I’ve been illustrating and cartooning professionally since I left Brighton Art College in 1984. This was the tail-end of the pre-digital design era. We’d heard dark mutterings of exotic new computer-graphics studios that London agencies were apparently hiring at extortionate hourly rates, but that stuff was still science fiction to most of us. When the class of ’84 graduated, blinking, into the real world, we were armed, not with laptop computers and iPads, but pencils, brushes and a few tubes of gouache. We could not have mustered up a single mobile phone between us.
The illustration profession, needless to say, has changed beyond recognition in the years since then as the digital revolution inexorably transformed working practices and opened up undreamt-of creative possibilities. I became excited and enthused by these changes from the very start, and was a relatively early adopter of the new digital practices, kitting myself out with what was then a state-of-the-art PowerMac and all the necessary peripherals. This was all laughably underpowered technology by today’s standards, and also way more expensive; financially it pretty much cleaned me out. That was all the incentive I needed to learn how to use it – and quick.
I taught myself ‘on the job’. Many of those early efforts have a transitional feel to them as I adapted to the new technology through a combination of experimentation and professional necessity. Miraculously however, the visual style of my output came through the switch from analogue to digital relatively unscathed, and if my clients noticed any inconsistencies, they never let on. Most of them were getting to grips with similar changes to their own working practices after all, and so were generally thrilled to receive work in a compatible digital format, even if, in that pre-broadband internet age, that was on clunky, expensive and unlamented ‘Syquest’ cartridges. The easy transfer of large files online was still a few years away.
The technological advances in both hardware and software have rolled in thick and fast since those tentative early days and I’ve enthusiastically surfed each breaking wave. Fast-forward to today and the centrepiece of my current studio set-up is my beloved Wacom Cintiq, an incredible creative tool that would have made my student brain melt. Ultimately though, like pens, pencils and watercolour, it’s just a tool, and throughout the last thirty-odd years of technological development, I have tried to stay true to the same artistic principles I had when I left art school: it’s basically still all about the drawing.
The images on this website represent a range of styles and subject-matter from the last few years that should give you a decent overview of my recent commissioned output. I’ll be updating and adding to the collection over time, so please bookmark the homepage or sign up for email notifications. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments; the site has been designed with interactivity in mind. If you have a project that you think I could help with, then please drop me an email.
I also have another site, my blog Drawstring, featuring sketches, life-drawing and other extra-curricular artwork which may be of interest. This is updated less often these days however, and is slowly but surely being usurped by my Instagram feed.
I hope you enjoy looking round the site, and look forward to hearing from you.