Jake Grewal

Catching up with Past Prize Winners

We got in touch with some artists who have won our prizes to see how it helped them to progress and develop their practice. Here you can see what they had to say!

Please introduce yourself and tell us about the prize you won from Great Art:

Hi, my name’s Jake Grewal. I’m a 22-year- old painter based in South London who graduated from The University of Brighton in July 2016. I achieved a First Class Bachelor of the Arts (Honours) in Fine Art: Painting and have been included in other awards such as the 2016 Woon Foundation Prize and the National Open Art Competition.

The Prize I won from Great Art was £500 in vouchers. It was part of Creative debuts competition #ArtForTheUnderground. The opportunity of having my artwork on a poster in Kings Cross Underground Station accompanied this.

Do you remember how you felt when you found out you had won?

I was extremely excited. To have your artwork as a poster on the tube is every Londoners dream. The vouchers supplied by Great Art aloud me to feel a massive weight lifted from my shoulders. Fundamentally being an artist in London is financially challenging and these vouchers allowed me the relief of knowing that for the next year, I didn’t have to worry about budgeting in art supplies. It allowed me to prioritize my passion and that’s an incredibly generous gift.

How did you spend your prize vouchers?

I haven’t managed to spend all the vouchers yet. I’ve spent about half. The majority has been spent on lots of luxurious paints, Michael Harding to be specific. I’ve also treated myself to a few new paintbrushes and some brush cleaner. It’s a glamorous life.

How would you say winning the prize benefited your work?

Winning the prize gave me a freedom within my work. I became less conscious about the amount of paint I was using allowing my work to become bolder and more self-assured. Colour plays a big part within my work and it acquired a newly found luminescence due to the quality of paint I could buy. The poster in Kings Cross allowed my work to reach a wider audience. I was surprised by the amount of people who referenced back to the poster when they saw my work in the flesh. Being able to have access to the sheer number of people on the underground was a once in a lifetime

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently expanding my body of work while working on a couple of commissions and a part time job. My goal for the end of this year is to have had/be planning my first solo exhibition in London. If there’s a curator out there who so happens to like my work and is reading this please get in touch.

Do you have any advice for artists when it comes to competitions?

Competitions are a strange one because they’re completely subjective to the judge’s aesthetic taste and conceptual interests. The advice I’d give would be to try your hardest during the application and once you’ve applied try and forget about it. There’s no use wasting time in worrying about how your submission will be received because it’s completely out of your control. This is something I constantly struggle with but I’m working on. I would also say that the amount of competitions you are declined from mostly outweighs the amount you’re accepted into; so don’t lose faith in you work.

You can see more of Jake’s by visiting his website: www.jakegrewal.com

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