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Phil Wilkinson: Artist of the Month - May 2014

Every month, we highlight the work of a different artist or illustrator through the title banner of our monthly newsletter – Penorama. If you don’t already receive Penorama, you can subscribe here.

The artist of the month for May is Phil Wilkinson, a print-maker from Birmingham.

Here’s the banner Phil made for us:

Penorama Banner - Phil Wilkinson

And here’s how it appeared in our May newsletter:

Penorama Banner vol. 16

Cult Pens: Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Phil: I have had a lifelong attraction to art – I am self-taught – but have done a variety of jobs throughout my life. Following health issues, art is the only thing that has stuck with me!

Cult Pens: How would you describe your work?
Phil: Broadly figurative with drawing as the basis of everything from sketches through to working drawings for etchings and other print making forms. A lot of my output has been of either landscape, cityscape or aircraft!

Cult Pens: What got you into drawing?
Phil: The desire to draw has always been present but fluctuated through time but is now very prominent in my life. In my experience drawing has been a therapeutic support and refuge through difficulties.

Cult Pens: If you weren’t a cartoonist, what was the back-up plan?
Phil: Following my previous remarks, this is my back-up plan.

Cult Pens: What are your favourite subjects/topics to draw?
Phil: Predominantly these would be landscapes, cityscapes and the forms to be found within them. Another strand of work has been aeronautically inspired.

From Above #2

Cult Pens: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
Phil: Ideas mostly come from my observational sketches and photographs and inspiration is found in the work of current and past artists.

Cult Pens: What are you currently working on?
Phil: There’s usually a few works in progress ranging from an etching to a painting and (almost!) daily contributions to Twitter themes organised by one of those inspirational artists @antsgreentree.

Cult Pens: How long does it normally take to complete a project?
Phil: That depends on factors such as medium, size, subject and complexity. Work on an etching is a lengthy process with much preparation and numerous steps even before arriving at a plate that can be printed from.

Cult Pens: What are your top 5 pens?

I always leave the house with at the minimum a pocket sketchbook and a wallet which holds:

  • Zebra F-301 compact pen
  • Muji mechanical pencil, which I will replace with a Zebra TS 3 Pocket Pencil (now discontinued, you can see other Zebra mechanical pencils here) should the need ever arise!

Cult Pens: What pen or pencil couldn’t you live without?
Phil: A mechanical pencil of some type.

Cult Pens: Do you know when a work is finished or are you constantly tweaking?
Phil: Sometimes yes, often not. Print making is by nature something which can be endlessly tweaked.

Cult Pens: What work are you most proud of?
Phil: Certain examples of my Birmingham buildings and aeronautical original prints and those awarded prizes at open exhibitions at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA). The ultimate accolade one day, would be to have a print selected for the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition!

Changing Birmingham

Cult Pens: What tips do you have for aspiring artists/cartoonists?
Phil: As with any chosen path, some permutation/combination of determination, regular practice and taking up opportunities. I am still at the aspirational stage and always receptive to tips!

You can find out more about Phil’s work here.


12 May 2014


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