troy howe artist

There are many talented artists in the UK, but few can say that they have come up with their very own artform.

In that sense, Troy Howe aka MetaTroy is an exception. MetaTroy is an independent artist, musician and filmmaker who has not only successfully forged a living from selling his artwork at exhibitions, he has also created a style that is completely unique to him.

The style is called Chaos Theory and it is the process of producing images from random and jumbled lines.

The term chaos theory refers to an apparent lack of order in a system that nevertheless obeys particular laws or rules. It is also known as the ‘butterfly effect’ which is the theory in which systems – no matter how complex they may be – rely upon an underlying order, and that very simple or small systems and events can cause very complex behaviors or events.

The theory has applications in physics, engineering, economics,biology, philosophy and now art. For MetaTroy, the complex shapes and patterns which he forms rely on the underlying order of his seemingly chaotic and random lines.

Out of this Chaos has come intricate shapes of ancient Egyptian sphinxes, lifelike depictions of animals, symbols, stars and deities, to name but a few.

The result has been the culmination of a stunning collection of art, that few have been able to rival. In addition to the art,he has also created a music form called Chaos Theory Music. Chaos Theory Music is a genre very similar to the artform, in which different sounds are interlinked with each other to form a melody designed to take the listener into a meditative state.

A series of sounds are placed together using online software which is designed to take the listener into a deeper state. Examples of his work are available over Youtube, under the search term: Marto Colouring in Ballpoint, which gives the listener an insight into the kind of styles he uses.

His profile is a pretty impressive one. His artwork and films have appeared in venues such as the West Yorkshire Playhouse, BBC Radio Leeds, the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Portobello Road in London, Leeds Metropolitan University,  and Theatre Royal, Stratford East. He has even had artwork displayed in Canada after receiving widespread recognition for his talents.

 One of his biggest contracts was from the pen company Bic who paid over £3000 for the exclusive use of one of his drawings alone.

As a result of his work, MetaTroy has carved a life for himself as a freelance artist and musician.

But establishing himself as an artist was far from easy. With little support or funding from the government, MetaTroy found himself alone in a bedsit with few luxuries or modern conveniences such as a TV, or furniture when he first moved to Leeds in 2006.

Back then he was a playwright, who was struggling to make a living for himself. Armed with nothing but a pen and paper he then began to vent his frustrations on a blank page. Random, chaotic lines, scrawled over the canvas soon became a form of therapy and relaxation. Later, it was to be the basis for a whole new way of living, thinking and feeling.

So what’s his story? Akashic Times caught up with MetaTroy to find out more about the inspiration behind his work.

The concept behind the artform, he says, is a metaphysical one. Meditation and contemplation are the key ingredients of his work.

“The way it works is I go and sit down in a room and go into a meditative state. When I get into that state, I’ll do something. So I may write music, or draw artwork. That is how I meditate sometimes, when I am drawing. I do this for a few hours until I forget what I am doing. It’s the same thing with the music.”

Essentially, he says, it is about freedom. By interacting with the inner self and forces of nature, a person can unleash the creativity within them. But the only way this can be achieved, according to MetaTroy, is to get rid of any limitations, boundaries or restrictions that you place upon yourself.

“It is critical for me to get into a meditative state before I do my artwork. The point of my work is to show that life is not just physical or materialistic. Real art makes use of the mind, body and spirit. When I draw a picture, I put in the physical work. I then use my mind to direct my intention into what I want to create in the picture and then go into a meditative state which brings out the spiritual aspect of my work. In that sense my art is original because you cannot compare it to anything else.”

Before he made a living from selling his artwork in the UK, MetaTroy wrote his own films and plays which typically involved one actor and a voice over. These plays were highly political and gave insight into societal issues, such as political corruption and religion.

Great artists from the 14th and 15th centuries such as Da Vinci, Rubens, Caravaggio have formed part of the inspiration behind his work. However, MetaTroy added, there is very little in modern art which he finds inspirational.

He said: “Contemporary art is just that, a con. I’m referring to the kind where you take meat and put it in a box. The system promotes people who have no talent, but they have connections in the galleries. Nepotism is damaging the quality of art and has led to artists creating pieces for money not to express themselves in an artistic way.They get publicity and airtime and paper time. But real artists cannot get through because of those who run the institutions.

“It is the dumbing down of art so that people do not know what is good anymore. Anyone can make an unmade bed. But I dare you to do what I do and spend as many years as you can trying to find out how it is done.”

While many contemporary artists are promoted and upheld by the establishment, many of the grassroots artists who spent time and effort creating meticulous drawings or abstract paintings, are often ignored according to MetaTroy.

troy art pic 3 resize

Meanwhile artists such as Tilda Swinton – who recently showcased an exhibition in which she slept in a glass box – receive widespread recognition. But despite the initial obstacles and the difficulties in gaining recognition, he now regularly holds workshops and classes in Leeds, in addition to selling his artwork.

His workshops have been so popular that he has designed a complimentary workbook to go with them called Marto. Marto is a book with a series of image templates which users can trace over using the Chaos Theory methodology. When these books are used in conjunction with the music, the results, Troy says, can be profound.

troy pic 2

“The point is that the music will wake something up within people, it is hypnotic. With this stuff, there are no rules. Create music where you’re free to do anything. It encompasses everything and represents complete freedom.

“If I can do all this by myself and show people that I have done it, then there is no reason why other aspiring artists cannot do the same.”

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