1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
I’m from Coventry, England. I studied Graphic Design & Illustration at De Montfort University and eventually moved to Leicester, where I am currently based as an author/illustrator. My first book is due to be released later this year.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My work comprises of bold colours combined with simplified shapes, busy compositions and lots of texture.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Digital. I work solely on Photoshop because it’s quick to manipulate scale, colour and composition. I absolutely HATE mess and avoid paints, ink etc.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I begin with research, a lot of research. I find that learning more about projects generates more creative ideas. I then put pen to paper and do lots of rough sketches and thumbnails until I have a few strong concepts to present to the client. After the drawings are refined they are scanned into photoshop. I then trace and build up the work with shapes, colour and texture until I am happy with the outcome. I like playing around with visual balance, composition and brushes.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I look to nature for inspiration, sometimes I even stick on a documentary or two whilst I’m thinking of ideas. I am influenced by awesome illustrators like David Doran, Owen Davey, Charley Harper, Keith Negley, Hedof and a ton more. I try to work as freely as possible, not worrying too much about a set ‘style’ and playing around with balance, composition and colour.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Being a twin, I have always been identified as ‘the arty one’. I think that art has always made me observe odd things. I find myself taking mental notes of things around me when I’m out and about, like interesting characters, lovely colours, strange compositions etc. In short, art has made me notice and look at things from a different perspective and I am lucky enough to share that with other people through my illustration.
7. Where did you study?
I studied at De Montfort University in Leicester. I liked it that much that I decided to stay!
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully continuing to evolve as an illustrator. In 5 years time, my first books would have been released so I am very excited to see where they lead! I just want to keep growing and establishing myself both as an illustrator and personally.
9. What about in ten?
Hopefully somewhere in the Caribbean sipping a Pina Colada, but more likely balding and arched over my desk working away! To be honest, I think I’d prefer the latter, (but with hair).
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I hope to make information more accessible and enjoyable through my books, and represent my perspective for other people to see.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I have many favourite foods, but I’d have to go with Vietnamese soup. I have a major sweet tooth and would happily devour a cake unless somebody restrains me.
12. Favourite book?
National Geographic Prehistoric Mammals. It is the book that kick started my obsession with natural history, palaeontology and general history. That hobby led to my first book deal and the beginning of my freelance career. I just love flicking through the pages and looking at the amazing prehistoric animals, it really fires up your imagination and makes you consider the human journey and how incredible nature is!
13. Favourite genre of music?
I am very open minded with music, you can sometimes find me listening to folk and sometimes 90’s hip hop. I’ll always have a soft spot for some good old 70’s.
14. What are your hobbies?
As I previously mentioned, anything to do with history. I love natural history and anthropology the most. When I’m not working I’m usually waffling on about prehistoric animals, human evolution or random facts from the past. I also play the drums, walk lots, go to museums, read, see live comedy and spend way too long gaming.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I have no idea. I’d like to say something exciting like a kick-ass drummer or awesome palaeontologist. It’s hard imagine not working in the creative realm, so I’ll go with drummer!