Andrew Selby is an internationally recognised illustrator whose work has been commissioned extensively by clients for the last two decades. He works imaginatively and quickly, researching, drawing and simplifying design roughs for approval by the client. Illustrations are created using Painter and Photoshop, or traditional media such as gouache and watercolour depending on the brief, the media platform and the clients requirements. His illustrations are memorable, thought provoking and communicate effectively to the required audience. His work is showcased by 3x3 Illustration Professional Shows and American Illustration (USA), Association of Illustrators - Images (UK) and the Society of Illustrators' Annual (USA).
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Andrew: A love of communication design and a curiosity about the world we live in – everyone else went to work in the City and look what they’ve done. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Andrew: A BA(Hons) Graphic Design degree from Leicester Polytechnic. I’m currently working on a PhD at Loughborough. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Andrew: Oakham, Rutland (I’ve recently returned from Berkeley, California). Only an hour and a half from London, like the Cotswolds, but without the crowds. Don’t tell anyone! Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Andrew: When I’m in the UK, my studio is a bolt hole from the outside world. It’s my world of inspiration. When I’m on the road, my studio is my widescreen MacBook. I did a book cover recently for a German client from a hotel balcony overlooking Wat Pho in Bangkok. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Andrew: Saul Steinberg - without a doubt. I was lucky enough to get locked in a vault of his work in Queen’s and sat at his original drawing table. It was a very private moment and one I hope I’ll always be able to remember. Question: How do you get your ideas? Andrew: I’m lucky in that I always seem to be able to come up with ideas, especially under pressure. I think that’s why clients commission me. I put it down to being interested in lots of things. Question: Do you collect anything? Andrew: I’m interested in how illustration entrepreneurially moves beyond it’s traditional conventions, so I collect toys, games and objects that prove illustration isn’t solely a two-dimensional form. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Andrew: A digital one, yes, but really I prefer to author my own sketchbooks. Then I can retain my own voice.
Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Andrew: Well, on a professional level, I write books, articles, blogs and create animation. Family time is important to me and I try to prioritise time to read, listen and play with my children. Any time spare sees me swimming – I swam the Channel last year for charity. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Andrew: You treat every project like a favourite. I’m incredibly lucky to do what I do and that luck is never lost on me. The ‘Endangered Animal’ series for Y&R in Johannesburg has been a challenge and I still love trying to solve problems through the use of visual puns. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Andrew: The project ‘1000 Ways to Save the Planet’ with Joanna Yarrow for Duncan Baird/Chronicle was good fun to do, had a real impact globally and still has a resonance today, so something meaningful like that I guess would be great. Question: Who is/are your art hero/es? Andrew: Good grief: I’ve got to say Miro for his multi-talented view of the world, I admire Patrick Heron’s use of colour and Ardizzone’s design sensibility. Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Andrew: Well fortunately, this job lets me travel; in the last twelve months I’ve been to Seattle, Chicago, Bangkok, Singapore (three times), San Francisco, Dublin and St. Louis. If I had free reign, I’d go to South America – it’s the only continent I don’t feel I know like I should. Question: If you won the lottery what would you do with the money? Andrew: I’d set up a School that enabled people to educate themselves, who needed a second chance in life. Andrew: Would you continue to illustrate? Question: Of course, life would be empty without the need to create. Question: What is your favourite graphics programme? Andrew: I use Painter, but if someone chucked technology out of the window tomorrow, I would use Lascaux gouache with glee – it’s a beautiful medium.