How would you describe what you do?
I often work for a broad mix of mostly Manchester-based clients who are looking for something more art-driven. Usually it’s about building an idea and image from scratch with some initial thoughts from the client. I like to have good control of a project. If the client wants a more art-driven project and doesn’t like too much input, it can lead to bad, compromised work. But due to having a particular illustration style, I never expect to have to vary my practice wildly between clients.
What does a typical working day look like?
First order of the day is to sit down with coffee and breakfast at my work station. I’ll use that time to check and reply to any emails and catch up on world news. After that I have no real set routine – if there’s a close deadline I tend to focus solely on the task I’m doing from start to finish. Otherwise I’ll divide my time between sketching, putting in work for a 3D build, casting or filming. I have a few things on at the same time and like trying out new ideas and methods, it can lead to an eclectic day’s plan.
I aim to be in the studio five to six days a week, 9am or 10am till 3 or 4pm are my normal working hours Monday to Wednesday (I leave early to go to my evening job) and on Thursday, Friday plus the occasional Saturday, Sunday I can happily be there till 6pm or later.
How does your project-based work usually come about?
I seem to solely operate by word of mouth, usually being recommended by a friend or previous client. It’s not an ideal system as far as getting in tons of work, but it helps in getting the right work. Past clients are usually good at picking up on what a potential one wants. I’m going to start putting my portfolio out a lot more this year, I feel it’s building up enough to get across what I do, and as I get better at managing my workload so does the amount I can take on.
Where does the majority of your work take place?
In my work space at the studio. I have a desk with a light box and bench for any 3D builds. Occasionally I’ll spend the afternoon in a coffee shop with my sketch pad working through ideas. With any computer work, I’ll probably spend a couple of hours on the laptop researching or putting together illustrations, depending on the day’s needs. All of us who have moved in together at Engine House have spent and are spending a lot of time getting it right; it’s a good vibe being there.
What tools do you use most for your work?
A Macbook Pro 13”; Canon 600D camera; Brother MFC Printer for its flatbed scanner; iPhone 5s; Riso RZ 370 EP risograph printer; Adobe Photoshop Premiere Pro; Slack; Palomino Blackwing Pencils; Pilot Drawing Pens for technical inking-in; Pilot V-5 Hi-tecpoint for sketching; A5–A3 sketchpads; Loctite hot glue gun; lightbox (Ikea table, perspex panel, Anglepoise lamp clumsily screwed to the underside) and Montana 94 spray paints.