I am delighted you want to find out more about me personally, however please talk to my agents about commissions as they handle all of that for me. I look forward to working with you.
Colin Elgie

Colin Elgie

About
Impressions
Interview

Training


Colin went to East Ham Technical College where he took a Licentiateship of the Society of Industrial Art and Design. It included graphic design, copyrighting, photography, graphics and illustration.

Approach


Colin’s approach to image making is to keep it simple. If elements in the illustration aren’t needed to get the idea across, he leaves them out. First and foremost, illustration is very much a communication tool.

Style


Strongly composed and graphic looking, Colin’s work takes on board many of the aesthetics of the great poster designs of the 30s and 40s. Many of his pieces have an appealing and colourful vintage-made-modern look to them.
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.
SELECTED CLIENTS:
I have a many and varied client list from Asda to Zeneca.

Favourites
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
 
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