Luke has a BA Hons in Animation from Southampton Solent University.
An image usually starts with a series of line drawings, always with pen, and always more complex than the finished work will be. Luke then uses a light box to take elements from each drawing, putting them together to form the line work he’ll use. This is transferred to watercolour paper, and the image is built up in paints until he’s satisfied. All his images are created traditionally using waterproof pen, watercolours, and standard paper. Once complete, they are scanned, cleaned up and delivered digitally.
‘Scratchy scrawly’ is one description of his work that Luke likes. The soft, simple innocence of his images often belies the skill he has in building up the paint, and imbuing the work with subtle light and shadow. His images tend to be clear and striking, even though he has stripped out much of the early detail from his drawings.
Question: What led you to become an illustrator? Luke: My Nan was very encouraging and I'm still trying to impress her, plus I love creating little moments in time. Question: Did you study illustration at college? Luke: I studied Art at College and Animation at Southampton Solent University. Question: Where did you grow up? Luke: West Wiltshire in the Countryside. Cities make me nervous! Question: Do you have a childhood memory relating to drawing/art that you hold dear? Luke: Being at my Nan and Pops on a Saturday night and making up my own illustrated stories.Question: Where do you live now and what drew you there? Luke: I live in Bradford on Avon, still in Wiltshire, it's quiet, friendly and has beautiful views. Question: Describe your studio for us Luke: It's the spare room of our flat at the moment. Question: How do you get your ideas? Luke: Mainly being inspired by films, books or music, or something I might overhear, or something a friend or family member says. It's always different. Question: Do you keep a Scrapbook? Luke: I keep folders of old drawings and scribbles.Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Luke: I love reading, 80s/early 90s films, cooking, working out and I've just started yoga which I'm really enjoying even though I'm super inflexible!Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Luke: I hadn't done animation for a while and one Saturday I decided to make one of my characters move. It was so rewarding to see it come to life and I think I am going to pursue further animation projects in the near future!Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Luke: To work on a children's book!Question: Why is illustration such a powerful medium? Luke: To me it's capturing a snap shot of time and I love the questions it makes you ask about what could be happening in that scene. Question: What is the best use of illustration you have ever seen? Luke: Hector Protector & As I Went Over the Water by Maurice Sendak.Question: How much of your work is hand drawn? Luke: It's all hand drawn as I work traditionally.Question: How do you envisage illustration evolving? Luke: I just think things go full circle all the time, there seems to be a lot of digital work at the moment (which I love), but I think people will always want things that have been touched directly by the artist.Question: Who is your art hero? Luke: Can I merge Maurice Sendak and Tove Jansson into one mega hero?Question: What's the best advice you've ever been given? Luke: Don't ever compare yourself to others. Question: Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? Luke: I have learnt to accept that will happen and try to relax and do something unrelated, the ideas will come. Exercise is good as it gets you out of your head!
Schmincke Paynes grey Full Pan Watercolour
Homemade pizza wraps or prawn curry
Green Tea or Water, alcoholic – Ale
Any art shop, I can never walk out empty handed
'Joe Rogan Podcast' or 'Escape from Illustration Island'