It’s been five years since Phill Jupitus made Fife his permanent home, but the fear of the incomer is real. This year, the born-again artist is showing his work at the Pittenweem Arts Festival, an event that inspires artists across the country and, in many ways, democratises arts, taking it from the hallowed halls of the gallery to temporary spaces across the village.

It’s an approach that Phill is in tune with, preferring the approach of the open studio where the artist is on hand to discuss the work. He has taken part in the East Neuk open studio and after a slow first day was deluged on the second when he mentioned it on his Instagram.

As far as art is concerned, Phill is born again in a couple of ways. Even before his career as a performer began, Phill was a cartoonist, sketching at shows. Also, he has the zeal and the energy of the born again, embracing not only his work but studying art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee. His work is in mixed media contemporary collage and drawing.

“When I first came here I hadn’t even heard of the place but took to it immediately. I do feel it… coming up here and taking a spot because this event means so much to so many people.”

Phill is one of around 30 artists resident in the village all with different practices but creating a real community.

“There’s something so special for artists about places like this and there’s also a great tradition of fishing people or farmers and artists rolling alongside one another. I think, to an extent, that’s what is continuing here.”

The lack of distraction is also a bonus to an artist, Phill saying the only distraction is the beauty of the place, adding: “And that’s inspiring rather than distracting.”

He adds that the longer he lives here, the more he understands Scottish art, “Whether that’s John Byrne or Joan Eardley – Byrne bringing that combination of wit and an urbanity”.

“When it comes to Eardley, whether it’s the work from the Glasgow tenements or Catterline, it has that diversity. As well as having the access to new work. This year for the first time I went to every Scottish major art school’s end of year degree show. I could do that in a week here.”

The National:

Of course Scotland wasn’t an alien place before Phill made it home. Experiences might have been mainly based around Edinburgh in August, but it was a hugely formative part of his performing career.

“Scotland is vital for anyone in the arts – whether that’s comedy or film or television or music. I have such a fond memory of when Matt Groening launched Futurama at the end of the television festival and I was asked to do the onstage interview.

“The thing about Edinburgh too, is you can travel on a train for four and a half hours, on the island you’re born on, and you arrive in Edinburgh, which feels like a truly European city.”

Living in Fife is not only a base between the capital and Dundee for Duncan of Jordanstone. Phill has found that it has a cultural life all of its own.

“They are brewers and artists and bakers and jam makers and they grow flowers…”

Only days after moving in, James Yorkston knocked on his door and asked if he would take part in his Ta Sup Wi A Fifer gigs. “I can go into a brewery and see Kenny (King Creosote) in the corner making weird experimental music.”

It’s a creative community that has grown itself. It hasn’t been strategised from behind a council desk. The pockets of creativity across Fife manage to make their own connections.

“It’s interesting, though, speaking with artists like David Mach. So many are frustrated comedians because of the immediacy. When you’re an artist and you make a collection, you spend a year putting the work together then the time getting the show and ultimately the public will see it. Whereas in comedy, you have an idea in your head, say it, hear the reception to it – then build on it or dump it. It’s that speed they’re jealous of – not the attention.”

Phill has been creating every day, taking on the 100 days Instagram challenge #100daysprojectscotland, but his mind is obviously on the festival.

“There are so many brilliant artists there: landscape work, Scottish nature and wildlife painting. There are glass workers, sculptors, ceramicists you know, whereas I’m the quirky English bloke who cuts magazines up and sticks them back together again. I’m the guy who will make you a cup of tea and sit you down and talk about how much he loves Peter Blake. I can’t wait.”

Pittenweem Arts Festival takes place from August 5 to 12.