David Bray’s compelling works come from a lifetime love of drawing and an active imagination.Born in Dartford, Kent, in 1970, as a child Bray would draw images of space travel, where he would depict himself and his friends visiting other planets and universes. His interest soon moved to London in the 1970’s, but too young for the punk movement to interest him, he began to explore a dark, egotistical fantasy world, which is still apparent in the work he makes today. Using basic working tools, such as pens, pencils and paper bought from ordinary stationary shops, Bray creates intricate, time-consuming drawings, which explore emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy through his subject matter of the beautiful and erotic, but the unattainable female form. Many of the works are based on past experiences, old relationships or current friendships, which is apparent from the titles he gives works such as Seasons of Missed Opportunities 1 and 2 - two portraits of beautiful girls surrounded by decorative flowers. At first glance these works are images of perfection, but the title suggests something lost, or a feeling of regret, and suddenly they become bitter portraits of disappointment and missed chances. David took some time out to talk to us here at The405. This will be my last interview of 2009, but I couldn't think of a better Interview to end the year with, so check it out! How did your interest in art first form? Was it something you were interested in from an early age or did it come later on in life? I have been interested in art since I can first remember. My dad used to work at the royal academy of arts. He used to let me and my brother wander the galleries before they opened to the public, It was a bit like having a personal museum. Having said that, I never really considered being an artist for a living. I knew I wanted to do something creative, so I trained as a graphic designer - but the further up that road I went, the more image based my work became. I fell into the world of illustration, and from there fell into the world of art. Nothing was planned. What does the word "Art" mean to you? That's a big question, and I am not sure I am the best qualified to answer. I am still finding my feet. Art is in everything I look at... Primarily the vast majority of your art work seems to focus around the female form. What are your reasons for this? I could never draw women, and that really frustrated me. So I pushed myself, and pushed and pushed.....and am still trying to perfect it. I guess what you see is my obsession to overcome my in capabilities. All the artists I admire captured the female form so distinctly, and in my own humble way I am trying to emulate them. Would you say that each of your portrait pieces can tell or have a personal story attached to the character in them? Is this intentional? Before I start a drawing, I write and write. each portrait has an idea, or story - I need to find a reason to draw that particular piece. once the drawing is complete, I destroy the notes and move on to the next drawing or body of work. Your art work has also made the transition in to a series of life size sculptures and photography. Would you say that this transition was a natural progression for your work or was it something you took a chance with? What was the over all experience like in making these creations as apposed to just drawing them on paper? I think the move into sculpture, film is a natural progression. its good to create new problems, and keep the thought process fresh. its good to keep learning. and all the new techniques filter back down to the basis of drawing. From whom or from where do you draw your inspiration whilst creating a new piece? The inspiration is from everywhere. I cant pin it down to one particular source.....thats not very helpful! A majority of your art work is black and white with a dash of colour. In my opinion this makes for a very striking image and makes a point of the highlighted feature. What are you reasons for using minimal colour? Thank you. its exactly that, highlighting points of images. life can be pretty retina burning - so much visual stimulation, visual overload. I guess I pare it down to feel in control in my drawing in a way I cant in life. What is the key to never getting physically or mentally burnt out by what you do? Do you have any other hobbies besides art? I'm not sure there is a key to not getting burnt out. After each show I am a gibbering wreck, and it takes me weeks to get back on track! I have other interests such as music and football, which give me another focus. keep me sane..... In some instances your art work comes across as some what dark and grim with the inclusion of a lot of skulls, sad faces and often women with bloody noses. Would you say that this type of imagery is a reflection on your own life? There is an underlying darkness to life that I try and ignore, run from......but it always catches up with me. Growing up in suburbia in the 70's and 80's there was always a threat of violence, discontent - its how some people cope in that smalltown kind of way. Finally, whats next for David Bray, in terms of any new projects you have or any aspirations you have in life that you would still like to work toward and achieve. Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to? I have just come back from madrid, where I did some live visuals with various production. That was exciting, out of the safety of the studio and creating live in front of an audience. Hopefully we can expand on this further. I am going to do a series of etchings...a new technique for me. I would love to translate some new drawings into classical sculptures.....that would be incredible if I could achieve this there is a possibility of a new show in the new year....still sorting dates.... I should give a big shout out to everyone at stolenspace gallery for the support, and private view for looking after me, to word to mother for pencil pushing, the adapta chaps for opening new doors and various for the freedom! oh and lelane for patience and putting up with me and er my ways! Be sure to check out more from David Bray by visiting his Official Website here.