I don’t know about you guys, but when I see Simon Wild’s engaging, fun and busy illustrations, I get an automatic boost of serotonin to the brain. He uses shapes, colour and superimpositions in very striking ways, creating rich, pleasing designs.
I’ve given him a quick interview on his background, tools and techniques and gained valuable information on his tendencies for drawing on bathroom surfaces.
How did you end up in illustration?
I was dropped accidentally from an airship on it’s way to the land of proper jobs.
To be honest I’ve always been interested in illustration and drawing since I can remember, and I spent many years working in animation commercially and independently.
It kind of evolved from that. I decided a couple of years ago that it was about time I got stuck in. So I did an MA in Children’s book illustration at Cambridge School of Art, got signed up with Macmillan Children’s books, and my first book will be published next year. I absolutely love what I do.
What are the tools and materials you use?
Simple tools really, black markers of various weights, inks, coloured paper, a print room, lightbox, sketchbooks (very important), lots of bulldog clips to hang work in progress in the studio, and the usual geeky desktop gadgets.
How would you go about putting one of these illustrations together?
Being a prolific doodler sort of takes care of 50% of the work, so I mostly develop ideas from my sketchbook.
I make a flat drawing first with pen and sometimes inks, then I break the drawing up into layers and scan all the bits, layering them over each other and colouring them with palettes I use regularly.
Recently though collage has been creeping into my work, so I have been experimenting with how to connect that with drawing.
What’s the silliest thing you’ve ever illustrated?
I drew faces all over the bath once with waterproof crayons, oh and a dog on a log, with a frog in the fog.
ⓒ Simon Wild, 2009
What’s in the pipeline?
I am a member of the collective Boys Who Draw and we have some very exciting plans for 2010 including a new online presence, and some shows in the works. I am re-designing my own site also and hope to have that finished before Christmas.
I am currently working on a set of posters that you colour in yourself. I am also working on some ‘moving illustration’ to be featured in ‘Quiet Voices’, a Late at the Tate evening in January at Tate Britain.
In the future I would like to collaborate more with like minded illustrators/ designers on interesting projects/exhibitions/publications.
Thanks Simon! All the best.
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