your ability, natural talent, or painstaking practice? How often do you draw?
I literally grab some paper and draw! I think it helps not to think about it all too much!! Drawing relaxes me! There’s nothing painstaking about it!!
Would you ever think about taking commissions?
I haven’t thought that far really! As I said, It’s a pass-time… but if you’re good at something, don’t do it for free right?
Are there any artists that inspire you, from painters to bands, what gets your creative juices flowing?
There are so many influences I couldn’t name a few! I love Giacometti’s style! His sculptures are brilliant! But his sketches are a completely different ball game! They’re amazing! Just 5 minute scratches, and they’re beautiful! I don’t like my drawings to look to polished!
Do you see the beauty in everything about a person, or when drawing do you focus more on what they look like than who they are?
I always like to look at what’s going underneath the facade! People can be pretty to look at, but it’s the mind that makes them! I don’t want to draw people with nothing going on behind the eyes!
Having a strong interest in sociology and psychology, do you enjoy understanding what makes people tick more or less than drawing them?
Yes! Definitely!! That’s what makes people interesting isn’t it?! Any good portrait should convey an emotion! And I think it’s great to have an understanding of your subject!
If you had to liken yourself to anyone, who would it be, and why?
Nahhh I don’t want to do that! Haha! I have no idea! Da Vinci? No?
One thing is for certain, Helen has an uncommon talent, and I will be encouraging her to continue to share it. If you would like to see whether or not I am successful, then follow Helen on Instagram.
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