Digital, Conceptual, colourful
My Dad is also an illustrator and some of my earliest memories are of sitting on the floor of his studio doing ‘quiet drawing’ whilst he worked on commissions. I think growing up with this window into the creative industries helped to demystify it somewhat, so it always seemed to me to be a completely normal and viable career pursue, which I know is not how it can appear to a lot of people!
If I have a text to work from I usually read it through, and then again, highlighting or picking out the key passages. If time allows I will then take some time to let things percolate before beginning the rough stage, I often find the best ideas come when I am away from my desk doing something else, so sometimes I will take a walk or do some chores whilst I mull over ideas. I then usually do some image research online around the topic I am illustrating, Sometimes just for drawing reference, but also to get a feel of the context, to help decide what visual approach would best suit the piece. Finally, I open a document in photoshop or illustrator, and start sketching out ideas using my pen tablet.
A lot of things! Other artists and designers work (both current and old), books and films, signage and graphic design I see out and about all influence my work. I also find listening to talks or interviews with other creatives often helps to rejuvenate me if I am feeling in a bit of a creative slump.
I remember doing an illustration for the FT quite a few years ago about the phenomenon of ‘Kakonomics’ - how societal systems can tend toward producing low quality exchanges of good and services. I suggested to the Art director that in that spirit, my illustration should be a deliberately crappy stick man drawing. They were on board with the idea, and the added bonus was final artwork only took me a couple of minutes!
Probably some of my early jobs where I was still working out my process, and it felt like reinventing the wheel every time a new job came in.
For most of my career I have worked exclusively digitally, mainly in photoshop and illustrator. I enjoy the speed and flexibility it allows, which is very useful when working to tight deadlines. My first love though is oil painting, and on the rare occasions I pick up a brush now I am reminded how much I miss it. It’s something I am hoping to return to more in the coming years
We just moved house and currently my workplace is the kitchen table. The plan is to get a studio space once things are more settled. I enjoy having somewhere to go and being around other creatives helps to keep me motivated.
I was working remotely in New York recently, and on the second day there my water bottle leaked in my bag and fried my MacBook. I had to put all my jobs on hold till I got home ( thankfully I had some very accommodating clients), so I think that answers the question pretty well!
I enjoy cooking a lot, and I have a tendency to get very absorbed with any kind of diy/building project.
There are many, but the first that came to mind was Édouard Manet, particularly for the way he uses black in his paintings.