How many years have you been a freelance illustrator?
I graduated in BA Hons Illustration at Portsmouth way back in 95 and have been working freelance on and off ever since. I entered the shiny new world of digital media after Uni and worked as a graphic artist/animator for the next ten years for games, web, tv and film but was always honing my illustration skills while the boss’s head was turned. I’d been getting my work seen in a handful of publications and in 2003, during my last job as senior designer at Abbey Road Interactive, I began to take the freelance illustration work seriously. By 2005 I had representation in North America with AGM and the commissions started coming in thick and fast. I really began to feel the pressure of juggling a job with the increasing freelance work and in 2006 I cut the umbilical cord of employment and went fully freelance. I haven’t looked back since and am really glad and grateful to be doing the thing I dig the most.
How reliable are you?
I like to think I’m a stand-up professional guy when it comes to deadlines and have always managed to get the work done on time. There are occasions where I have my regular fit of panic about the work possibly drying up and I say yes to everything which inevitably results in a car wreck of a schedule with lots of deadlines colliding at once. Navigating those stressful moments successfully while maintaining quality work and keeping the client happy is something I take pride in.
In a commercial sense what can your work be applied too?
I try to make my style very versatile so it can work for everything from extremely commercial projects to more esoteric fair. I’ve tackled all sorts of creative briefs across the spectrum of advertising, design, publishing and editorial. I like to experiment with lots of sub-styles, if you like, which keeps it fresh and fun to do and it also gives me a variety of approaches for the client to chose from. I make sure that stylistic experiments fit within my overall visual language and are identifiably mine as maintaining a strong personal style is important. I swerve away from trying to imitate the hottest new style fads as that tends to look a little transparent and can damage your own brand of uniqueness which is usually what a client is looking for.
Who are your top clients?
I’ve been commissioned by many great clients over the years and like to keep good working relationships with as many as possible. Many of my editorial clients are regulars and I’ve been lucky enough to work on some high profile projects such as a global IBM campaign with Ogilvy and last years BBC Proms imagery. Other clients include, in no particular order, Random House, USPS, Wired, Pyramid Breweries, Museum Of London, The Guardian, The Independent, American Way, Time Magazine, Business Week, The Economist, Newsweek, New York Times, Fast Company, Portland Monthly, Morrow Peak Snowboards, Time Out London / Chicago
Apart from illustration what other skills do you have?
In the skills bag you might find some motion graphics talent, which I picked up over the years of working in new media. Since going fully freelance with illustration the animation work has been sidelined a little but I intend to work with both more closely in the future as I get a big kick out of animating my own creations. Recent projects include designing and animating titles for an upcoming UK independent film and creating animated sequences for a film presented on a huge screen at the Royal Opening Gala of St.Pancras International Station in November 2007.
What’s your favourite sandwich filling?
I’m a sucker for a Salt Beef and gherkin sandwich or bagel but have been content with a salt & vinegar crisp and banana sandwich on occasion.