Until now, only subscribers to the newsletter got to enjoy these unique banners, but this blog series is changing that.
In this issue, we speak with Simon Jardine, artist of the month and creator of our May banner below:
Here's how it appeared in the May newsletter:
Cult Pens: Hi Simon, tell us a bit more about yourself?
Simon: I'm a freelance illustrator and artist and I've been drawing professionally for about 10 years. I also teach art classes and workshops to both adults and kids. I'm based near Newbury in Berkshire. I've got a border collie named Jodie and when I'm not painting and drawing I like spending time in the countryside, seeing my friends and listening to heavy and alternative rock.
Cult Pens: How would you describe your work?
Simon: Cartoon illustration and quirky humorous art. Hand drawn is my thing and I don't like to use typed fonts if at all possible even if I do end up colouring it on the computer.
Cult Pens: What got you into drawing/illustration?
Simon: I've always drawn, but it was seeing people's reactions to my work that made me think yes I could do that. I always wanted to be good at something and work in an area I enjoy and art and illustration just felt right for me. I have put a lot of time and effort in though.
Cult Pens: If you weren't a illustrator, what was the back-up plan?
Simon: I learned to picture frame and did that for a few years while I was getting established and so that was the backup plan. I still have the equipment which is great for framing my own work.
Cult Pens: What are your favourite subjects/topics to draw?
Simon: Animals, buildings, characters and designs for theatre shows. Anything I find amusing or that captures my imagination though really.
Cult Pens: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
Simon: Responding to a client's brief gives me the initial inspiration if I am being commissioned. The internet if i quickly want to see what something looks like. I keep sketch books full of character designs and ideas and I use these later for inspiration too. I get ideas from everyday life, conversations, interesting things I notice and I'm influenced a lot by music. Not that much by art though funnily enough.
Cult Pens: What are you currently working on?
Simon: A map of Peru and some cartoons for a text book. Also, I've just measured up and am working on designs for a pantomime themed schools mural project for The Corn Exchange Theatre in Newbury which will be taking place in the Autumn.
Cult Pens: How long does it normally take to complete a project?
Simon: Anything from a morning to two to three weeks. A week is about average for a complicated large scale drawing. And although I might not be constantly working on something there can be a certain amount of waiting for approval on rough drawings etc.
Cult Pens: What pen or pencil couldn't you live without?
Simon: A Pentel P205 pencil. All my artwork starts with a sketch using one of these. I use one for just doodling for fun too. Also great for demonstrating drawing when I teach as of course you never have to sharpen... I don’t use normal pencils at all now.
Cult Pens: Black and white or full colour?
Simon: I enjoy both equally. You can’t go wrong with a bit of full on in your face colour, but black and white has so much impact. It depends what I’m working on.
Cult Pens: Do you know when a work is finished or are you constantly tweaking?
Simon: Usually I just know - it just looks finished, but if deadlines allow I do like to have a second look a day or so later and maybe have a bit of fine tune.
Cult Pens: What work are you most proud of?
Simon:My poster artwork for theatre shows. I get a list of characters and what they would like included and then it is over to me. The characters are then also used on promotional items and banners etc. I particularly like the one I've just designed for Jack and the beanstalk.
Cult Pens: What tips do you have for aspiring artists/illustrators?
Simon: I think it's important to have your own style and references that you really like yourself, rather than trying to duplicate other people's work. For illustration it's also important to be able to draw a wide range of subjects and situations even if you are not that interested in them normally. I think the most important thing though is to never turn work down. I get asked to do all sorts of different art related work and it's helped me develop a unique skill set on top of just being able to illustrate.
You can see more examples of Simon's work below or by visiting his website.
If you'd like to have your artwork featured in our newsletter, drop us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a link to some examples of your work.
30 April 2013