1: Describe your Brand as an illustrator?
Atmospheric, vibrant and monochrome hand paintings detailing self contained worlds focused on themes of escapism, solitude, nature and animals. I create work across the board for publications, editorial and self published projects.
2: Did you always want to be and illustrator? Is it a full time commitment or a part time commitment?
Actually yes. I have always loved narrative from a young age and was (and still am really) an obsessive reader. I discovered I was an illustrator before really knowing what the name for it was. When I was 11/12 y/o I used to write a lot of stories and illustrate them. I quickly discovered I had a real passion for illustrating the narratives and creating maps and universes in a visual way. Illustration is a full time commitment for me. I have a real thirst for creating work so when not working on commissions I always have a personal project on the go. Currently I am putting together Volume Two of a zine that has been really popular called Botanical. I also have plans for another graphic novel in the near future.
3: What materials or media do you use the most to create your images?
I rediscovered my love for Acrlyic paint annoyingly, after I graduated from my Illustration degree. I used to do what I considered more ‘fine art’ type illustration work before starting my degree and I think under the pressure of University I put down my paint brushes and sort of forgot I had this amazingly enjoyable way of working. I think it was good to experiment though and try other methods. I am so happy I came back to acrylics though because it has really transformed my entire portfolio. Painting makes me incredibly happy.
4: What kind of clients tend to approach you?
All sorts. I sometimes do branding, which is probably a surprise when you look at my work. But often people want something more unique than what one might first consider when they want branding for something. I have done a lot of work for small presses and comic anthologies. I have plans this year to increase my client base to larger publishing houses. I even just finished a huge pet portrait for someone. There really are so many avenues my work takes me.
5: What was the most interesting project you ever worked on?
If I’m honest, the most interesting projects (to me) are the ones I create for myself. I do a lot of self publishing. I create zines and graphic novels and sell them online and at events across the UK. They are also stocked internationally. I love telling people that my work is in a little independent book store called Pinokio in Seoul Korea. I find it exciting, that people from all walks of life can enjoy my work.
I recently created a dot to dot illustration for a Kim Kardashian publication by Sugio books. That was more amusing than interesting though.
6: What advise would you give to young artists, starting their careers as illustrators?
Work really, really hard. Don’t give up. Remind yourself every day/week why you are doing what your doing. Your work is worthwhile and has a place in the world. Get out and actually sell face to face, you’ll learn really quickly what sells and what doesn’t. You will also get a variety of contacts really quickly by doing this. Get your work everywhere you can.
7: What do you love about life, and what do you hate?
I love being a creative. I feel like being an artist and having that as your occupation is actually quite daring in 2016. It’s a risk and you have to make sacrifices, but it’s what I have to do to be happy. I also love all the wonderful, friendly people I meet at events. The illustration world is incredibly friendly.
I hate how obsessed people are with money and materialism. It feels that your job/life is only worthwhile if you’re earning so many grand a year. Why can’t just doing something you love be worthwhile?
I also love my cat.
8: What do you think about the Creative Community in London?
I can only really speak specifically for the illustration and self publishing community. I think it’s wonderful. I have met so many lovely and inspiring people. There are so many great opportunities to sell face to face at really great events across London and Bristol actually. One of my personal favourites is DIY Art Market run by Mark Farhall in Epic Dalston and Peckham. He really cares about the artists and you can tell he’s doing it for them. The event is always fantastic, well advertised and full of interesting people selling and buying. Everyone at these events puts so much love into their work and that’s really inspiring.