Over to you, Tony…
I’m from Luton and I’m part gannet, part nerd. Been illustrating since 1987 which makes me sort of old but I’m still not famous, so I should have tried to be an astronaut of rock star, as I first thought….but you can’t go back, can you?
I bombarded Puffin with samples for years until someone gave in.
50 years of influences from art, TV, Films, Comics books and music, the natural world and a lot of stuff I make up.
The old ones were all Rotring pen on paper. The new ones are digital, done using Photoshop CS2 and a Wacom Graphire tablet, usually starting from a pencil drawing on A4 paper. I’d use more traditional materials and even sculpt if I had the space but I don’t!!
The Fighting Fantasy illustrations (well, most of them) were done in the pre-internet days when print methods were different and that affected the choice of style considerably. The style I adopted owed much to my favourite comic artists, such as John Bolton and Brian Lewis and to the Illustrators Gustave Dore, Virgil Finlay, Ed Emshwiller, Kelly Freas, Ian Miller and Patrick Woodroffe. They had to be crisp black and white with no grey tones. I took a very different approach with the Forgotten Spell because it was going to be created and delivered digitally and would involve colour. I still wanted a hand-done look so I created the illos in pencil at first, to a high degree of finish, then added colour, tone and refinements using Photoshop. The pencil drawings were still around A4 size, but the hi-res finished master copies could easily be blown up to poster size if required.Also because of format requirements (especially for the app versions), I had to drop my old FF thing of having bits of the illustration escaping the picture border.
Dunno, I even like the unpopular ones. I can’t say “getting killed all the time” because that always happens.
I like special rules.