When did you start doing graphics?
Even though I’ve done lots of different jobs, graphics has always
featured in someway. When I left school I trained to be an aircraft engineer.
In my spare time I would play in bands and get involved in theatre stuff.
I would always be interested in producing all the publicity material and
designing CD covers. Later on, I managed a ‘Quicky-Print’
shop in London. It was like having my own small studio. I would draw cartoons
and create CD covers using a typewriter and a colour copier. Graphic design
finally surfaced as my vocation, when I came to Bristol. I was working
as an Arts Administrator at Circomedia, the Circus school based in Kingswood,
and I began producing flyers for their productions. I started thinking
why couldn’t this be my job, rather than something that had to fit
around everything else.
Where do your images and concepts
Most of my ideas come from the world around me. Seeing and collecting
those funny and odd things that occur in everyday life. Anything from,
a discarded glove on the pavement, to crazy mums doing the school-run
in their 4x4’s. I’m trying to make sense of what seems at
times a very senseless world. Basically I would rather create something,
than become just a passive consumer, moving through life without putting
anything new into the world.
Who is your inspiration? What
is your inspiration?
Most creative people spend most of their time walking the thin line between
trying to create interesting and inspiring work, and paying their bills.
This need to justify themselves in terms of commercial potential eventually
often destroys anything truly inspiring. Having said that, I’m inspired
by by artists, filmmakers and musicians who are good at what they do.
Their work is moving, compelling and leaves something with you. Personally,
I’m inspired by the idea that I haven’t yet worked out how
to make the best work I can.
So what are you, a Graphic Designer
or something else?
When I did my Graphic Design degree at UWE, I was excited by the fact
that the title, Graphic Design, could accommodate so many mediums and
possibilities. During the course I mainly concentrated on producing moving
image work combined with soundtracks that I had produced. People are always
asking me, “so, what are you”. To me this is such a nothing
question, designed by people who want to suppress creativity and protect
their own interests. Now I am creating work that is mainly centered around
illustrated images, all I know is that it feels exciting, and I feel motivated
to produce good work. In a way, the creative processes are very similar,
whatever medium the finished article is.
Software vs Drawing
I don’t think it’s necessary to able to draw or use software.
For me, a big breakthrough has been having the confidence to find my own
voice and style. I discovered it in music much earlier, but visually it’s
just starting for me. Personally, I don’t think I can draw. I can
use software, but in another 5 years time, when we are on Photoshop 15,
I’m sure my 5 year old nephew will be able to use it much better
than I ever could. In the future I hope I can be more bold, more experimental,
take more risks and convince clients that this work will offer them something
much more than just an image with a Photoshop filter slapped all over
What has been the response so
People’s feedback seems really positive. Obviously, this work isn’t
everyone’s cup of tea. I think that’s a good thing. It means
there isn’t a confusion about where this work potentially belongs.
I recently exhibited at the Boston Tea Party. Sometimes I would go up
there, just to sit and have a cup of coffee. I would over hear people
talking about the work. Not specific stuff, but the fact it sparked some
form of debate in people felt like a really positive reaction.