[INTERVIEW] HOF APRIL 2017 @UCRU
2017-04-20. AM 02:44
[Interview] HOF April 2017 @ucru


We tend to get different impression from different artists when we look at all artworks.

Sometimes, we get impressed by the diverse color range of colorful artworks. We even imagine the artist to be cute when we see an artwork with cute characters.

Also, we also come to think about different characters of the artists with unique and fun concept works like Daily sketch.



Let us express our HOF of this month with one line:
an artist that draws mood, not an artwork.

Now, let’s begin the interview with the artist who draws mood; it’s our HOF of April, @ucru.





Q1. @PEN.UP :
Hello, we are PEN.UP team.
Congratulations on your winning the HOF of April.

We were quite happy at your delightful e-mail in response to our interview request.

Now, we believe you know what we are going to ask.
Please introduce yourself and tell us how you feel about becoming the HOF of this month.


A1. @ucru :
Well my name is Tom Hollis and I live in the UK in Cambridge. I am 39 and work in a hospital in the procurement department.

Late last August I severely broke both bones in one arm. I had to have a 5 hour operation to have 2 metal plates put on the bones.

Since then my mood for drawing has been up and down. So to have this hall of fame is special for me and very encouraging.

It is an honour to be selected for the hall of fame amongst all of the great people here :)
It was a surprise, but a good one as it is always nice to have your artwork recognised.


Q2. @PEN.UP :
As you know, we want to talk about your artwork.

Let us ask you some questions first. First of all, from what we know, you are using Galaxy Note 4.

Do you use Note 4 for all your artworks that are uploaded on PEN.UP?
Also, could you please introduce the apps that you use?



A2. @ucru :
I use my Note 4 for all the artworks I have done here.
I bought the Note 4 as it had a pen for drawing,
I didn't know about Pen.Up though until I got the phone.

Before Pen.Up I hadn't drawn for 20 years, so I need to say thank you Pen.Up!

When I first started drawing I used art rage as I enjoyed the 'real' effects of the paint. Art rage is very good for that, but I found it somewhat limiting so I decided to try Sketchbook Pro, which I use for every piece now.

I find this software very good, with a high level of adjustability for the brushes.
You can also select a custom size for your work.


Q3. @PEN.UP :
We mentioned that you are the artist that draws the mood in the introduction.

There is this typical atmosphere in your artwork that overwhelms everything.

Is there special drawing tip that you may have?


A3. @ucru :
I enjoy making a picture have atmosphere as it then connects the piece to the viewer on a personal level through feelings and emotions.

The secret may be that all pieces are drawn from my mind without a reference picture in front of me, I find it to be the best way to draw for me.
Perhaps that is why they have a dreamlike quality sometimes.

I also don't use layers at all in my pictures they are just 1 layer. I create them just like you would in a traditional picture, I enjoy drawing this way as it is relaxing and also tends to have a smoothing effect of what I am drawing.

I think drawing this way does help to create an atmosphere in itself.


Q4. @PEN.UP :
When looking at the artworks of yours that theme on landscape, many cloud or sky related artworks caught one’s attention.

The interesting thing is that the sky is expressed in many different colors.

Do you have special standard in selecting the color for the sky?


A4. @ucru :
I love the sky, the clouds, the shapes, the colours.
I love nature in general with all its shapes and colours too.
I try to select colours that go together but also contrast at the same time, orange, purple, green, blue, yellow, pink.

The first picture is me experimenting with a splatter effect for the clouds to enhance the brooding atmosphere of some potential future.

There is no hard and fast rule though I just like experimenting :)


Q5. @PEN.UP :
Many of your artworks seem to be landscape,
but sometimes, there are some unknown characters.

There are cute characters, and there are sometimes characters without special formality.
Also, we sometimes see very mystical characters.

Are there any meaning to these characters?


A5. @ucru :
Occasionally I like to put characters that I imagine would fit the environment.
It probably also depends if I am in a creative mood too!

The cat next to the tree I tried to put a human element onto the drawing. Imagine if you were a cat and you saw this cat under the tree, when you get closer you realise it's somebody you owe money to.
What an awkward situation! He looks like a cat you don't want to mess with!

There are some robots too as I like robots. Although I find ai a rather scary concept. There are mystical shaman type people too. Hopefully to guide me in the right direction!


Q6. @PEN.UP :
Let’s talk more about the characters.
How did these characters in below artworks come to life?
They seem to be aliens that came to attack the earth. :)


A6. @ucru :
These guys are strange but they mean no harm at all, I think they are just having fun exploring their environment.

We don't know why or how we are here on this earth, just like these people in the drawing, yet they can interact and connect together and help each other(like the balancing one) without having a conflict or a problem.

I wish humans can live together without any problems just like these guys.


Q7. @PEN.UP :
There are objects like sun, moon and stars that catch one’s attention; and these objects always glow.

That maybe is the reason why your artworks sometimes are mystical.

Is there any reason you use such objects?


A7. @ucru :
I like space and planets and light is a fantastic thing to play with, you can achieve a totally different picture just from changing the lighting source.

When I draw the pictures it's as though I am there experiencing the environment....
I can see the light I can imagine the stillness I can imagine the smell of the air.

Everything I draw is tuned around these senses.
The tree and the multiple stars picture, it is away from the city there are no lights to spoil the perfect view of the solar system, the light coming from all the stars and planets you can see. No wind just quiet awe.


Q8. @PEN.UP :
We said that your light is quite mystical in the former question.

But, sometimes, your artworks can be really dark, and somewhat dreary.

Is there any reason why you draw with such style?


A8. @ucru :
well, it could possibly reflect the darker unsure nature of myself. I do enjoy drawing scary pictures too sometimes. Darkness usually involves an element of fear.

We like to see what is in front of us, when it is obscured that's where the fear and problems can creep in.

I would say the darker elements represent this fear of unknown.

I would also put darker elements in the pictures when I am experimenting with lighting, a dark picture always helps to bring a mood of fear and terror. ;)


Q9. @PEN.UP :
Previously, we said that you are the artist that draws mood, not artwork.
We are not sure if you like this expression.

How would you describe yourself in one sentence?


A9. @ucru :
artist that draws mood not artwork.
Hmmm well Painting a mood or atmosphere is not an easy task so I would take that as a compliment. ...:)

I would describe myself as just somebody that likes to doodle and draw, with added atmosphere for good measure.


Q10. @PEN.UP :
This is our last question.
What makes you feel happy about drawing?


A10. @ucru
when I reach the zone of no thought and these magical drawings unfold before me.


Q11. @PEN.UP
Thank you for taking your time for this interview.
Please share your thoughts about PEN.UP and please give us a word for our PEN.UP users.


A11. @ucru:
I would like to say a big thank you to Pen.Up for getting me drawing again.

This place is amazing there is no judgement it just seems to be full of love.

There are loads of really talented people here all inspiring each other and I am truly happy to be a part of this community.

Pen.Up just gets better and better with each update..keep it coming! And to all Pen.Up users keep drawing your amazing artworks, it's you who make this place so great :)

Thank you for partaking in this interview.




That was our interview for the month of April with PEN.UP artist @ucru.

At the end of every HOF interview,
we ask our PEN.PLE users for a good-bye message.

And our artists leave us with a variety of comments.
For instance, they say things like 'inspiring one another,' 'having a significant effect on,' 'I thank everyone,' etc.

When we look at those messages, we indirectly feel that PEN.UP users help each other out a lot.
Also, we come to think that our HOF today was able to become what it is because of that support.

So don’t forget to send a message to congratulate @ucru our newest HOF who you had a hand in making!!

Thank you.





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