How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?
I have various styles ranging from quite realistic and colourful to a more graphic black and white style but it is generally quite detailed and decorative. Quite romantic I think…
How did you start off in the arts? How/when did you realise that you were an artist?
It’s just something I’ve always done. I was always painting and drawing as a child. Spent far too much time on my own indoors! Joined the art clubs in school, then straight to Plymouth Art College, then Falmouth College of Art and began working as an Illustrator with AP straight away. I’ve tried other things in recent years but illustrating is the only thing that feels right.
Please describe a typical day of art making for you.
I work from home and start off trying to keep to office hours but often end up working all hours. I find it difficult to switch off if a deadline is looming and a piece of work is sat on my desk staring at me! I work in gouache or acrylic and feel I’ve had a really successful day if I can get to the end of it without turning my computer on.
What contemporary artists or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?
I’m very traditional in my illustration work and taste. I love and have been inspired by Aubrey Beardsley, Kay Nielsen and Dulac.
I’ve recently worked as the only traditional illustrator for a war-gaming company, Spartan Games. It’s been my first real insight into the ‘digital world’ and I’m amazed at the ease, speed and detail the digital guys could work at but the thought of sitting in front of a computer all day makes my blood run cold. I much prefer to get in a mess, knock my water over and get paint all over my sleeves any day.
How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
My dog portraits and black and whites take about 5 days. More detailed work involving figures, can take up to 10 days. I’ve recently started working on bigger canvases, they feel like they take forever but I think it must be about 3/4 weeks.
What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you’re not creating?
I like to get out on my bike, a 650 Kawasaki. Or walk on the beach or moors. I run regularly as well. So, just get out in the fresh air and blow the cobwebs away!
Any advice for aspiring young illustrators?
Just do what you do and keep going.