Have you ever walked across a street and a mural caught your eye? Or a unique piece of art on a plate, window, or any object? Or say you're at a street-side cafe sipping on your coffee when a sketch on a wall takes your attention? That's the kind of artwork award-winning artist Clym Evernden portrays, capturing attention at first glimpse.

Drawing has been a form of expression for Clym since an early age. It enabled him to describe his interests early on; he drew a lot of animals, birds and as he grew older, his interest shifted towards fashion.

Today, he stands among London's most influential people, collaborating with several luxury brands, conveying their ideas through colourful, eye-catchy albeit simple illustrations. Some of his famous collaborations include artwork for Rolls-Royce, Michael Kors, Hermes and Louis Vuitton, and his visibility, particularly on social media platforms has taken him places, the latest being the Gulf region.

Clym arrived in Qatar for the first time to collaborate with Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, The Pearl where he sketched illustrations inspired by his time at the luxurious property. He attributes this new association to his visibility on Instagram.

We caught up with Clym for a chat in Qatar and asked if it's essential for artists in the contemporary world to have a solid presence on social media. We also discussed his creative process, eliminating the creative blocks, and of course, the role of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in art today. Excerpts from the interview:

Do your artworks have a particular theme or creative style?

It's a combination of the real and the imaginative, done in a way that's lively. I think that's what my style is.

Talking about styles, do you have any artwork or artists that you look up to, or have been influenced by all these years?

It's such a wide combination for me. I really like the idea of not sticking to one category, even though the work I do is very illustrative. I'm very interested in things like photography and fashion design, and a lot of my inspiration comes from just observing people on the street and from daily life. So in terms of artists, no one in particular. I can say that even my friends inspire me.

So from all these past eras of art, which has been your favourite?

I really like modern day. In terms of just graphic style, I really like the Art Deco period in the early 1900s; I find it really interesting in terms of architecture, art style, also Art Nouveau sometimes.

Say you've a blank canvas in front of you and then you have a set expectation. What's going on in your head when you start your work?

For me it always starts with a really great idea. I think that's the main thing. So often I might have something in my head that I've thought of, you know, coming in the gym or something like that, but I haven't visualised it yet. So a lot of my work has to do with a clever idea or a twist, especially for my video work. I might just be looking at a glass and thinking about the shape of the shadow or the coaster and then think about the sun; or I will see something and get an idea which is just in my head. So when I put pen to paper, what I am doing is trying to basically get the idea out before I forget it.

You may have hit a creative block at some point. How do you overcome it?

Creative block tends to happen if I force my creativity too much. So obviously, I work in my studio basically by myself quite a lot of the time. The main thing is just to put everything down and like get out, go to the gym, or for a walk, or see friends and then it frees things up a little bit; especially exercise, as you know it gets you thinking again and opens your mind rather than just working again on the same idea that doesn't materialise.

What is your take on AI-generated art?

I find it really interesting — the progression of AI. It's not something that I'm going to involve in my work because it doesn't suit how I work. But I've seen images that I find interesting, in particular, the visualisation of architectural environments. I've seen people who do these kind of renderings where it looks very real, but then they're like fantasy. For instance, a pool in the middle of a huge LA style living room with a palm tree, which looks like a real photo. It is those kind of things that are funny and interesting. They are very imaginative and take you somewhere else.

Your collaboration with Four Season in Qatar came through Instagram. So would say that artists in contemporary world must have a presence on social media?

It completely depends on who the artist is. I don't it is a prerequisite. For me, there was a kind of honeymoon period with Instagram where it was really booming, maybe before the algorithm came and it was in a way easier to grow. It's so oversaturated now that it's actually very difficult to find your place on something like Instagram, but you know it can still work fantastically for people in terms of visibility. Some people work in a very private way, which I completely admire. They don't really want to spread their work around and they're working for themselves.

Will you be visiting Dubai in the near future?

I haven't got any plans at the moment but I'm always open to it. I'd be really excited to visit because I know it has changed a lot since I was last there twelve years ago, which is a long time. I'm sure even in a year it changes a lot — tall buildings, the hotels — everything is incredible. And the malls — I remember them being really amazing; they're all charming. It's not that far from London; even though the climate's a bit different, the flight isn't too bad.

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