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.
John Holder

John Holder

About
Impressions
Interview
John loves old stuff in general – guitars, watches, bikes and more – and lives in a 17th century home which also houses his studio. A sense of heritage informs his style, and in 2012 he put together a book called GOD – Good Old Drawing, featuring the work of 100 like-minded creatives.

Approach


The authenticity of John’s work extends right down to the tip of his 19th century drawing nibs, and he colors his work his using watercolors.

Style


Funny characters in a classic style are John’s domain, with soft color palettes and strong compositions, often with plenty of detail and a touch of cheekiness.
Question: Do you have any formal design training? John: Cambridge College of Art, where I am now a visiting fellow. Question: What drew you to illustration/design? John: It was the only subject I was top of the class in at school. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? John: Cambridge: A wonderful cultural city near the country. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? John: In my garden built mainly in reclaimed material. Question: Do you collect anything? John: Antique clocks and watches, veteran cycles, acoustic guitars, original drawings. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? John: Paul Hogarth, my old tutor and mentor. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. John: A series of illustrations for the day the statue of Sir Keith Park was unveiled on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? John: Cycling, bluegrass music, folk blues, travelling, logging (that’s trees, not logging on).
Question: What would be your dream job/commission? John: To do a series of drawings in NYC (I’m thinking about doing it). Question: Who are your illustration heroes? John: NC Wyeth, David Lavine, Robert Crumb, Thomas Rolanson. Question: Who are your musical heroes? John: Bill Munroe, Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, The Stanley Brothers. Question: If you could take a holiday leaving tomorrow, where would you go & what would you do? John: Kentucky, to play some bluegrass music. Question: What do you have bookmarked? John: Bookmarked? My most recent favourite book is 'A Confederacy of Dunces' by John Kennedy Toole. And by the way my most recent favourite film is 'The Piano Player of Earthquakes'. Question: What is your favourite game, computer or not? John: Playing hide and seek with my grandchildren.
SELECTED CLIENTS:
The Sunday Times, Penguin Books, Harper Collins, Ladybird, OUP, Saatchi & Saatchi, BBC, Macmillan, The National Trust, The Guardian, New York Times

Favourites
Art Equipment/Tool: Dip pens; Hinks Wells, 303, Perry and Co running hand, Higgins Ink, Conte Pierre Noire Pencils
Magazine: The New Yorker
Gallery: Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Food: Any from my vegetable garden and fish straight from the sea.
Shop: Pearl Paints
 
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