Artbiz with Wayne Simmons

Mar 30, 2017   //   by admin   //   artbiz, News  //  No Comments

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Artbiz explores that middle ground between “art” and “business”. How genuinely creative people manage (or do not manage) to carve out a living doing what they love. How they juggle dayjobs, families, real life, relationships, paying bills and doing their craft/art.

Wayne Simmons is an incredibly talented author able to work across genres effortlessly. Do yourself a favour and check out Flu (horror), Plastic Jesus (sci-fi) or The Girl in the Basement (crime). His character work is mind-blowing and he’s a master of pacing. I met Wayne Simmons back in 2012 when he was the host on a comic convention panel on horror, later he co-created Scardiff, Wales’ first horror convention in 2013. Thanks to Wayne for taking time out to chat with Artbiz.

Q1 First can you introduce yourself? Who are you? Do you have dependents? Do you have a mortgage? Are you the sole income earner?

I’m Wayne, a Northern Irishman living in Cardiff. I live with my partner, Rebecca, and we have two dependents: a Jack Russell terrier called Dita and a gerbil called Lucas. More hairy than your average kids but it sure as hell beats buying school uniforms every year.

Q2 What do you do creatively? How long have you been doing it?

I’m a writer. I’ve been writing books since my first one was published back in 2008, I think. Which means I’ve been part of this racket now for almost ten years. Scary. Since then, I’ve branched into journalism, becoming a regular contributor to Skin Deep Tattoo Magazine in 2014, and have even started writing about politics. Which, let’s face it, can’t end well.

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Q3 If you have one, what’s your day job? How long have had you that?

I guess writing is half of my day job. The other half involves walking dogs. Rebecca and I have been running our own dog walking business for around 4 or 5 years now and I love doing that just as much as I love writing. A typical day involves getting up around 8am, writing for a couple of hours in the morning and then starting my first dog walk around 11am, clocking off around 3 or 3.30pm and either heading to the local Co-Op to pick up some messages or heading straight home to do the dishes and tidy up before tea time. Evenings are for kicking back, relaxing and playing guitar. I very rarely work weekends.

Q4 What are the benefits of your day job?

I love it. I love dogs and I love being around animals all day. I love keeping them safe and I love the walks we have together. They’re a lot better company than people 

Q5 What are the drawbacks of the day job?

Zero drawbacks.

16990735_10154846254610801_490415796_oQ6 Your art/craft is it a hobby/ a side gig/ your dream job/ your full time job?

I write because I need to write and it just so happens it pays a fair few bills, too.

Q7 How much of what you do creatively is dictated by commercial consideration?

Very little, to be honest. It’s sheer luck that writing pays the bills as well as satisfies my need to create. I only write what I like to write, which is more or less what I like to read.

Q8 Have you turned down commissions? If so, why?

I haven’t been offered commissions, as such. I’ve sought out most of the writing gigs myself/ through my agent as opposed to anyone approaching me to write for them. I may have turned down some short story request for anthos etc. over the years, mainly due to workload at the time. The mag work was a happy coincidence – I was the right person in the right place at the right time. And I work hard, meet deadlines and try real hard not to be an asshole. That goes a long way in this business, I guess.

16976789_10154846255540801_1635624780_nQ9 Do you have a long term plan? A series of short term plans? Plans, never heard of them?!

I want to create as much as I can in as many ways as possible throughout my life. And I want to work with animals. I like sci-fi and I like politics and I like tattoos and art and music and I guess none of that will change any time soon. And that’s about the height of my planning.

Q10 What do you think of your “industry”? Q11 Is there anyone out there that you aspire to be like? Why?

I’m quite cynical about our industry, to be honest. I don’t much like hanging around with other creative folks. I hate all the pretentiousness and posturing I’ve seen at some of the genre conventions I’ve been at – it makes me cringe, to be honest. I much prefer the company of dogs to the company of writers.

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