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Chris Gilleard

Chris Gilleard



During three years studying at Loughborough University, Chris discovered his love of vector illustration, and started working as a freelance illustrator soon after graduation.


Drawing with vectors really suits Chris’s approach to drawing and painting. He likes using flat, bold colours and strong, simple shapes with clean edges. Within one of his images, each element is carefully and meticulously constructed from smaller pieces of geometry. They come together to form everything from chivalrous knights to mad bikers, and from apes to honey bees.


Chris’s work is predominantly character-based. It’s fun, playful and a little bit daft. He enjoys making people smile, so his images are bright and colourful, and a little absurd. He has an underlying love of geometry and if you look carefully you’ll often spot perfect squares and circles in his characters and compositions.

It’s no surprise to find that he’s recently rediscovered Lego, and loves looking at old and outdated technology – from cars with strange features to computers and control panels filled with inexplicable buttons. Some of his work is done in a pixel art style, tying in with this retro technology vibe.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Chris: In primary school I made little comics to sell in the playground. I guess it was my first taste of the best job in the world!Question: Do you have any formal design training? Chris: Yes, I studied at Loughborough University for three fun years. I had some fantastic tutors and the best course mates you could ask for.Question: Where are you originally from? Chris: I'm from a great little market town called Beverley in Yorkshire.Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Chris: I'm still up North, but looking to make a big move very soon!Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Chris: My studio is at home, where I've surrounded myself with tons of colourful stuff; my wall is plastered with friends' business cards, post-its, stickers and postcards, all to keep my brain ticking over whilst working.Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Chris: Humour is a big inspiration for me. I like things that are absurd and a little bit awkward. For example, I love old vehicles and technology that looks ridiculous and outdated today; a computer that looks more like a toaster, or an old handheld video-game, where the console itself is more exciting than the game. Things like that give me ideas for all sorts of characters and worlds.Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Chris: No, but I do hoard a lot of little things, postcards, friends' business cards to cover my wall, as well as keeping lots of sketchbooks.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Chris: I made a huge cross-section of the Earth through pixel-tinted glasses with little interactive elements. I really enjoy making big worlds full of characters and bizarre things.Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Chris: Illustrating a series of children's picture books, both print and digital would be my dream come true. I'd love to make a Google-Doodle too.Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Chris: Oliver Jeffers is my idol, all his characters and stories are just amazing. His books spurred me to pursue illustration and are on my desk, within reach, at all times. My other favourites are Owen Davey, Jon Klassen, Charles Huettner and Tom Gauld-whose signed book is a prized possession.Question: Who are your musical heroes? Chris: The Beatles are at #1 but I do love Frank Turner, Jose Gonzalez, Gorillaz & Daft Punk. I'm a huge fan of soundtracks too but there are too many composers to mention.Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Chris: Not that long ago, but I'd like to go back to 1969. I could see the Apollo launch and moon landing, visit Woodstock and see The Beatles' rooftop concert.

Microsoft, Rogers Communications, Migros, 3M Graphics, Drench Design, Bfore.Me, Loughborough University


Yorkshire, UK

Loughborough University

Migros - Summer 100 Project

At home

Wrap Magazine

Skiing in Finland

Outdated technology & humour