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Colin Elgie

Colin Elgie

I am an experienced illustrator working in the UK. Trained in traditional graphic art techniques, I have also worked digitally for many years. I work on a computer to produce my artworks, using mainly Illustrator and PhotoShop. I have worked in areas as diverse as advertising, editorial, publishing, packaging, design and new media. My extensive client list includes a host of well-known companies, publishers and household brands.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Colin: My dad loved to paint as a hobby and he always wanted to be an illustrator but never got the chance. I would watch him sketching and oil painting and be fascinated by it. I definitely caught the bug from him. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Colin: Yes, when I was 16 I went to the local technical college and did 4 years training to be an illustrator. Question: Where are you originally from? Colin: London Town. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Colin: I live in Kent, now. I like the Georgian architecture, the High Weald landscape and walking in the countryside. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Colin: It is in an attic room at home in Elgie towers (a Victorian semi detached residence). The studio is about 12 feet square with a bit of a sloping ceiling. There is one window facing south by south-east-ish. It is a painted in a fetching shade of greeny-grey (called ‘flagon’ if memory serves). Question: Describe the view from your studio window? Colin: It is a typical suburban scene. I look down on the houses and gardens opposite. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Colin: I guess on a personal level, I would have to say to my Dad. Question: Do you collect anything? Colin: Yes, I do. I amass a lot of printed ephemera, postcards, books and so on. I can’t leave a beach without picking up an interesting shell or pebble and pocketing it. Oh, and I seem to collect wine corks and put them in glass bottles – I don’t know why. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Colin: I used to, but not any more. I tend to shove stuff in filing boxes now in a disorganized, magpie-like way.
Question: What is the first record you bought? Colin: It was called ‘Zero She Flies’ by Al Stewart in about 1968. By chance many years later I painted a couple of album covers for him. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Colin: My favourite project is keeping busy! Having said that, I enjoyed designing the poster that accompanies this interview, though. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Colin: I would love to do a series of illustrations with a travel theme. I love the style and romance of old travel posters. Question: Who is/are your design hero/es? Colin: Harry Beck, Charles and Ray Eames, Jonathan Ive. Question: Who is/are your musical hero/es? Colin: Right now, I am listening to some Malian music – I particularly like Tourmanie Debate and Ali Farka Toure. I think my all time favourite is Ry Cooder – his guitar playing blows me away! Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Colin: I would like to see the northern lights here. Question: If you won the lottery what would you do with the money? Colin: I would like to think I would give away half of it, because it’s only money. Then I would buy Everything! Question: Would you continue to illustrate? Colin: Yes, I would. I don’t think I could give it up. What else is there? Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Colin: Don’t go back! That’s my motto. People were smelly in the past and the hygiene was rudimentary, to say the least. Plus, you couldn’t get a mobile signal and there was no penicillin. Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet? Colin: HG Wells. I would tell him that time machine nonsense of his was a bit far-fetched.
I have a many and varied client list from Asda to Zeneca.

Café: East Beach Cafe
Art Equipment/Tool: A putty rubber (for all my mistakes)
and a Wacom Intuos Pen Tablet
Food: I love East End Pie and Mash shops. It’s my upbringing.
I seek them out wherever I can
Shop: A local favourite Hall’s Bookshop
Blog: For intriguing old book illustrations Bibliodyssey