Anna Goodson Illustration Agency

Featured Artist – Andy Potts


Artwork by Andy Potts

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to ‘make pictures’ in some way when I grew up, as I’d been drawing and painting for as long as I could remember. I only realized there was a possible vocation for me called illustration much later on during my Foundation in Art course at Stourbridge College in 1991. It was here I began to focus on illustration, which I enjoyed the most after trying my hand at a variety of creative disciplines.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Absolutely everywhere really, I like to throw a lot of things into the blender to see what happens. I tend to draw visual stimulus from film, music, photography, unusual ephemera or found items. Of course I have my favourite artists and illustrators but I try to avoid looking to them for direction or stylistic cues, I prefer to fumble around experimenting until I get excited about where a piece is heading.

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I can’t remember the very early years, but I was probably scribbling in the womb somehow. I used to absolutely love recreating my favourite film posters and creating my own comic strips, usually unfinished, as my patience would run out very quickly. I was obsessed with sci-fi and fantasy as a kid so everything tended to be insanely over the top. Some might say it still is.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I’ve worked at home and in a studio and ultimately I prefer to be in a studio with a creative group around me for support and inspiration. I find it helps to keep me sane separating the home and work environment, I could stay indoors for days when I worked at home which got too freakish. Music is a constant whether I’m at home or the studio, although there’s more Spotify infighting at the studio.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
I’ve found it pretty frustrating over the last year or two trying to find time to create personal work. It’s really great that I’ve been busy, but it’s good to shake up your style now and again to keep it fresh for yourself and clients. I’ve made a point of sketching and doodling a lot while working on commercial jobs recently and will make as much time as possible this year for personal work.

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
I don’t find that there’s a huge gap in thinking between my personal and commercial work. I enjoy the freedom of working for myself and truly experimenting, but I also enjoy working to a tight brief and/or deadline and making a client happy. For me the two differing disciplines inform and spark off each other and I’ll apply what I’ve learned from both to my overall approach to the work.

When you are creating commissioned work, how do you take yourself out of the project and focus on the idea that needs to be conveyed?
With a commissioned work I’ll read the brief and/or article and I hope to get a mental picture of where I want the illustration to go while I read. I’ll generally have a vague grasp of the theme, composition and colours, which I scribble down in a very basic way then I’ll do some visual research and flesh out the concept while I create it, welcoming any happy accidents along the way. I tend to work up the first idea I get fired up about as it’s generally the strongest, if I think too long then I start to dither and waste time.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
I am the world’s worst handyman and have nothing hanging in my home at the moment but I do have lots resting against walls if that counts. Mostly illustration work by people I admire. At the studio I have personal framed work and works in progress hanging around the desk to mark my patch.

What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
So far it’s managing to make a living out of what I love and marrying the love of my life, Liz.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
Difficult to pick out just the one. As a youth I was hugely influenced by visual futurist Syd Mead along with sci-fi/fantasy artists such as H R Giger and Chris Foss. I then discovered the greats like Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Andy Warhol followed by contemporary illustrators such as David Hughes, Ralph Steadman and Joe Magee as I began to study the discipline.

Are there any other current illustrators that you feel you identify with or share a similar style?
I’m a big fan of a lot of the AGM illustrators and have a number of friends in the field who I admire, but not many who I would say I share a style with. I exhibited with my friend Tim Marrs and found our styles gel together well. I’ve also been a part of British illustration collective Black Convoy in the past and worked with the likes of Mcfaul, NCC, Andrew Rae and John Burgerman where the creative clash of different styles generated the excitement. I currently collaborate on animations with illustrator Mark Taplin under the banner of Action Stations and always welcome the opportunity to work with others.

Do you read criticism done on your work?
I haven’t really had the opportunity to read much criticism of my own work but I’m sure I would as I think it can be valuable and I’m incredibly nosey. I did read a blog recently with a mild critique of some of my work and I found it quite funny, but I’m sure too much of it would, no doubt, bring me down.

How do you deal with negative criticism?
If it’s constructive then I take it on board, otherwise I let it go… or run at them screaming with a hatchet.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
Physically remove myself from the situation (usually the monitor) and drown in a vat of coffee.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Eye-popping .

Is there any one publication that you still have aspirations to see yourself in?
I aspire to be in every publication, I’m easy.

What magazines do you personally read?
I read 3×3, Varoom, Creative Review – the usual suspects.

What are your goals for your future as an illustrator?
To keep on keeping on. I’m always trying to develop the illustration work to keep it relevant and of a consistent quality. I also want to expand the mini-empire by continuing to move into animation, art direction and focus a little more on personal projects. That would mean figuring out how to delegate work so maybe I need to clone myself at some point or build a time stretching device.

What question do you wish an interviewer would ask you?
This one.


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News published at 10:00 am, Monday, September 1st, 2014

Featured Artist – Lino


Artwork by Lino

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
Like many other kids, I drew all the time, but early in my life I started admiring master painters like Gaugin, Lautrec and Picasso. To me, they were a kind of genius. Their freedom and their exotic lives made me dream of becoming one of them.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I’m really interested in people, their lives, what makes them happy or sad, what are they running for…
Also, our society and how it’s transforming all the time. These and poetry are definitely my major inspirations.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
I work in a small studio with a few other artists. I like their presence, even if we don’t see each other that much. Just not being alone all the time is good.
Having a place separate from the house where I can leave my creativity and work is really important to me. That way I can come back home with a free mind. I mostly work in silence but sometimes I use music to stimulate me. My studio is a little museum of my inspirations, with drawings and paintings everywhere, puppets, funny things that I found in the street, pictures of my friends and family, a couch, a fridge, many books, and all my brushes and colors around me like a family.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
Having other artistic projects is very important to me. It really stimulates creativity and changes the day to day routine, so I paint, do graphic novels, animations and sometimes just drawing for fun!

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
Actually the first artist that I really admired was a painter: Jean-Michel Basquiat. His artwork is somewhere between graphic design and painting and I was really fascinated by the way he was using both forms of expression.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
I go for a walk with my dog or I open a poetry book for a while. Doing something else helps me come back to my work with a solution.

How do you deal with negative criticism?
It think it’s normal to be criticized. Art is highly subjective and I totally understand that. Artists are naturally exposed to critics and it’s a very good way to confirm your creative choices.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Emotion.

What are your goals for your future as an illustrator?
To keep myself curious, stimulated, and to always find a way to touch people with my art.


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News published at 11:11 am, Monday, August 18th, 2014

Featured Artist – Marta Antelo


Artwork by Marta Antelo

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I studied Fine Arts and in my second year I saw that most of my personal work was small in size and that my visual language was very illustrative. When my future partner met me that year he told me “I’ll take your work to the Illustrators Association”. That is when I started to receive my first assignments.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
In old magazines, children’s books and the art of the early 20th Century. I love paint, so colors are very important in my work.

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I suppose when I was a teenager. At this stage I was very perceptive with art, I was discovering it. But a little earlier, from when I was eleven, I used to carry a sketchbook and spend many hours drawing.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio?
I like working at home, especially when there is bad weather. I usually listen to music and the radio.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
I have little time for personal work, but I continue to draw everywhere.

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself
and creating art that is commissioned?

Commissioned art is always limited by delivery dates, dimensions, the story… so I love having enough time to experiment a little.

When you are creating commissioned work, how do you take yourself out of the project and focus on the idea that needs to be conveyed?
I underline the most important ideas, like when I was at school and we did a text analysis. I write down those ideas and look for synonyms, then draw the ideas with elements or objects, seeking visual metaphors.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Sometime I hang the last illustrations I have done with tacks to analyze them. I hang my favorites too, and work from other illustrators (printed or original) like an engraving I bought some months ago or art that friends give me as presents. I also display puppets made by me.

What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
I can’t choose one, I suppose there are many because I consider myself to be a lucky person.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
I was very impressed when I discovered Pablo Amargo’s work, with his book “No todas las vacas son iguales”. He is a very talented Spanish contemporary illustrator.

Are there any other current illustrators that you feel you identify with or
share a similar style?

I try to have an original style and I admire many illustrators, both young and veterans, with different styles. I think my style is ‘naive’ so I identify myself with naive illustrators.

Do you read criticism done on your work?
When somebody writes criticism about an illustrator it is because he/she loves it, so it is always good criticism!

How do you deal with negative criticism?
I would not mind it as it is impossible for everyone to love you. Each person has his or her own personality.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
Go for a walk.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word
be?

Naive?

What magazines do you personally read?
Spanish Magazines like “CLIJ” (about children’s literature), “El País semanal” a weekly magazine about current subjects, and sometimes “eñe” about contemporary writers.


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News published at 10:00 am, Monday, August 4th, 2014

Marisa Morea on Ape On The Moon


Artwork by Marisa Morea

Marisa Morea’s work has been featured in Ape On The Moon, one of the best sites about contemporary illustration. Well done!


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News published at 9:27 am, Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Roadshow


Artwork by Marilyn Faucher

Marilyn Faucher is going to be part of the Roadshow during the ICON8 illustration conference on July 10th at the Portland Art Museum.


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News published at 10:00 am, Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Featured Artist – Emory Allen


Artwork by Emory Allen

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
As a kid, I moved around a lot, but no matter where I lived, comic book characters stayed the same. So, my earliest memory of drawing with a purpose (not just doodling with oversized crayons) was trying to mimic the drawings from my 1992 Marvel Universe trading cards (which I still have).

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
My home is where I find most of my inspiration, all of my favorite things are here! My wife, my cat, my books… There’s also a lot of wonderfully old trees and parks in my neighborhood, so taking a stroll around the block can clear my head pretty quickly. I typically listen to comedy podcasts while I’m working—they mesh well with my jovial illustrations.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
Everyday! My daily drawing project, anexquisitebeast.com, is 8 months along as of today. Each drawing is a small, quick way for me to get rid of whatever weird, random stuff is left in my head at the end of the day.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Coming from a design background, I have a lot of screen printed posters both hanging up and in various piles around my house. They’re just waiting for a prime spot to open up on my walls!

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
By working through it. Sometimes my hands know what to do and my brain has to play catch up!

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word be?
Characters


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News published at 8:00 am, Monday, June 9th, 2014

Featured Artist – Marie Lafrance


Artwork by Marie Lafrance

How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I’ve always doodled and drawn on any available surface, but thought I wanted to be a graphic designer. When I started working in graphic design I realized illustrating was all I wanted to do. So I did.
 
What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
As a child I had a thing for royalty so I spent years drawing nothing but people with crowns on their heads.
 
What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
After many years and many studio mates I’m back working from home, which makes it easier for me to work 24/7. I listen to talk radio all day and music at night.
 
As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
It’s so tough to take the time, but so important, for fun, and from time to time to break the mold I’ve put myself in.
 
What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself and creating art that is commissioned?
Frankly, none. My mind takes a trip around an idea to try and zero in on the way to express it, whether I’m the boss or commissioned.
 
When you are creating commissioned work, how do you take yourself out of the project and focus on the idea that needs to be conveyed?
It’s really a voyage of some kind, trying to see it in different angles, differently from my first idea, sometimes to go back to it in the end. The first sketch is always excruciating, but once that door is open the other ones speed by.
 
What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
I’m going to have to take the Fifth on that one, seeing that I would make myself guilty of conceit for saying my brilliant child.
 
Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
M.C. Escher, but was he an illustrator? Henrik Drescher and Brad Holland then.

Do you read criticism done on your work?
Yup.
 
How do you deal with negative criticism?
I don’t like it of course, but then I become combative, and I think “Hey, I’ll show them wrong!”
 
What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
I look at plenty of images to jug my head back in position. And if I have the luxury of time, I take a walk with my dog and sleep on it.


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News published at 7:00 am, Monday, May 26th, 2014

Merciless Ming Dynasty – AOI Awards


Artwork by Phil Wheeler

Phil’s design Merciless Ming Dynasty (a Ming themed mash-up) was selected for the short list for self-initiated work for the 2014 AOI awards.


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News published at 11:29 am, Friday, May 16th, 2014

Featured Artist – Tony Healey


Artwork by Tony Healey

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
To quote Chuck Close: ‘Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work’

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio? Listening to music?
Both. At my home studio I tend to work like a Trappist monk. I also share a studio with 5 other illustrators in central London, which is a little livelier.

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I’ve been drawing since I can remember. My dad was an accomplished natural draughtsman who, given different circumstances, could have been a professional artist himself: it could well be that seeing my dad at work was the spark for my own interest. I like to think so.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
As a youngster I spent a lot of time reading comics. Leo Baxendale and Ken Reid were favourites, but the artist of this era that I most tried to emulate was Frank Hampson. Frank Hampson drew Dan Dare for the Eagle comic. There was a quality to his black which seemed blacker than black. I found out many years later that he used to re-ink the black parts after the watercolour had been applied. It’s a technique that I hijacked and that I still use today (though I do so digitally now): I always make the topmost layer a copy of the original drawn layer.

What are your goals for your future as an illustrator?
To continually try to improve and to try to produce work that I would want to look at.

What question do you wish an interviewer would ask you?
…and what is your fee for this interview, Mr Healey?


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News published at 10:20 am, Monday, May 12th, 2014

Applied Arts Awards And Interview


Artwork by Andy Potts

Andy Potts had three entries chosen for this year’s Applied Arts Awards and was interviewed for the Split Run section of the current issue.


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News published at 9:33 am, Thursday, May 8th, 2014