Craigio Hopson Illustrator Interview

Craigio Hopson

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Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
Mexican and American folk art inspired my first attempts at creating my personal art, which consisted primarily of paintings on found wood. I was a great admirer of illustrators like Jeff Fisher, Benoit Jacques, and David Hughes, to name a few.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like? Do you still have it?
My first commissioned illustration was for The Telegraph magazine in London back in 1994. I was fresh out of university that year and was thrilled and excited to receive the job.
That commission turned into a weekly editorial job for The Telegraph, which lasted for a few good years. I sadly don’t have any of my original work from that period.

Why did you choose illustration as your life’s work instead of, for example, filmmaking, law, or even medicine?
I chose illustration because I loved the idea of seeing my art appear in a wide variety of publications: newspapers, magazines, books, and ad posters.

Did you study art in school?
Yes, I studied graphic art and advertising at Stockport College in Manchester for two years. I then earned a degree in illustration at Kingston Upon Thames University in London. Those were happy days.

Where does your inspiration come from; your impulse to make art? Do you have a source for your ideas?
My inspiration comes from my very active and, at times, warped imagination. My Mum and Dad said I had too much imagination as a young boy. Is that possible?

If you could do something else, other than creating art, what would it be?
I always wanted to play football for Manchester United. At 45 years old, I’ve given up on that dream, eh.

Do you remember your first set of paints, pens, or markers?
As a young boy, my Mum bought me a jumbo marker pen set with 48 different colors inside. She was very smart, my Mum. Those pens kept me quiet and occupied for months.

If you could give a viewer clues to understanding your art, what would you say?
My art comes from a strong passion to create and share with others. I’m so blessed to have people from all over the world buying my paintings, drawings and collages. It’s a lovely feeling knowing my art brightens people’s homes.

Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
Art is everything to me, and I truly believe that art makes the world a better place in which to live.

If you could look back or forward a hundred years, do you think the life of an illustrator was or will be better than today?
If I were to look into the future a hundred years from now, I think the life of an illustrator would be an incredibly exciting one. I’m thinking of being frozen like Walt Disney anyway, so I may just be around to see it!