Portrait Of The Artist: Charlie Sheppard

As his new playful exhibition ‘Half-Full’ opens at our Albemarle Street store in Mayfair, we spoke to the artist about his self-described ‘childlike’ creativity, his love of nature and why he wants to bring warmth into the world.

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The name of his most recent exhibition – ‘Half-Full’ which is open now at Paul Smith Albemarle Street ­– is the first give away that artist Charlie Sheppard, aka @charliesheppard.studio prefers to approach his work from an optimistic standpoint. The second? Well, the work itself, of course. Colourful and quirky, his unique mosaics couldn’t fail to brighten your day. “Half-Full invites the audience to choose to see the world in its full spectrum of colour, as a playground, whilst exploring a gentle tension between dream and real,” Charlie explains. “The simplicity of an unconfined, joy-filled outlook, brushes with subtle nods to the complexities of our realities."


To celebrate the opening – which includes a series of original pieces ­– we spoke to him about how he got started in the world of mosaic art, his lifelong love of nature and why positivity is his purpose.

Why did you become an artist?

Growing up, my brother and I were obsessed with Lego. He would sit next to me and build the model depicted on the box, meticulously following each stage in the instruction manual until complete. Job done. I, on the other hand, would pull out handfuls of miscellaneous bricks and construct what was in my head from scratch, then continue to play with my creation once built, for hours on end. Nobody told us how to play, it was just in us.

My brother later went on to study politics. I went to art school. Honestly, from that age, I don’t know if there was ever much choice in the matter, it was always the creative route for me. I think people are at their happiest when making things with their hands. I was when I was creating with Lego blocks at seven years old, and it’s that same pure feeling holding my cracked ceramic pieces today.

What do you hope people take away from your art? What are you trying to say?

Thematically the work explores ideas of optimism and joy. A willing naivety and childlike excitement. I want people to tap into those feelings. Colour is very important to me, too. From the bright and unconventional colour choices, to naive, simplistic depictions, it aims to speak to an inner-childlike playfulness.

How does being an artist affect your outlook on life?

Years back my father said something very simple that has stayed with me: There are two types of people, ‘radiators’ and ‘drains’. A ‘radiator’ can give off warmth, positivity, energy. Or you can be someone who saps those things: a ‘drain’. Through my work, I can try and channel that warmth. The artworks are a vessel to contribute and bring joy to the spaces they inhabit.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do and why?

I’m fascinated by the role of play within creativity, and the importance of play in everyday life. I would almost certainly pursue something in that realm, exploring how play can help facilitate a ‘safe space’ for experimentation as well as collaboration and even performance. Something to help people get playing again.


Charlie Sheppard’s ‘Half-Full’ is now open at Paul Smith Albemarle Street until 7 May 2023.

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Published: 30.03.23

Words: Molly Isabella Smith

Photos: Rosanna Webster