Herb William’s Crayon Sculptures came about after a long search for his own style. After working in construction and a bronze foundry, Williams moved to Nashville to concentrate on his own work, where he struggled to find a unique voice of his own- a common problem among artists.
The eureka idea for crayon sculptures came to the Alabama-born artist in a dream, and he has stuck with the medium for over ten years. Now, having opened an account with Crayola- they have the highest melting point, and smell the best- he uses the familiar form to create likenesses of everything from sports cars to wild animals.
The sculptures are wonderfully accessible, with children immediately being able to connect to the medium and drawing a sense of nostalgia with adults.
Williams says that installations where you don’t realise they are made of crayons until you are in them are his favourite pieces to create. These go beyond cute and clever to the iconic, Williams believes.
Williams has exhibited all over the states and also taken his creations to Brazil, Australia and the UK such is the universal appeal of his medium. ‘I don’t recall any single moment.’ Says Williams, when asked about his big break in the art world, ‘I think it has been a consistent build of press and shows since beginning to use crayons in my artwork twelve years ago.’
For more of Herb William’s work go to www.herbwilliamsart.com
The artist, now based in Nashville, Tennessee, believes it is now easier thanks to modern communication for artists to promote themselves: ‘I think the power of the social media and the sexiness of a story and an image has put more power in the hands of the art-makers, rather than the typical means to gain a following by finding a gallery and letting a newspaper or magazine spread the artist’s message worldwide.’
Williams lists perseverance, a wealthy patron and a healthy sense of competition – with yourself – as the most important characteristics for aspiring artists:
‘You are only ever competing with yourself. You must be willing to consistently try to create something new that is the best thing that you have ever created, which is also somehow, greater than the last work of art you created. Sure, go to other galleries, art fairs, museums, visit friend’s studios, compare, be relevant, but strive only to make yourself happy and find your own voice. If you start to listen to some other critic or gallerist too much you will corrupt or lose that which makes your own art unique.’
On top of this advice, Williams says the best way to get your name and work out there is to represent it in it’s best quality: ‘Make sure you have incredible photographs, and hi-res, at that. Hire the best photographer you can afford who will put your work in a new, better light you may not have even imagined. You are going to be your own best promoter. Find a friend who is a great writer to add something you may not have thought of about your artwork.’