Interview for Beehive Illustration Agency newsletter, 2014
This interview was written originally for publication on my agents website. It never saw the light of day, alas, as it was requested that I used photos rather than cartoons. My argument (which I lost) was that no one would want to look at my real face, and besides it was all about promoting the drawings, etc, etc.
Describe where you live?
I live in a quasi-typical Bristolian late Victorian terrace house on top of a big hill. I know it’s a big hill because I seem to spend an infernal amount of my life cycling up it to get to my house, but never seem to become fitter because of it. I like to imagine that the building has been retrofitted with the Industrial Zone from the 90’s TV programme “The Crystal Maze” as there’s lots of metalwork and piping bisecting the rooms, laser beams and robotic devices traversing the walls, and a giant fan with a potpourri of silver and gold tokens slowly agitating in the bathroom. I like to shout “Get out, get out, for god’s sake’s get OUUUTTTTT” every so often as I pass a room so I can live the game-show dream vicariously.
There’s a load of paintings and drawings and cartoons dotted around the place; if I were feeling truly extravagant I’d love to put them all in ornately carved and gold-leafed baroque frames. They’re currently under the watchful eye of my ceramic chicken collection, roosting on shelves and acting as a (possibly misaligned) barometer of taste and sophistication.
Currently, as it’s a delightful summer, the garden is in full bloom and the recently dug out pond is attracting all sorts of wildlife. I’ve been entertaining the visiting dragonflies and moths with a great selection of music to encourage them to visit more and hopefully bring their friends.
Leaving my house for an interview.
What sort of music do you listen to?
I get very excited at the prospect of hearing music I’ve never heard before for the first time, so what I listen to is directly influenced by what I’ve currently got. That said, I go through delightful phases of passionately listening to a certain style or artist for a finite period before casually discarding it for something so completely different and unrelated that it makes me feel like an entirely different person. I recently had a wonderful dalliance with Bluegrass music that lasted about 3 months; brilliant!
There’s a very hot fire burning inside my soul for the more furious and dispossessing, planet-crushing end of the music spectrum, however, that’d only paint a certain picture on certain days. I enjoy dipping my toe into so many different areas and am positively bubbling with enthusiasm for modern minimal classical music, clicky-clacky-beep-beep electronica, old Bollywood soundtracks, traditional African drumming, Country Americana, and, well you probably get the idea.
What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
It was “Gravity” and I really enjoyed it.
Launching off into space; not really sure what’s going on.
Who/what makes you laugh?
Mock the Week.
If one illustrator inspires you who would that be?
Sergio Aragones. Or Bill Watterson. Can I have two? Is that allowed?
If you won the lottery tomorrow what do you predict you’d be doing in a year’s time?
Having just been to Santa Pod racetrack to watch vehicles racing down a quarter mile bit of road for a weekend, I’m feeling all inspired to build a rocket car in my back yard and launch it over the Utah salt-flats. I’d probably then progress from there to working on making a private space exploration and engineering outfit with a secondary arm that’s concentrating on discovering the treasures of the ocean’s depths. Concurrently I’d go on a paragliding tour from North to South Africa with a personal chef and a very good and expansive music collection. This is working on the principal that I’d spend the next year actually learning how to paraglide. To top it all off I’d enrol at University and get some qualifications and knowledge in Astrophysics rather than just dreaming about it. I think it’d take most of the lottery winnings to pay for extra tuition I’d need. And finally I might just bight the bullet and buy my own pencil rather than just borrowing one from the nearest person.
With welding torch in hand, I’m building my own hotrod.