When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
As far as I can remember, I’ve always had an interest in drawing, so I think it was a fairly natural path to take. It was my foundation course at Leeds College of Art and Design where I first realised it was possible to make a career from my hobby, though.
Where do you get your inspiration? Music, art, films, your friends?
Most of the art that I like is kind of naïve, and I think that could be said of a lot of music that I enjoy too. I like things that are quite simple and honest most of the time. I like watching pretty camp Hammer horror films and reading about mysticism.
Which materials do you prefer to work with and why?
My work always begins with pencil drawings, which I draw from in ink and then use to compile my images digitally. I’m quite picky when it comes to materials, or maybe it’s more that I blame them when I’m having a bad drawing day.
Where do you live? Do you think your location has influenced your style of illustration?
I live in Bristol. I moved here in 2008 for university and I’ve stayed here since. Bristol has a reputation for being a creative city and has a big graffiti scene, which I’m not really interested in, but I’m very grateful for the amount of studio space which is on offer here, and the general attitude towards illustration.
What did you start with when designing the cover for SHOP Nuremberg? Can you describe how you arrived at the final illustration?
I looked at images of tin toys and chose the ones that seemed the most iconic and recognisable, and then tried to fit them into a toy-town scene. I played around with compositions until I arrived at the final version.
Did it turn out as you expected?
I enjoyed drawing from pictures of old toys. I think the most challenging thing was fitting the various components into the composition, while keeping it readable and uncluttered.
What should SHOP readers not miss when they visit your home town? What are your favourite places to shop in the city?
I’m originally from Bradford, West Yorkshire. In terms of shopping, I would recommend getting the train to Leeds, which is great for independent record shops, vintage and comics. In Bradford, Salts Mill is always worth a visit for the David Hockney gallery.
Which five items will you never travel without?
I’m not very fussy when it comes to travel, so it would probably just be some clothes, drawing things, toothbrush, a good book and a good, old-fashioned map.
And finally, what would be your dream commission?
It would be great to work on some kind of artist’s book, with complete free rein, if the opportunity arises, but I’d settle for illustrating a favourite author’s book.