Artist Profile: Jay Niblock

Jay Niblock graduated in 2011 with a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queens University Belfast. Since then, he has worked full time as an Engineer while creating art in his free time. Jay spoke to The Jumble Magazine about his art, his inspirations, cityscape work, and the lock down. 

What is the goal of your artwork?

My goal as an artist is to create a representation demonstrating the interaction between people, places, and objects through use of light, texture, and colour – using whatever object I feel best translates the idea.

What are your inspirations as an artist?

Certainly past artists such as John Singer Sargent, Caravaggio, Anders Zorn, Sorolla and all the other greats continue to inspire me every time I look at their work – I think it’s extremely important that as art continues to transition and evolve through the years that the knowledge attainable from their efforts should never be lost.  My favourite artist of all is the great Richard Schmid, whose ability is so diverse and adaptable it’s frightening!  

“In finding inspiration for a particular scene it can often be triggered by those things which can easily be overlooked – the way light falls on a building, the human interaction between person and place, the reflection of tail lights on the road, the quiet contemplation found in an empty space”

The important thing is to sit down and paint or draw which can be inspiration in itself- the idea will often develop itself as long as you have a foundation. Art has always been my passion.  My wife has also been extremely supportive and encouraging which is a huge help.

What makes your art unique? 

My work is often distinguished by the mood, colour, and atmosphere I have recreated with vigour and energy.  Every piece needs to evoke a sense of feeling or emotion, and the artist’s challenge is how to achieve this on a 2D surface using tangible objects.  The work I create is personal to me because of the specific moment in time I have captured and the techniques I have used to do it.  I look back on every painting or drawing almost as a visual diary of experiences and memories in life.   

How has the lock down impacted your ability to create?

These are extremely challenging times for everyone and I have the utmost respect for those that are out in the front line still working and helping people get through this.  Personally, as I have been placed on furlough I have found more time to focus on my artwork and continue to challenge myself.  Obviously the lock down has severely hindered my ability to freely carry out research for cityscape subjects.  One of the big appeals of cityscape work to me is that sense of being lost among a crowd and watching the world go by, which is sadly missing right now.  Having said that, I still have a huge backlog of work and continue to develop my figurative and still life work, so thankfully I’m not short on material.

Art has always been an escape for me, and especially in times like this I think we all need one  – so whether that’s writing, drawing, painting, making music or dancing I would encourage everyone to try something creative while the time is there to do it.  If you find yourself getting frustrated, that’s okay – it happens to all of us!

Jay’s work is currently represented by The Eakin Gallery on the Lisburn road, Belfast, and can also be seen on his website where there are a range of prints for sale. You can check out more of Jay’s art on Instagram and Facebook


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