Friday, 6 May 2011

Email From Tom Gauld

Tom Gauld's illustrations have fascinated me for a while now. He uses elements of dry wit, and intricate cross hatching techniques that make his work really appealing to me.

I recently emailed Tom a few questions and here is his response.

1. How did you first get into illustration?
I studied illustration at Edinburgh college of art and the royal college of art and graduated in 2001. I made a portfolio, got a few names of art directors from tutors and from looking in magazines and on websites. Then I started cold calling them and asking if I could come in with my folio. Everyone I met I'd ask if they knew anyone else I should see. After quite a few months I started ti get a slow stream of work which became enough to live on.

2. How did your style develop?
I'd say that my style has simplified a bit and Ive probably developed a wider range of things I can draw well and learned to use colour. But I haven't made any major changes.

3. Where do you get inspiration from when coming up with ideas for your work?
I take inspiration from things I see in my life, on tv, films, Internet and books. I come up with specific ideas just by sitting, doodling and thinking.

4. Do you have a working method when starting an illustration?
I draw in sketchbooks and on loose paper, getting various ideas down quite quickly. I never start on a finished drawing till I have a good concept/idea which works as a simple sketch.

5. Your work is very intricate in terms of mark making have you always drawn this way?
Vaguely. I got particularly into crosshatching when I discovered the work of Edward Gorey in about 1996.

6. When your not illustrating what do you like doing?
Reading, cooking, Lego with my children.

7. Do you have a favourite illustrator at the moment?
I like lots of illustrators. I've been looking at jochen gerner quite a lot recently.

8. Is there one piece of your work that you're most proud of?
I've just finished a 96 page graphic novel and I am proud to have got it finished.

9. Your sketchbook work looks amazing, how important is it for you to keep a sketchbook ?
I've got really into my sketchbook in the last 5or so years, I like that it keeps a bit of a record of my ideas, even the ones I don't pursue at the time I have them. When I'm stuck I flick through my old sketchbooks to harvest unused ideas.

10. Lastly, what advice would you give to an aspiring illustrator?
Just try to make work which would appeal to you even if you hadn't made it.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. These illustrations are brilliant. The monster and diamond one just kills me. And I write short stories so I love that one too.