When did you first become interested in illustration?
I loved drawing from a very young age and I think I always knew it would be something I’d continue to do. Whilst studying art & design at foundation level, after leaving school, we got the chance to explore all the different sides of art and I realised that illustration was the right direction for me.
How did you decide to make it your career?
I don’t think I ever made that decision… When I graduated I didn’t think freelancing full time would be an option, I thought I would need to find something else to do and continue illustration on the side. But I’ve been very lucky with getting great commissions and have been able to really concentrate on making a career out of illustration.
Your work has a charming, distinct style. Did it take effort to develop that style, or is this the way you naturally draw?
I spent a long time whilst studying at University developing this style, and it is still changing all the time. I think I had to learn to loosen up and not worry so much about accuracy and proportion. Painting allows me to add colour and expression to my illustrations, whilst keeping them simple and naive.
Can you walk us through your creative process?
When I start a new project, I always try to find some initial inspiration. I look through books and magazines and I have a big folder on my computer full of wonderful images I have collected from different blogs and websites, from photographs of African American quilts to pages from 1940′s children’s books. Then I begin scribbling down any ideas, before I settle on one. When I’m ready to begin on a final artwork, I paint each little element separately and then compose the illustration in Photoshop.
Which project has been most rewarding for you so far?
I recently worked with M&C Saatchi on an annual report for Suez Environnement. The illustrations were far more complicated and time consuming than any I had worked on before, but the outcome looked great.