How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it before?
I’m a fairly humane caricaturist. I try to be mean but I guess I’m just too nice.
How did you start off in the arts?How/when did you realise that you were an artist?
I’m not sure I realised that I was an artist – I just got fed up driving lorries for a living.
OK, that’s a little disingenuous, some of my earliest memories are of receiving praise for my drawing and as I didn’t get the same response to my athletic or academic efforts.
Please describe a typical day of art making for you.
Firstly, it involves lots of prevarication. If I’m starting a new drawing I’ll search the web for images of the person in question and start to build an idea of what they look like; the character revealed in their face, expressions and body. Then I start to reproduce what I think they look like using Photoshop.
I’ve been working on the computer for some years now and like the process very much. However, the one thing I find more difficult, when working on a screen, is actually keeping my eye fresh. I don’t know why this should be more difficult than when using more traditional media but I do find that I have to get away from the screen more frequently than I can remember doing when working on paper. So it’s not so much prevarication – just another part of the process.
What contemporary artists or developments in illustration do you find interesting right now?
So many. After only a few minutes searching Google images it becomes glaringly obvious that there is an amazing depth of talent out there.
When I first started drawing caricatures I think I could probably count the number of UK competitors I had on one hand. There are more now and many more world wide. I’m not going to name any of the good ones – that would be madness – but I’m perfectly happy to name check a couple of talented friends who are unlikely to be in direct competition with me. So, big up Brendan McCarthy, comic book legend, and Neil Cambell-Ross one of the most interesting illustrators and concept designers working in the film industry at the moment. And just one more; not a friend, just someone whose work I’ve come across recently – Ryan Humphry. I like his drawings very much.
How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?
As long as I’ve got, usually.
What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you’re not creating?
The same thing as other people do – the washing, cooking, shopping etc. When not drawing for others I might well still be drawing for myself; more experimental things on large sheets of paper or, perhaps, post-it notes. I’ve also been known to take a few photographs (search under sixseventeen.)
Any advice for aspiring young illustrators?
Yep. Be wary of unsolicited advice.