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How long have you been illustrating and what made you start?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, its something I took great pleasure in as a kid. I loved drawing characters from my favourite cartoons and movies and I would happily sit for hours drawing or making things. Aways experimenting with new mediums and challenging myself. I never remember feeling bored as a child because making art gave me so much pleasure.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Everywhere!! Growing up it was mostly (like previously mentioned) through cartoons and movies. I loved fantasy art, I remember collecting Fighting Fantasy game books which had an incredible black and white illustrations, which played a huge part in opening up my imagination for fantasy imagery. I then discovered Gamesworkshop and Anime, which blew my young mind. I was inspired more than ever. These days my wealth of inspiration is so vast, I can look at the most simple photo of a model on Pinterest and see it through another lens and see its potential in a fantasy style image. I’m always taking photos and dragging images into an inspiration folder on my desktop. I guess dark fantasy imagery is where my inspiration comes from now. Pinterest is always sending me down rabbit holes and filling my brain with 1000s of ideas!
Where is your favourite place to illustrate?
One of my favourite things to do when starting a new project is to get out of the studio and sit at a coffee shop and scribble out ideas, thumbnails etc. Psychologically it helps me feel I’m starting something new and fresh, like a reset from whatever I was working on previously. I then return to my studio with a fresh excitement too flesh out my ideas. I like to do this digitally so I can quickly experiment with colours and flip things around etc. I've recently moved into a new studio so I’m looking forward to getting into a good creative flow there.
What are your illustrating/colouring material essentials?
I work mostly on canvas board, so I typically sketch out my underdrawing with pencils. Once happy with the basic composition, I will then solidify the under drawing with some Faber-Castell ink pens, they are water proof which is handy when I do my next step of acrylic paint washes. Once I have the basics down I typically will use a mixture of acrylic paint and ink to finish the image. I will often use pro markers and sometimes pencil crayons in certain areas too. Basically I like to mix it all up and be spontaneous with my medium choices!
What’s the piece of work that you’re most proud of or enjoyed doing the most?
The last couple of years I have focused more on creating paintings that push my limits. Some have been incredibly draining and had numerous reworks. I always find it a little hard to answer a question like this as once the painting is finished, the energy for it leaves and I almost feel a weird numbness to them! Of my recent works I think ’Solstice’ is one I look at now and feel a nice energy from, some sections like the birds were such fun to paint. I think my “proud moment” will come when I hold my first proper exhibition and I can see these paintings framed and on a wall. I always been my big vision and something I am keenly working towards!
One tip I would give is to start with the lightest colours and work your way the darker ones. I find that a great way to see where darker shades could have maximum effect.