Can you share a bit about your story, and how you came to specialise in illustration?
I’m the third generation of illustrator in my family. My paternal grandfather was an illustrator, and so is my dad, and now so am I. I tried to resist it for a while, toying with the idea of going into textile design or fine art, but in the end I couldn’t deny it! I just want to draw all the time, and then turn those drawings into things. I’ve always loved what an image can express, the moods and nuances that you can communicate in a drawing that you can’t with words. I like to make work that has a narrative to it, whether an obvious one or an implied one, and that’s what illustration is all about.
Female figures are a key element in your work. Are you able to tell us a little more about what this symbolises?
I’ve always made the bulk of my work about women. I suppose the answer as to why is pretty obvious – much of my work is drawn from my own experience, and that naturally means it has a woman’s viewpoint. There’s a long history of male artists depicting the female nude for their own benefit. I like it when those tables are turned, when the woman in the picture is there on her own terms. The female figure is such a familiar form, with instant power and interest – I like trying to simplify it down to its root, almost like a hieroglyph, and then to try to find unexpected ways to use that form.
Tell us about the collaboration with Sunspel, and how you came to know about the brand.
I grew up in London and lived there until my early 20s, so I knew the brand just from its presence there. I was so happy when Sunspel contacted me to collaborate on a collection – I loved seeing items from the extensive archive and getting to know the history of the company and its garments. The focus on detail and craftsmanship really appeals to me.