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Liam O'Farrell

Liam O'Farrell

Welcome to Liam O’Farrell's page. He has been illustrating since 1987 and adores what he does. Architecture and day to day life is his thing and he takes a sketch book everywhere!

He has illustrated many magazines, book covers and annual reports as well.

He uses pencil, watercolour and ink to produce his illustrations, and though it’s good to work in front of the subject he can work from photographs, sketches and even Google Street View has been used to bring an illustration together. There will also be no problem working on scenes that don’t exist at all.

“Conceptually I am simply interested in what is memorable about a subject as this will be the key to what communicates the best. I do what is needed and nothing more.”
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Liam: No conscious choice, a desire to draw and paint has always been there. I suppose it's just a part of me like any physical part of me such as eyes and ears. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Liam: Yes, Portsmouth College of Art in the UK. Question: Where are you originally from? Liam: Portsmouth, UK. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Liam: After 23 years in London I now live in Pilton which is where the Glastonbury Festival is held. I have always loved the village. It is situated in a secluded dell with a stream at the bottom. Very quiet, most of the time! Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Liam: Well I work outside much of the time, though as a base I have a studio in the Georgian cottage we live in. A drawing board to one side with paints and pencils scattered about. You will also find a computer and printer on a table, beneath which our cat Poppy spends most of the day sleeping. A window looks over the garden and beyond this a hill, just over that hill is the Pyramid stage of the Glastonbury Festival. Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Liam: No, though I do however take a sketch book everywhere and they get used for everything. Even shopping lists. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Liam: I love history, especially how it ties in with art and war. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Liam: An oil painting for the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Liam: A travel writing book with me illustrating throughout. A partnership with someone inspiring though unstable. Two months across Russia with Russell Brand? Question: How do you get your ideas? Liam: To be honest they just drop in as I go. You can come to a job with no ideas, though once you start moving the pencil about, ideas and routes begin to develop almost on their own. Question: Who are your art heroes? Liam: There are loads here. Though coming top would be Sir Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon and Grayson Perry. All dedicated, and all follow as Grayson Perry says "The path of most resistance". Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Liam: I adore the great originals. Sir John Tenniel of Alice in Wonderland fame. The perfect writer/illustrator partnership. It was Tenniel who gave the Mad Hatter the famous ticket in his hat. It was never mentioned in any of the books. He contributed and enhanced without ever taking over. Also worth a mention is William Heath Robinson. Delicious ideas and a master of watercolour. Question: Who is your design hero? Liam: Abram Games who designed the identity for the Festival of Britain in 1951. And he was of course very illustrative. Question: What's the best advice you've ever been given? Liam: "It's not the pursuit of happiness, it's the happiness of the pursuit". Question: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? Liam: Oddly I would like to illustrate a war, so where ever that is.
Tatler, O2, The Times, Liberty’s of London, Perspectives in Architecture, BBC Books, Macmillan , The Big issue, One Housing Group, Meed

Gallery: The National Gallery London, in my humble opinion the best Art Gallery in the world. And it's free to get in.
Cafe: Wong Kei, Chinese restaurant, 41-43 Wardour Street, Soho, London.
I have been thrown out of there more times than I care to mention. They always let me back in though. Lovely fellas!
Shop: Atlantis Art London
Art Equipment/Tool: Staedtler Mars Technico 780C Clutch Pencil.
All the joy of an ordinary pencil without the shavings.