Vince Ray specializes in what could losely be termed as 'low brow' art and Kustom culture graphics. He is a London based artist but draws a lot of inspiration from retro Americana.
Many of his clients are attracted to the strong conceptual ideas and attention grabbing titles. He has the ability to to take the freshness and innocence of retro styles and update them with wit, irony and a healthy dose of twisted humour. Vince has published two books representing his work in the record industry, including posters, clothing design, paintings, cartoons and comic strips. He also has his own range of merchandise.
But it's not all rock and roll! Vince is happy to work to a brief requiring a broad range of imagery as his varied client list shows.
Question: What first drew you to illustration/design? Vince: Butlins. I had an uncle who designed for the holiday camp in the sixties and a trip to his studio was a real treat when I was a kid. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Vince: I studied Fine Art at Maidstone for a BA and then I went to the Slade School in London for an MA course. Question: You live in London. Does the city have an influence on your creativity? Vince: I have a love/hate relationship with the city. It's a crazy, unique place and having lived here for thirty years, its dust and grime are etched into my soul. Question: Who/What is your biggest inspiration? Vince: I've been part of the rockabilly/psychobilly scene since the start and watched it develop over the years. It's always been very colourful with cool cars, great clothes and great music. Question: How do you get your ideas? Vince: I guess it's a combination of working an idea through in my head. Usually it emerges as I'd imagined, other times it develops through sketches and Photoshop tomfoolery! Question: Do you collect anything? Vince: Yes, lots of stupid old guitars and amplifiers. I've five Gretsches and love 'em all!
Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Vince: I've played in bands since being a kid and still enjoy that as an alternative career to art. It's good to get away from the drawing board and make a noise. Plus it's a good excuse for shouting at people. Question: What is the first record you bought? Vince: Elvis Presley's 68 Comeback Special. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Vince: I've just finished the poster for the 13th Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend. I work on that each year and I get the chance to indulge all my favourite themes of hot rod cars, guitars and pin ups gals. Question: What would be your "dream job/commission"? Vince: I'd like to design a million dollar note, and then spend it! Question: Who is/are your art hero/oes? Vince: The Surrealists and Dadaists, silly fellows that they were. Question: Who is/are your illustration hero/oes? Vince: Denis McLoughlin. He was a British book cover designer for pulp novels in the fifties and sixties. Question: Who is/are your design hero/oes?? Vince: The Victorians in everything: painting, architecture, poetry etc. Question: If you weren't an illustrator what would you be? Vince: A vicar. Probably a voodoo vicar though.
Hard Rock Cafe/Casino, Bizarre Magazine, Harvey Nichols, Fender Musical Instruments, Gretsch Guitars, Nintendo, Blockbuster Video, Pepsi ColaFavourites
: The Ace Cafe
, an old Rockers haunt on the north circular.
: The Chip Shop, I'm not really a shopper.
: Total Guitar
Place to loose yourself?
: Looking at my new baby girl, Scarlett Poppy Ray.
: Las Vegas. I'm very shallow!
: Blogg Off! Not my cuppa tea.