Creatives Untapped: Beavertown selects 10 of the most promising talents working behind the bar
£1,000 in prize money and an exhibition of their work await the winners of the brewery’s exciting competition.
- It's Nice That
- 12 June 2023
On 21 April, to coincide with World Creativity Day, Beavertown Brewery launched Creatives Untapped, a campaign that aims to uncover the best creative talent within the UK’s hospitality industry. As part of the campaign, Beavertown ran a competition which asked creatives across the country to submit existing work to be judged by It’s Nice That and the brewery’s creative director, Nick Dwyer. From these submissions, 10 winners were carefully chosen and their names and work can now be revealed.
The winning creatives are Ash Subhash, Beth Givens, Carys Price, Chloe Harris, Garrow Wilson, Glenn Hustler, Holly Westall, Juliet Klottrup, Martha Cole and Tom Mop. Having submitted existing pieces of work from within their respective portfolios, the group offers a wide array of styles and approaches, from intricately detailed comic book-style illustrations to bold textile artworks.
Among the winners is Oxford-based illustrator and designer Ash Subhash, who currently works at the city’s James Street Tavern. Fittingly, he submitted a pub mural. Having originally studied Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, Ash found his way into the creative world during lockdown, when he was making album covers, T-shirts, and even some custom embroidery for friends. Balancing this with a job in hospitality, he says the mural came about after he joked with the landlord about making a Where’s Wally?-inspired artwork for a blank wall in the pub garden. Surprisingly, the landlord agreed, and Ash ended up spending the next month painting a huge, colourful scene that features “friends and loved ones, neighbours of the pub, fellow staff members, and of course some of our regulars,” Ash tells us.
Another selected work was that of Lewisham-based artist Holly Westall, who pours pints at The Rose Pub and Kitchen in New Cross Gate. Characterised by a “wobbly and fun” illustrative style, Holly’s pieces are a captivating mixture of everyday subject matter and retro aesthetics. “I love looking at old packaging and seeing how designers have mixed colours, texts and photos in advertising,” she explains, “especially in the 70s and 80s – there was some really great packaging back then!” Holly also finds artistic inspiration in the pub itself, and says that hospitality work is “always good for people watching”. She goes on: “I love practising by drawing quick little sketches on any scrap of paper I can find.”
One of the winners even boasts a style not too dissimilar to the type found on Beavertown’s own beers (all lovingly drawn by Nick himself). Glasgow-based artist Garrow Wilson specialises in bright, bold, maximalist illustrations that he describes as “happy demon psychedelic croft-core.” His workplace, however, serves tea rather than alcoholic beverages. You’ll find Garrow at Tchai-Ovna House of Tea in the city, where he is a tea expert and gig organiser. “At the tea house I help put on a monthly poetry and storytelling evening, which I do the posters and designs for,” he says. “Tea brewing and the general buzz that surrounds Otago Lane, where Tchai-Ovna is based, have been major inspirations for a lot of the designs.”
Other selected work includes a surreal tufted rug design by Beth Givens; a series of playful drawings taken from a short story by Carys Price; an evocative yet abstract painting by Chloe Harris; a delightful mix of comic strips and murals by Glenn Hustler; a textured and colourful collection of paintings inspired by natural landscapes by Juliet Klottrup; punchy pieces from a degree show and a series of doodles by Martha Cole; and a “hodgepodge” of artworks by Tom Mop, rendered in his trademark bold and busy style.
Together, these bodies of work are testament to the hidden creative talent that lies waiting to be discovered in pubs, cafes and restaurants around the country. Much like Nick’s own backstory, many of these creatives rely on their hospitality jobs not just to pay the bills, but also to provide them with inspiration for their artistic endeavours. From quotidian scenes observed from behind the bar to enlightening conversations had between co-workers, the hustle and bustle of the workplace can be an unexpected catalyst for creative pursuits both big and small.
Copyright © Carys Price, 2023