Oscar Mitchell is an award winning painter and freelance illustrator based in Glasgow. His work combines tight, compact shapes, contrasting textured strokes and vibrant colour. Taking pleasure and inspiration from anything around him, from grocery store spam mail to dodgy Reeboks, an immaculate haircut to ketchup crisps.
Can you name your most inspiring moment and tell us how it’s reflected in your work?
Hard to pinpoint one big inspirational moment that can be connected to all my work. I think there are lots of mid to low-level inspirations that can be found scattered throughout. Finding dodgy trainers in an antique bazaar, Farmfoods flyers, a nice toilet, a cheeseburger; it’s nice to find motivation and inspiration everywhere, makes the mundane a little less mundane. Maybe the big one is still to come.
Is there a change in your work as society has become increasingly aware of the world around us?
I think my work is always changing and developing, as are global issues and society’s awareness of it. I wouldn’t say it’s a direct correlation but I love the increasing exposure and passion towards issues like climate change and women’s rights and I’m always keen to help highlight them by creating artworks.
Do you find that your art is reflective of you as a person? If so why?
Eh, not sure! But I think on some level, most people’s work (whatever they do) is a reflection of some part of them, and if it’s not, it should be!
You have the opportunity to draw just once, what do you draw?
1990 World Cup haircuts.
Explain a bit about the design you have created to help us raise awareness of The Girl Effect
I wanted to acknowledge the industry that has tirelessly and consistently brought to light the injustices, inequalities and struggles that women have had to and still do face in the world, and celebrate (some of the many) women helping to do so. This is by no means to say that injustice, inequality and struggle doesn’t exist for women in the world of art and design, it does. But rather than focus on the specific difficulties and negatives, I wanted to celebrate the inspirational creatives who either stood up for women’s rights, spoke out for racial equality or simply dominated in a field so vastly run by men and hopefully evoke some sense of motivation and solidarity by understanding how unique and genius each individual’s creative expression is/was, yet how valid they all are as a voice for female empowerment.
In order from top left: O’Keefe, Chanel, Kahlo, Kusama, Guerilla Girls, Himid, Rego, Abramovich, Walker, Calvert. Kruger, Hadid.