People often ask me how I became a chainsaw sculptor. There are a number of influences that have contributed to my chosen path and it’s taken me a long time to find my niche, but one person has always been in the back of my mind.
One of my fondest childhood memories is curling up on the sofa with my Dad on a Sunday evening to watch Sir David Attenborough’s latest documentary on the BBC. The captivating images and brilliant story telling engaged my imagination and sparked my interest in the natural world.
When I was in my mid 20’s I was working as a technician and lecturer at the Norwich University College of the Arts, teaching 3D graphics and Animation. It was the height of the recession and things where changing all around me. As with most businesses at the time, the college was streamlining its staff in a effort to reduce costs. Eventually I too was made redundant…
Around this time I came across Sir David’s autobiography “Life on Air” A fantastic book full of exciting adventures that sound more like a script for the next Indiana Jones movie than the memoirs of our nation’s most loved wildlife film maker! One chapter in particular caught my attention. He describes how at the age of 26 he found himself in a stable reasonably well paid publishing job, however he quickly became board of this position and craved adventure. This was back in the 1950’s and he applied for a job in Radio at the BBC. He was turned down. A few months later he was contacted by the BBC asking if he would be interested in their new venture, television…
Sir David Attenborough became a very influential figure in the early development of BBC 2 rising up through the ranks to eventual become head of the channel. A very prestigious position and one most people would have aspired to. However his quest for knowledge and adventure began niggling him again and he resigned to peruse his passion and an uncertain future in wildlife film making.
A gamble that certainly paid off as he has become one of the most well know wildlife film makers across the globe in a career that has spanned nearly 70 years!
So don’t be afraid to follow your heart and pursue your passion. My passion is the great outdoors and getting in touch with nature. I love to try and capture the essence of the beauty I find there in the sculptures I create. Tree surgery certainly wasn’t an obvious career path choice for a 3D graphics artists but it has allowed me to continue following my dream, earning a living for my artwork but instead of being stuck in a stuffy office all day I’m outside in the sunshine where I belong.
Thank you Sir David, for being my inspiration.