This month we met up with one of our most recent recruits – Plymouth University graduate Jamie Bradford.
Please tell us about how you create your artwork. What is the process and what tools do you use?
I mostly use Graphite pencil to create my illustrations, adding colour in digitally later. I start by sketching very rough ideas down; I will then research and develop the ideas a bit more, sketching in more elements and refining ever so slightly each time until I am ready to begin on the final artwork. Depending on the nature of the idea, I will either completely draw it out as one image, or more often than not I will draw and then scan various elements of the idea separately; this gives me a bit more freedom to tweak the position of elements digitally in the final stages. Once I have a pencil drawing of the final image, I proceed to add flat sections of colour in Photoshop.
What are your main sources of inspiration?
Natural forms inspire me most when drawing and creating illustrations. I have always been more comfortable drawing animals, plants, portraits, etc. and I think this reflects in my work. However, my most recent illustration for ‘Flexipads World Class’ moved away from my comfort zone and this was a refreshing challenge. I also follow a lot of design-related pages and illustrators on social media, so seeing new designs everyday can inspire me to illustrate.
How did you get into illustration?
I have always been interested in pursuing a creative career; when looking for courses to study University I was initially looking at going into Graphic Design. However after a bit more research I came across courses in illustration, which I felt was much more tailored to my skills as there was an emphasis on hand-drawing skills. I studied illustration at Plymouth University for 3 years which really helped me hone my skills and taught me a lot about working on specific briefs.
I am currently looking to revisit some older illustrations I created and devleop them a bit more to add to my portfolio. I am also doing quite a bit of private commission work at the moment, which I find useful as it keeps my drawing skills sharp.
What advice would you give to aspiring illustrators?
I am still fairly new myself as an illustrator, however the best piece of advice I had through university was don’t be afraid to experiment with different media outside of your comfort zone. I was initially quite stuck in my ways an this restricted my development; it wasn’t until I started experimenting with different media and processes that I could identify what was working for me, and then once I knew that was working, I pushed myself in that area and my style developed naturally from that.