'Sheffield is a patchwork quilt of interesting squares'
Geo Law is a freelance illustrator and artist from Sheffield, famous for his doodle murals and quirky designs. Geo tells all about his favourite things about the city he grew up in.
With art spaces and communal artisan food spaces, I like how Sheffield is opening itself up to more cultural past times with craft beer, food and museums as well as some of the architecture that’s being transformed into usable spaces again.Sheffield’s history and current tense is rich with music, art and industry, I see it as an interesting patchwork quilt of many colourful squares and Sheffield folk always find ways to add new spins to these faces.
I love the people of Sheffield, many of whom I know who came to Sheffield to study or moved here, there is a special energy and calm that attracts people to stay in the city. It’s kind of unspoken and humble but I like how Sheffield folk can get behind things in the city, whether it’s art, social and environmental causes, charity or football teams. The people are welcoming, friendly and there is an air of quiet pride with Sheffield folk, it’s always there just under the surface.
Sheffield has its historical roots in the steel and cutlery industries so there has always been an air of graft to linked to its people and I feel that’s always rubbed off on me and my friends.
The Art community
There’s a special art community in Sheffield that thrives off collaboration and sharing, certainly when I was making my way through the early stages of my career, I felt welcomed to be part of it and again there’s a nice humble energy to how everyone works. Sadly because of the lockdown I’ve noticed shows and exhibitions have been at a standstill, but I know artists, creators and makers will come back to do exciting things once everything opens up safely.
Because of Sheffield based artists such as Kid Acne, Pete McKee and Tom Newell, I was hugely encouraged to follow my own creative career and it goes to show the amount of talent that’s quietly working away in the city and hopefully a newer generation of artists are on their way to add their spin onto things.
The Green Spaces
At some point, Sheffield was dubbed one of the greenest cities in Europe and I’m a big fan of green spaces and I’ve spent many a time in Weston Park, Endcliffe Park, Meersbrook Park for walks and picnics. Sheffield prides itself on green spaces and hopefully during the lockdown more people have been able to appreciate and explore these spaces when walking in your local area was the only thing to do. Even just having a walking route from the city to the Peak District is a high point on my list.
Herd of Sheffield
I was involved with the Herd of Sheffield in 2016 with the first sculpture I’d ever painted, Effie the elephant which I was really proud of. The Herd of Sheffield brought together artists, community groups, businesses and more and was a great project to be a part of. I’ve always had an interest in applying my work to my home city, to pull more people in to engage with art and visual culture.
It was also fantastic to be able to support The Children’s Hospital Charity with the project, which helps make Sheffield Children’s Hospital the amazing place it is.Sheffield Children’s is just one of three dedicated children’s hospitals in the UK and is a centre of excellence in so many different ways, we’re so fortunate to have it here.
I’m really excited to be involved with the upcoming Bears of Sheffield project too, a 6ft Bear sculpture is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever painted! I hope it will spark the same level of enthusiasm that the Herd of Sheffield did when we are able to hold the event safely.