Based in the once-heavily-industrialised Black Country area of the West Midlands, Central England (thought by some to have been the inspiration for Mordor in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings), I've been active as a professional illustrator since leaving school in 1993, thanks largely to a now obsolete on-the-job Government initiative known as the Youth Training Scheme (YTS). Controversial and often criticised both politically and socially for being prone to exploitation, the scheme nonetheless provided me with a platform from which to launch my career and I've been producing artwork for many well-known corporate organisations and private clients ever since.
Freelance work I've produced over the years includes illustrations for logos, point of sale marketing, merchandising, promotional campaigns, entertainment media, print media, character design, concept design, storyboards and bespoke private commissions including murals, portraits, and caricatures.
Though unnecessary for a career as an illustrator, I have a degree with honours in visual communication, specialising in illustration. I've also many years' experience in graphic design, photography, printing, cardboard engineering, signwriting and much more besides, so achieving the qualification as a mature student was, for me, about realising a long-standing personal goal instead of career opportunities or advancement.
As far back as I can remember, I've loved freehand markmaking and drawing and was enthralled by science-fiction and fantasy art from a very young age. Artists whose work I admire include Jim Burns, Simon Bisley, Ron Embleton, and Brian Froud. British comics and graphic novels have also been an important part of my life, with The Beano and 2000 AD firm favourites to this day.
I have passion for creativity which feels as fresh and unique to me today as it did when I first put crayon to card. Combined with hard work and determination, I feel fortunate to have established a career out of what I love doing most.
As with my art, I aim to be an open and honest blogger, providing overview on some of my works-in-progress (if permissible), focus on tools, materials, techniques and processes used, and musings on industry-related trends and developments. Blog content will be aimed towards admirers of my work, wannabe and fellow illustrators, potential clients such as art directors, editors, writers, marketing executives and creative agency representatives, and all else in-between.
Friendly and approachable, I welcome your comments and questions either here or via my website's contact form.