Veteran illustrator John Holder specializes in classic pen drawing with a twist of humour. His work is seen across the U.K Europe and the U.S.A. appearing in books, magazines and newspapers as well as for advertising and packaging. John has exhibited his drawings, painting and illustrations in England, Croatia, France, Poland and the U.S.A. He works from his 17th century studio near Cambridge, England and is visiting lecturer in illustration at Cambridge School of art.
Question: Do you have any formal design training? John: Cambridge College of Art, where I am now a visiting fellow. Question: What drew you to illustration/design? John: It was the only subject I was top of the class in at school. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? John: Cambridge: A wonderful cultural city near the country. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? John: In my garden built mainly in reclaimed material. Question: Do you collect anything? John: Antique clocks and watches, veteran cycles, acoustic guitars, original drawings. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? John: Paul Hogarth, my old tutor and mentor. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. John: A series of illustrations for the day the statue of Sir Keith Park was unveiled on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? John: Cycling, bluegrass music, folk blues, travelling, logging (that’s trees, not logging on).
Question: What would be your dream job/commission? John: To do a series of drawings in NYC (I’m thinking about doing it). Question: Who are your illustration heroes? John: NC Wyeth, David Lavine, Robert Crumb, Thomas Rolanson. Question: Who are your musical heroes? John: Bill Munroe, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, The Stanley Brothers. Question: If you could take a holiday leaving tomorrow, where would you go & what would you do? John: Kentucky, to play some bluegrass music. Question: What do you have bookmarked? John: Bookmarked? My most recent favourite book is 'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole. And by the way my most recent favourite film is 'The Piano Player of Earthquakes'. Question: What is your favourite game, computer or not? John: Playing hide and seek with my grandchildren.
The Sunday Times, Penguin Books, Harper Collins, Ladybird, OUP, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBC, Macmillan, The National Trust, The Guardian, New York TimesFavourites
: Dip pens; Hinks Wells, 303, Perry and Co running hand, Higgins Ink, Conte Pierre Noire Pencils
: The New Yorker
: Museum of Modern Art
: Any from my vegetable garden and fish straight from the sea.
: Pearl Paints