Can you describe the processes you go through when working on an illustration commission from start to finish?
The process differs from job to job. If the work is for a client then there are several factors that need to be considered before pen touches paper.
1. Who is the client – This can determine what style and subject can be used and gives you some of the boundaries that you will need to be within.
2. Who is the audience – The audience or viewer is the real connoisseur of your piece. This will give you more parameters that will guide you.
3. What has the commissioner of the work seen in your work that has made them approach you – If you have more than one style or a varying degree of work then it is important to know and understand what the commissioner has seen and what they want.
Once all of this has been clarified then I can begin the process.
The process would begin with roughs & sketches that would give the work the identity that is needed.
Contact the client with the roughs; ensure you are going in a direction that they agree with (remember it’s your work, but they’re paying the bills).
Complete the work – Sketches, line, collage, photography, colour, computer.
If I were doing my personal work then it would be a totally different kettle of fish. GO FUCKING CRAZY AND TRY EVERYTHING!
Which illustrations do you enjoy the most, and which are most beneficial to you (if these aren't the same)?
Always the self negotiated for pure enjoyment; but I think that the commissioned work can really bring you on in your practice.
How would you compare your work to that of other modern illustrators and animators in the same league as yourself?
I don’t like to compare myself to anyone else (no artist should), but if you look on the Internet or in books and galleries then you can see parts of yourself in loads of different artists.
Whose work do you admire within illustration and animation; who or what inspires you from outside your own medium of work (if anyone/thing)? -What first inspired you to follow the route you have taken?
Beano, Dandy, Viz and most importantly Ralph Steadman & Wassily Kandinsky.
What is your favourite style of illustration?
Aggressive & no hold barred. A piece of work that has a big impact both visually and in its message.
What advice would you give an aspiring illustrator/animator? -In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
No advice. I would have done nothing differently, I would not be who I am if I had.
What do you think of the current state of illustration in this country?
There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but in the same breath there is a lot of shit as well. I think that in the next couple of years then the good will rise to the top and the shit should get left behind.
How relevant do you think illustration is in art compared with more traditional methods such as sculpture and painting?
It’s extremely important that illustration is so accessible to all walks of life, not just the person that visits the art gallery or museum. Its relevance is that it can reach a much more open audience.
If you could own one piece of art, what would it be?
Kandinsky’s ‘ Composition No 8’
If you could have created one piece of art, which would it be?
Ralph Steadman’s ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas’ illustrations