Freedom through Art – Henry Boon | CYD#10

Henry Boon has always felt that art is in his blood. Growing up in an artistic family – his mother is a painter and his father is a graphic designer – he started drawing “as soon as I could pick up a pencil”, tracing and copying cartoon and computer game characters into sketchbooks. Having specialised in illustration at university, Henry has now developed his own distinctive gritty surrealist style and made a name for himself drawing original characters in comic interactions and a bright palette of block shapes arranged in witty humanoid collages.

Citing graffiti as his biggest stylistic influence, Henry’s current artistic direction began with a teenage fascination with street culture. The internet explosion that saw tumblr, flickr, personal blogs and social media open up new ways of connecting and accessing sub-cultures and movements shaped his perspective on art, and delving into street art graffiti from Amsterdam to the USA opened up a world of possibilities for his own work.

While instagram is the favoured medium of millennial illustrators and artists, however, Henry feels lucky to have had a rural childhood away from the immediacy of a social media culture. Today, while his online presence is considerable, he doesn’t worry overtly about maintaining it – he’s confident that the best art is rarely motivated by a concern for recognition. Whether this “success” comes 20 minutes or 20 years down the line, Henry is far more invested in the art itself.

Painting and sketching daily for hours at a time, the need to create is matched with the motivation to keep getting better. At a time when everything is measured in re-tweets and insta-likes, there is something comforting about the idea of nurturing talent for its own sake. Here at Nosakhari we’re no strangers to that feeling – like Henry, we’ve taken the time to excel at what we do, and whether you’re reading this 20 minutes or 20 years from now, we’ll always be just as invested in our art.