Faye Moorhouse has a very distinct art style. It's true artistic freedom; a little bit dramatic with a touch of dark humor.
"I'm painting a lot of dog attacks at the moment, I think because my dog is a bit volatile so I always think he's going to attack everyone... He's a Jack Russel, he's not really going to attack anyone but I sometimes think I'm walking a lion."
This is all part of the weird and wonderful world Faye has created from her home in Hastings. As a full-time artist, she spends her days creating glorious artwork that depicts a darker side of life - a juxtaposition to her child-like freedom with a paint brush.
When talking to Faye, there's a contrast again. It's funny to think such dark themes can come from such an unassuming person, an ex-librarian at that! So we asked her to put her art style into her own words - "I find it really hard to describe but I'd say messy, dark, funny."
A scroll through her Instagram feed reveals a collection of eye-catching paintings that depict bodily fluids, vicious dog attacks and turbulent relationships. "I like painting a lot of gruesome things - I used to paint a lot more gruesome things but I've sort of tamed myself." In a world where social media is pressing us to become more and more branded versions of ourselves, we couldn't help pull the thread and ask Faye why.
"I wonder if it's because I've grown up a little bit and the things I used to find funny like painting a massive penis hanging out isn't that funny to me anymore... well it is a bit funny."
"I think I just go through phases of painting different things and at the moment I'm painting slightly less grotesque stuff, although at the moment I've just done a whole series for an exhibition and it's a lot of animal attacks."
Despite the phase, Faye's work still has an air of dark humor. Her ability to switch from painting far-fetched scenarios on canvas to making quirky clay figurines has gained her a cult following online. She currently has an audience of almost 60k on Instagram, people who have fallen for her artwork no matter how outrageous the material. "I did a project about a cannibal who chopped off a man's penis and fried it and ate it. I still am drawn to stories like that, but I think now that I'm painting a lot of dogs it's just become less grotesque."
Her cult following didn't happen overnight. Faye has worked tirelessly to create a name for herself online. After working at a public library, she gradually cut down her hours and took the jump to a sabbatical to see if she could support herself full-time. What started as an Etsy shop, steadily transformed into a glowing social media presence and a stand-alone website. Faye now supports herself through the sales of her own products rather than taking on commercial commissions - giving her a lot of creative freedom.
It's this bold creativity that attracts so many to her work and this level of artistic confidence isn't something that every painter has. "I never really have thought about what I post on Instagram or when I had a blog. I never give it a second thought I just posted it."
With such a unique style, it's easy for Faye's work to stand out but she did mention one downside to sharing her artwork on social media. "When posting paintings online it's hard not to get influenced by what is popular." The joy that comes from Faye's artwork is focusing on painting what she want's to create, not what's popular and not just what's selling.
That's what we at Shores admire most about Faye Moorhouse. She's a brilliant artist. Whilst she finds herself painting what she fears, she's actually quite fearless in the way she works.
A part of our collaboration together, Faye has hand-painted a women's leather biker jacket. The jacket is adorned with frolicking dogs, getting up to all sorts of mischief as you can expect after reading this full bio!
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