Meet the Artist: Bobbi Bicker
Bobbi Bicker is a multi-dimensional Artist and Content Creator, who’s work ranges from Fine Art, to Mixed Media, to Body Painting. She is often found broadcasting live on her Periscope channel, where she teaches different art techniques. Although born in Albania, Bobbi has traveled extensively and now resides in Surrey.
How did you first become interested in art, and how has this lead you to where you are now?
It all began with a visit at my neighbour’s house when I was very young, perhaps around 5 years old. I saw him drawing and was fascinated! I knew I wanted to be an Artist and be able to create. I got some pencils and started drawing and practicing every day. At the age of 11 I began taking Art classes with a tutor, and went on to study Art and Textile Design in Tirana, Albania.
In 1998 I left Albania and traveled the world for the next 13 years accompanying my husband, a British diplomat, on his overseas postings. I have lived in Anguilla, Caribbean, St Helena Island and Malawi Africa. During my time overseas I held many exhibitions and had many commission works for international clients. I also worked at the British High Commission, ran my own Art school in Malawi, and helped at a local orphanage. Charity work has been a big part of my life as I love to help, motivate, and inspire others through Art.
When I moved to UK in 2011, my son, Owen, started school. I then thought it was time for me to challenge myself, so I enrolled in an Interior Design course in Kingston, and a Business and Marketing course in Richmond. In the end my life took a different path. By chance I discovered Body Painting, and fell in love with this new art form.
I see human body as a canvas with a beating heart. The art is there to be enjoyed for few hours and washed off. I also do makeup for editorials and many fashion shows around the world. I do not see boundaries when it comes to art, and I love pushing myself by trying different things. I love variety, and not being restricted just to one medium or style. I think most Artists are the same; we love to experiment and explore.
For the past 3 years I have been doing Live streaming through Periscope, an app owned by Twitter. I am one of the top UK VIP- Super Broadcasters. I broadcast daily, do art classes, body painting attend events. I have come to grow an incredible community of art lovers and supporters.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere- through my travels, through the people I meet, and through stories I hear. I check what’s trending in art, fashion, interiors, and photography. I could be sitting in my garden one minute enjoying a cup of coffee, watch the lilies in bloom and feel inspired to paint 5 minutes later.
What tools could you not work without?
This is a bit hard for me as at times, I feel like a hoarder! I collect everything quirky and interesting I see and use them on many different project, but quality products are always key to producing good work. I love detail brushes- I buy tons of them! I also can’t do without my Phone and tripod to do my live broadcasts, so they are just as vital of a tool for me as my art materials.
How do you go about designing a new piece of work?
It all depends on the work I am doing. If is a commission, the first step is sit with my client if possible, or communicate via Skype or email as a lot of my clients are international. We talk about the brief, I ask many questions on their likes, favourite colours, the décor, and where the piece will be hung, so I know what to create if I have free reign on the artwork. Sometimes clients want something specific so I just go along and create what they ask.
Many times on my Periscope channel I ask my followers for ideas on what the next work should be. I love making it as interactive as possible, and have my community feel involved. My latest collection was of women from around the world, and was entirely created live on Periscope. I took on the viewers’ suggestions on the next piece, and I even had them name all of the artwork. This process is so fun, and it motivates and inspires people when they feel part of the process.
If I am doing a demo I usually paint whatever I feel on the day. I love spontaneity!
What art trends have you spotted this year?
I’ve definitely seen a big rise in the popularity of Mixed Media techniques. You do not have to be a professional artist to create beautiful artworks – simply pour the paints and watch magic happen in front of your eyes! For me, Pebeo is the leading brand for Mixed Media product, and their range encompasses so many exciting mediums from Vitrail, Fantasy Prisme, Fantasy Moon, and Ceramic paints. The possibilities are endless- all you need is the desire to create and let your imagination and creativity run wild!
Tell us about a piece of work that you are particularly proud of:
I am particularly proud of the painting below, titled “Bolorma”, of a Mongolian woman. This painting is from my latest art collection of women from around the world, and it is one of my favourites from the collection. I added Swarovski crystals, gems and glitter to the artwork!
What are 3 tips that you would share with a budding artist?
- Do not get scared to make mistakes! That’s is how you learn and grow as an artist.
- Practice daily; even if is just a doodle.
- If you get artists block or lose inspiration it’s OK to take a break. Spend this time going to art exhibitions, looking at other artists work, or taking a trip to somewhere you haven’t been before. This will help you to regain feelings of inspiration and see things in a new way.
What’s next for you in 2018?
2018 has been fantastic so far. I’ve been on a TV series on Channel 5 , I’ve provided a demonstration at Cloud Festival in Albania, with several TV appearances here. I became the official UK brand Ambassador for Pebeo, and I was honoured to be part of the judging panel at the Mixed Media Art Prize 2018.
The live demos and art classes on my Periscope channel and different consumer and Art shows next will be Patchings and Hobbycraft demos, as well as my art classes, and planning my exhibition for my latest Art collection and the merchandise for my new website!