Internationally acclaimed landscape artist Fraser Scarfe studied at QEGS between 1998 and 2005, and although he suffered rejection at an early age, he never gave up on his dream of becoming a professional artist.
Can you tell us about your career to date and how you came to be an internationally acclaimed artist?
I did an art foundation year to get into university but when I applied, I didn’t get a place. Instead I taught myself and hired a studio in Lincoln so I could practise. I did this for three years while I continued applying to universities, but I didn’t get an offer so I never went. I went on to work for art companies, testing paints and learning to teach art which I really enjoyed. In 2012 I attended the Prince’s Drawing School (now the Royal Drawing School) for a year-long course in drawing, which improved my skills. I now paint and sell to galleries, as well as running postgraduate courses.
Did you always want to be an artist?
Yes, I wanted to be an artist since I was young, but originally I wanted to be a concept artist for films as I was inspired by The Lord of the Rings, because I didn’t think I could make a career in art. I was drawn originally to art by the idea of being able to put my ideas on paper.
What is your fondest memory from your time at QEGS?
The trip to the Yorkshire Dales in Year 8 as it was exciting, and I enjoyed getting to know the people in my year group.
Who was the person who inspired you during your time at QEGS?
Mr Hull, my art teacher, was very supportive with his creativity and helped me when I was rejected from university, assuring me that it was alright that I wasn’t following in the footsteps of my academic peers.
Do you think it’s important to push arts in schools?
Yes, very important, especially because the world is so digital nowadays. It’s important to promote ‘doing things with your hands’ because everyone uses their phones and we don’t do as much art as we used to.
Did growing up in Lincolnshire influence your art?
Yes, the landscape is very beautiful. My paintings are landscapes and I made the conscious decision to become a landscape artist.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Being a guest judge on the landscape episode of the BBC’s Big Painting Challenge, where I judged the contestants and (regrettably) sent one home.
What advice would you give to a current student at QEGS who might want to follow in your footsteps?
If you’re passionate about something, try it and stick with it, even if it is not an obvious career path, such as art. Try different things and take every chance you get!