Andy Potts

Andy Potts

(He/Him) • UK

Biography Interview

Andy Potts is a UK illustrator and animator based in Margate. His style is a digital collage of dynamically composed 2d designed elements, textures and photography mixed with 3d crafted imagery and vivid colour. Andy creates his work primarily in Photoshop and also brings his illustrations to life with his motion and 3d modelling skills in After Effects and Cinema 4d respectively.

Andy specialises in science and technology themed work but loves to take on a wide variety of creative briefs. During his prolific and award-winning career he has been commissioned by many international clients across the creative fields of editorial, advertising, publishing, design, music and film. Andy is originally from Kingswinford in the West Midlands and received a BA Hons in Illustration at Portsmouth University in 1995. He recently moved to the sea side in Margate with his wife after 25 years in London.

Selected clients

ABRSM, Barron's, BBC, Bloomsbury, Car and Driver, Economist, Evening Standard, Hadassah, IBM, Mercedes-Benz/Daimler Next, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Nature, Science, UCLA, UKTV, Universal, Up at The O2, Wall Street Journal, Warner Music, Washington Post

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  • 3×3 Professional Show 2004, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020
  • American Illustration 36 Winner, 26, 28, 31, 32, 34, 39 – Online Gallery
  • AI-AP Motion Art Awards 8 Selected Winner
  • AOI World Illustration Awards 2020 – Editorial Longlist
  • AOI World Illustration Awards 2017 – Advertising Shortlist
  • AOI World Illustration Awards 2014 – Design Shortlist
  • AOI Images 29 – Gold Award in Publishing
  • AOI Images 31 – Gold Award in Advertising
  • AOI Images 34 – Silver Award in New Media (as Action Stations)
  • AOI Images 34 – Bronze Award in Design
  • AOI In Book – Images 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36
  • Applied Arts Illustration Winner 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014
  • BSFA Best Artwork Nomination 2014
  • Communication Arts Award Of Excellence 2008
  • Hiii International Illustration Awards 2019 – Merit Award
  • Society Of Illustrators 49, 64 Annual Exhibition
  • Society Of Illustrators Los Angeles, Illustration West 50, 2012
  • V&A Illustration Awards 2011 – Editorial Shortlist

Andy Potts in the Spotlight

Andy Potts

Your pronouns

How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I’m a common or garden variety white heterosexual male but eager and willing to be an ally to any marginalized groups.

Where is home?
Margate, UK

Describe your illustration style in one sentence
Eye-popping dynamic digital collage.

What lights your soul on fire?
Being in the zone creating new illustrations and animations.

What themes do you enjoy exploring in your illustrations?
I’m partial to science and technology briefs but really love to take on all sorts of themes. Hit me!

What techniques do you use?
I primarily work digitally with Photoshop and love to blend together a mixture of 2d designed elements, textures and photography with 3d crafted imagery. I’m equally adept at bringing the illustrations to life with 2d and 3d animation skills in After Effects and Cinema 4D respectively.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
My style has naturally evolved over the years but my work has always reflected my interests and influences in some way, particularly in personal projects.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
There’s a visual and thematic thread of the futuristic or fantastic in a lot of my commercial and personal work due to being regularly commissioned for science and tech based illustrations and personally having a keen interest in sci-fi and genre films and fiction. Generally, though, my colourful palettes and dynamic compositions are what people tend to associate with my style.

What do you want to be known for?
My ambition has always been to become a successful working illustrator. Ideally I’d like to continue along that path while opening up my opportunities with the 3d and animation skills.

Which projects excite you most?
I really enjoy projects that I can sink my teeth into such as a good editorial cover commission or series of advertising/publishing illustrations that require an animation or two. I always get excited by briefs with themes that align with my personal enthusiasms but I often find I’m just as excited when approached to do work I’m not normally considered for. I really enjoy a creative challenge.

What is your dream gig?
I’ve worked across lots of fields and disciplines from advertising to music videos and enjoy it all but I’d love to illustrate a whole book, I’m a big fan of the Folio Society, or design and animate a title sequence for a film or tv show.

Where, when and how do you best create?
I’m back in a rented studio again after the pandemic and welcome having the separate space to concentrate. I’m more of a morning person when it comes to creative workflow but deadlines tend to dictate the when overall. If I’m sat at my Mac, headphones on with multiple coffees at the ready then it’s all systems go.

How has your style evolved since you started?
I’d say my style has evolved as I’ve learnt new creative processes, introducing 3d created imagery for instance. It’s still recognisably mine but has become more sophisticated and slicker over the years possibly.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
It’s a challenge to stay relevant and employed in a fast paced creative field with ever-changing trends and technologies. I’ve tried to develop my style in an organic way while learning new methods to be creative with animation and 3d. Staying on top of social media can be a struggle but hopefully I can rise to future challenges, the proliferation of AI generated art seems to be a an interesting new curveball.

How as being an illustrator changed your life?
Being a professional illustrator is a childhood dream fulfilled for me and it’s allowed me to live my life how I like to live it. I feel lucky to be my own boss creating artwork by the seaside. Couldn’t ask for more.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Photoshop and specifically the lasso tool.

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
One of the breakthrough highlights of my career so far was an international advertising commission for IBM. It was a really creative illustration brief working on a large scale with a science and technology theme I was enthusiastic about. It ticked all the boxes for me and also managed to pick up some awards which didn’t hurt.

What influences or inspires your art?
It’s a cliche but I take inspiration from everywhere and everyday things generally but I am particularly inspired by film and music and a good stroll or cycle along the seafront to clear the mind.

What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t listen to me, keep doing what you’re doing or I probably won’t exist.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Because a picture is equal to a thousand of them and transcends language barriers.

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