Monday 31st October 2016 was the launch day of Sparky Ink Studio’s first Art Exhibition at West Studios in Chesterfield. The Studio was delighted that Sequential Artist Kieran Paul May M.A dropped by to chat about the piece he had created especially for the exhibition. Kieran recently completed a Masters Degree in Art and Design at Leeds Beckett University studying in the area of the graphic novel and other narrative sequential art. Kieran explained that he hoped to successfully become an aspiring graphic novelist. His final Exhibition for his Masters; where he gained a Distinction, certainly demonstrates that Kieran has freshness in story telling through this method. Choosing an Ostrich in his final piece created an almost safari ride for the observer as this energetic story is captured beautifully in Sequential Art form. When you stop, catch a breath and then take in the beautifully drawn and researched anatomy of the Ostrich you enjoy a new bewilderment of the elegance and resilience of this creature and appreciate the future adventures that could be told.
Photograph taken from Kieran’s exhibition at Leeds Beckett University ©Kieran Paul May M.A 
Kieran told me that he had enjoyed his time at University although it was stressful and very challenging at times. Kieran already has the challenge of Autism in his life so to achieve so much is not only a massive accomplishment for himself but gives a clear message to everyone that if you really want to achieve something in your life then there is always a way to do it. You just have to take the plunge. It does take a lot of effort to build up the confidence and courage to share that talent and ambition with the rest of the world.
‘Spellbound – Myths & Legends’
I asked Kieran about the exciting piece that he had exclusively created for Spellbound Art Exhibition.
“’Close Your Eyes’ is created as a response to the killer clown craze at this moment in time.” Kieran explained. “After researching different types of famous myths, the one I chose tied in with this recent news. The story goes that a young girl babysat someone’s children, where she noticed a clown statue. The statue ‘creeped’ her out, when contacting the parents, they claimed they didn’t own a clown statue and that there wasn’t one in their house. Panicked they told her to take the children and get away from the house.” The story is one of those unnerving myths that play in the minds of young people conjuring up a horror tale of the lonely babysitter having to defend someone else’s children from a supernatural being. In this case a figure that causes phobias in some people.
Kieran added that “In order to make the clown scary I would look at disturbing facial features and the first one was on the eyes because it’s the first thing you notice about someone or something. The other thing was to make the character design look real and grotesque which makes it look scarier. I got this idea from watching such films like the live action 2003 film ‘the cat in the hat’ film where the characters look too freaky and scary in real life and work better as a cartoon. My artist influence for this piece was the mangaka Junji Ito.” Kieran shared, that although it was a long time ago, he had remembered having a similar fear as a child. “Where my brothers Teddy Ruxpin (a popular 80’s animatronics bear) would look at me in the dark while I was in bed which terrified me”
Concept Art – from ‘Close Your Eyes’  & Kieran with exhibited piece ‘Close Your Eyes’ ©Kieran Paul May M.A 
Kieran certainly captures the torment in the face of the child hiding under the covers. I asked him about the Clowns hands especially the Left hand which is shaped like a balloon animal. Kieran Said. “Yes I wanted to capture the essence of the happy things of a clown for example the balloon animal but I wanted to add in that the clown was all-seeing that’s why there is so much use of the eyes on the Clowns hands.”
I asked Kieran about what his plans were now that his MA was achieved. He explained that he was working on a few projects at his artist’s studio in Sheffield. He shared a recent entry he had made recently into the ‘thought bubble festival’ comic book competition in Leeds. The festival runs until the 6th November 2016. His original and brilliantly composed sequential piece (below) can be found here: