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You're able to get a lot of personality across in your illustrations with very simplified shapes and lines. Have you always had a minimalist approach to illustration or is this something you developed as you experimented with art?
When growing up I've always experimented with different styles. From the more complex to the more subtle and bold use of colours. I eventually came to the decision that crazy detailed illustrations just wasn't 'me' and as much as it is great to experiment and try new things, I found I would always revert back to my simplistic shapes and line style as I get the most enjoyment from it. I'm now more known to create to that style and it's sort of become my artist identity!
Can you give us some insight into how you go about creating an illustration? Perhaps using the example of one of your previous Monster Project contributions?
Last years monster I tried to pick up as many of the small details as possible, such as the little people and their props. I love twisting ideas so I wanted to make what seemed like a menacing scene, into something more friendly! I like to start off creating a very rough sketch to base it on and then experiment with geometric shapes to create my scene.
You seem to have a great eye for color. How do you go about deciding on a palette for a project?
Colour is always so tricky for me. I try and pick a couple of colours from the original drawing to use as my primary and secondaries but sometimes it doesn't always go to plan and I end up switching around the colours all the time! I wish I could say I had the perfect method to select colours but I would just be lying haha!
What advice do you have for any budding animators out there about creating a compelling character?
Think outside the box, don't constrain yourself to any rules. It's always best to just experiment with what you think would look awesome instead of the easiest route... if that makes sense?
Would you rather be in a room with forty one-foot-tall monsters or one forty-foot-tall monster? Explain.
Are they friendly monsters??? How big is this room??? I feel that one 40-foot-tall monster would be cosier to be around... Kind of like Totoro! We could be companions and smash our way out of the room and run riot. However, imagine that awesome monster parties we could have with 40 friendly monster companions. I'd go for the one big giant monster though...
Do you remember the first time you thought you might want to pursue a career in art?
I used to always watch the behind the scenes documentaries for animated films, the process would always have me in awe! I specifically remember falling in love with how complex and intricate it was to create the Wallace and Gromit shorts! These are the things that truly sculpted who I am and made me realise that my fascination for animation/design was more than just an interest but a passion I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life.
When did you go freelance and how has that experience been for you?
I've been freelancing since 2010 but I only went full time freelance 4 years ago as I realised my full time position as a graphic/web designer just wasn't what I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. So I left that field and attempted to carve out a career as an animator and illustrator... Luckily it's going well! The experience has been far more rewarding than full time employment as I find I can really dictate how a project pans out and the appreciation I receive from clients/studios are very heart warming! It's harder to receive the same appreciation and satisfaction when working in a sea of other creatives.
What artist would you like to see make a Monster Project monster who hasn't done one yet?
I'd love to see James Jean or Andrew Kolb create one! Two of my favourite artists and two very different styles!
Why do you participate in The Monster Project?
I love knowing that I am helping to encourage and influence the younger generation to pick up a pen or pencil and be creative! Schools don't push pupils down the creative route enough, I believe it's something that every child should explore in their lives.
What question would you like us to ask the next Monster Project artist we interview?
What do they look for when they're picking their monsters?