Steve Whyman has a reputation for producing the kind of art that commands respect. On first sight of this work it is easy to see that his eye for detail and stunning technique suitably reflects the talent of his subject matter.
I was born in Nottingham in 1955 and I think from a very early age my parents realised I was somewhat artistic – I used to shade and blend colours together even in children’s colouring books! I don’t know where it comes from, none of my relatives, past or present have a similar gift. I went through school in the normal way with no extra tuition in art, everybody just thought of me as being “a bit good at it”. On leaving school, I wanted to get a career with some kind of artistic input, but my careers teacher said “no, you’d be better off getting into the electronics industry” – which I must admit, was one of my other interests. So at 17 I started working for BT in telecoms, and that’s where I stayed for the next 23 years, so it probably wasn’t such a bad move after all! Whilst in full time employment with BT, I tried to make use of my artistic talent. At work, because I was in the planning and design department, it gave me certain opportunities to use my skills. At home, because of my other interest of dog training and dog shows, this gave me a constant source of work, drawing people’s pets! – This still continues today, when time allows.
My interest in bikes started in the early sixties when my cousin and I were taken by my uncle to places like Mallory and Cadwell in the back of an old A30 van to watch the racing. When I was in my early teens, a friend and I used to cycle from Nottingham to Mallory Park in Leicester to watch the more “important” meetings like “The Race of the Year”. I remember my excitement when I saw the first of the “Transatlantic Trophy” races! Americans like Gary Nixon and Dave Aldana riding like I’d never seen before, with fullface helmets and coloured leathers! Wow! I suppose my hero then became Barry Sheene, one of the first to bring a touch of glamour and personality to the sport. All forms of motorsport interest me. Other than bikes, I still like to watch rallying, motorcross etc and I try to get to Santa Pod a few times a year to watch the drag racing (if you’ve never been, give yourself a treat).