Callum Byng - Surrealist Painter


Tesco may not seem the most obvious place to begin an artistic relationship...but you'd be surprised how much of a bond mutual loathing for your day job can build. 

I'm lucky enough to say that Tesco isn't my day job anymore. Unfortunately, Callum can't say the same. Presumably fate is penalising him for having too many ls in his name. Rightly so.

During my 7 years in Tesco I was incredibly guilty of letting it get to me and pull me down that I wasn't doing what I wanted. Callum doesn't seem to suffer from that though. He batters on, smiling, no matter what idiocy Tesco and the public throw his way and that frustration never gets in the way of his art. 

That I think speaks volumes about him. When your real passion lies in spending endless hours in front of canvass developing surreal ideas how could you not become so incredibly frustrated with the retail environment? 

Perhaps some of his experience with customers simply provide more inspiration...

You'd possibly be inclined to think that given the fantastical nature of the images he produces that Callum is sort of unhinged spirit teetering on the edge. He isn't. He's quite, thoughtful and remarkably good natured. 

Though they always tell you to keep an eye on the quiet ones don't they? 

His work approach is incredibly methodical and patient. It's almost maddening to watch. Utilising instruments as small as tooth picks to make the tiniest of alterations to the largest of canvases. It occasionally seems almost futile it's so time consuming. 

I wish I could muster the kind of patience and self-control Callum displays throughout his creative process. Spending months at a time on a single pice of work sounds maddening. I can't comprehend dedicating my attention to a singular idea for so long. 

And yet...the results of that patience speak for themselves. The satisfaction of his work is obvious, because otherwise he surely couldn't continually put so much time into his paintings. 

Perhaps that is really what explains his serene disposition in the face of the drudgery of Tesco: he has the key to true satisfaction. 

You can check out more of Callum's material at @callumbyngart