Personal Work

For the majority of commissioned works clients are usually after something similar to what they have seen before. Whether that be a particular style or technique or perhaps a certain approach that can be applied to their current project. A rough is usually provided as a guide to content and layout and that, together with the artists portfolio, provides a pretty clear idea to what the end result will be. This is something we understand as illustrators and indeed something we have been taught from day one, to develop a recognisable signature style.

I do like working in black and white. There is something very direct in the absence of colour, it allows you to focus more clearly on shape, tone and texture. These days black and white work is very rarely commissioned commercially unless for a special purpose.

However from the artists perspective too formulaic an approach can spell creative death over the longer term if not careful. Tastes in illustration are also subject to change and what was popular one year may not be so the next so it is important to keep moving forward. Personal work therefore is essential for extending boundaries and exploring new terrain. One way or another the results feed back into professional work, often in the most unexpected ways, and this helps to keep things fresh and interesting.


These were a conscious attempt to move away from techniques most used in my commercial work, specifically the avoidance of gradations of tone and the effects of light and shade. Instead using simple line and blocks of related colour to define shape.

Continuing with the same approach but limiting the palette choices. The lines were first drawn on paper (often derived from doodles) and colour shapes were then overlaid.

All the examples on this page are images I make when not working on commissioned pieces. Even though I try to avoid formulas as much as possible, I do like to create small series or groups. I've recently started making large prints of some of these images which I'm selling via my Shop and perhaps at selected print fairs next year.

These are probably closest to my usual working practice but for this type of subject matter I prefer to use more monochromatic colour schemes. I like to take photographs and weave in various drawn elements and textures to create images that fall somewhere between photography and illustration but not overtly one or the other.