Ollie wasn’t professionally trained but grew up with a paintbrush in his hand. Raised in a creative household, Ollie was encouraged to paint as often as possible and over the years built up an impressive portfolio and the skills needed to work full time as a professional illustrator, a field in which he has been working in for more than 10 years.
When illustrating well known products, Ollie aims to remain true to the objects original form while bringing a new sense of movement and life to the illustration. He researches the item in full to gain an understanding of its history, how it works and who it is designed for, before beginning his process of sketching and then painting, using a mixture of watercolour, gouache and ink.
Whilst Ollie captures the true essence of what he paints his own elegant style shines through in all of his illustrations. His detailed approach allows the subject matter to do the talking whilst his soft painting technique and use of colour, emanates luxury and immediately engages his audience.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Ollie: I've always been passionate about drawing. I can remember drawing from a really early age, I like creating things, I love working with my hands. When you've finished you can stand back and appreciate what you've created. Well if it's good that is! Question: Do you have any formal design training? Ollie: No I'm self trained. Actually I studied business at university, and then I worked in a design agency where I learnt lots of skills and I just decided to put a portfolio together - which I did and a few months later I applied to an agent and that was that. Question: Where are you originally from? Ollie: Originally I'm from Cheshire in the North of England. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Ollie: Actually I recently moved to London. I wanted to be closer to some family and also I really wanted to have lived in London at some point during in my life. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Ollie: At the moment my studio is just a room in my house. Question: Describe the view from your studio window? Ollie: I've got a view across London and the River. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Ollie: My love of beautiful things and people. I try to capture and communicate a story when I illustrate. Especially when I'm drawing a woman. "Who is she? Where's she been? Where is she going?" Question: Do you collect anything? Ollie: I love black and white fashion photographs.
Question: Do you keep a scrapbook? Ollie: Not as such, but I have numerous sketchbooks and I bookmark things that inspire me online. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Ollie: Music, film, playing the saxophone, keeping fit, sailing. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Ollie: I've just worked on 4 ads for the Monaco tourist board with Green Team in New York, and I really enjoyed doing that. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Ollie: I'd love to be the "artist in residence" in a top fashion house. Question: Who is your design hero? Ollie: Tom Ford, I love his approach to everything and his inherent attention to detail, whatever he turns his hand to has to be perfect. Question: Who is/are your musical hero/es? Ollie: I love all kinds of music from The Killers to Miles Davis. Miles once said that for him music and life are all about style and I'd say he was almost bang on the money. Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Ollie: I think I'd visit the 1920's. It was an age of elegance, when a woman wouldn’t leave the house without a fabulous hat and the men were dressed in suits. Question: If you could travel back in time, who would be the one person you would want to meet? Ollie: I think Frank Sinatra would be great.
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