What inspires you?
An eclectic mix of "good stuff". When my eyes are open, anything is up for grabs. It's a very colourful world we live in.
Are you interested in fashion?
My roots are in fashion. I studied fashion design for three years and worked as a designer for seven, so really I came into illustration from a fashion perspective. Fashion, by nature, is always about the future and looking ahead, so it's natural for me, as an illustrator, to think in the same way. I'm always looking for something new, something different. From a drawing standpoint, it's much easier to illustrate something when you understand it, say how certain fabrics behave or how a garment would drape or fit. With fashion illustration you definitely have to be a little bit of a stylist too. Without this experience, I don't think my work would be anything like it is today.
It's an amalgamation of things. I've always loved the beauty and delicacy of Art Nouveau and, at the other end of the spectrum, the boldness of Constructivism, In my work there's definitely an element of each of these, of intricate patterns and very graphic compositions, I like to throw a lot of elements into my work. Colour, texture, nature and ornamentation all play a part. In the end, my work is a melting pot and it's always interesting to see the outcome of all these different influences, of how you can bring opposites together and create something new. The wonderful thing about illustration is that there really are no boundaries.
Which media and techniques do you use?
Predominantly Photoshop along with pencil, paper, photos, magazine tearsheets and fabric. Basically anything I can scan in, sample and scrap. The computer enables me to sample a lot of things visually. It's really like building a collage and then painting over it.
What, for you, makes a successful fashion illustration?
The same thing that makes any illustration successful—it should make you stop, make you want to tear it out of a magazine. It should evoke a mood, capture a period in time, or give you a sense of style, but overall it should just be an arresting image.
What artistic training have you undertaken?
One year in Fine Art at Nene College, Northamptonshire. Three years in Fashion Design at the Kent Institute of Art and Design,
If you could give one piece of advice to a student, what would it be? To not hold back, don't give yourself any boundaries. It's easy to get imprisoned by your own style, but artistically it's important to keep pushing forward and developing, otherwise your work just becomes stagnant.
I'm always restless and always searching for a new solution, I've got a lot more that I want to do, so hopefully I haven't yet reached my greatest achievement.
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