Jan Szafrański

Jan Szafrański BA (Hons) ATD PGCE (Art & Design) is an artist and photographer who earned his way in life as a web designer, IT consultant, and teacher. He is a baritone, but often sings tenor, and is also known by his '70s and '80s nom-de-guerre: The Sadistic Scribbler. He is also a member of Mensa.

Born with a (figurative) pencil in his hand, he drew and painted from a very tender age before embarking on his art career as a comic book artist (first underground in the '70s to mainstream in the late '80s). Also at that time, while at university, he continued writing and drawing and became friends, and collaborated, with future Booker Prize winner Ben Okri. He also became part of an artist cooperative working on a publication to showcase more serious art and comic book writings. On leaving uni, he began teaching art and photography to teens, and worked on developing his artistic photographic technique. However, to be better able to feed his family, he left teaching and moved into IT and Comms, web-design, etc. (and comic writing and illustrating, where he helped set up another artist and writer cooperative) before returning to teaching in 2002, during which in his spare time he turned to fashion photography and explored the burgeoning new digitalPaint art medium.

In 2006 he briefly lost his sight but regained it, only to start on a slow physical decline… with pain, fatigue, vision and cognitive problems, and tremors and spasms. Now sorta-retired because of the symptoms, he returned to his art, managing the odd work which you can see in the exhibition, when in remission.

He works in pencil and pastels, and paints impasto with tempera. However, for the last few years he has focused on painting with digitalMedia, including digitalOils and digitalWatercolour. The works are subsequently reproduced as giclée originals. Preferring to work in abstract and form through colour, he also paints in the realism style, and has embarked on various portraits and figure paintings.

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