Jonathan Allardyce is an award-winning creative with 20 years of professional experience.
A masters graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Jonathan worked as a designer and art director commissioning some of the UK's most celebrated illustrators before turning freelance himself. He now creates lively, colourful artwork for books, magazines and newspapers as well as global brands such as Virgin and Orange. Jonathan draws using a touch sensitive display - the Wacom Cintiq - then colours and finishes his illustrations in Adobe Photoshop. He also uses Adobe Illustrator to create sequences for animation. Jonathan lives and works from a farmhouse in the Buchan plains - a beautiful, sometimes desolate landscape best viewed from a parka.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Jonathan: I've always loved drawing and painting. The possibility of doing it for a living seemed irresistible. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Jonathan: I studied for a BA(Hons) in Illustration & Photography, then an MDes in Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art. It was a unique opportunity to experiment with different ideas and techniques. Question: Where are you originally from? Jonathan: Birkenhead, Merseyside. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Jonathan: Fyvie, Aberdeenshire. I love the fresh air, open space and long northern light. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Jonathan: I work from a 19th century farmhouse in the agricultural plains of Buchan. Question: Describe the view from your studio window? Jonathan: Fields of ripening barley and oilseed rape beneath expansive blue skies. I can see peewits and oystercatchers swooping over the hedgerows. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Jonathan: My wife Louise and my two children. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Jonathan: Spending time with my family, running (I'm training for a fifth marathon), wild spaces, listening to music, reading. Question: What is the first record you bought? Jonathan: Joy Division-Short Circuit; Live at the Electric Circus.
Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Jonathan: OgilvyOne Beijing asked me to create a series of images for Johnnie Walker's Asia Pacific website called 'The Pact between Men'. The images were used to build 3D navigational pop-up pages, with elements on each page linking to different sections of the site. 'The Pact between Men' is an aspirational story which adapts Johnnie Walker's global 'Keep Walking' campaign for the Chinese market. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Jonathan: To work as artist in residence at one of the Islay distilleries. Question: Who are your art heroes? Jonathan: Van Gogh, Louise Borgeois. Question: Who is your design hero? Jonathan: Marian Bantjes. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Jonathan: A lighthouse keeper. Question: What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into illustration? Jonathan: Listen to the client and understand their requirements. Deliver on time. Anticipate changes in the market, experiment with new media and processes. Enter competitions. Persevere. Immerse yourself in ideas and events that spark the imagination, not just in the world of art but also theatre, music, interior design and architecture. Read and travel as widely as possible. Keep a sketchbook. Cultivate positive relationships. Believe in yourself and the value of your work. Sleep well. Stay out of debt. Question: Do you have a method for dealing with the feeling of having no ideas? Jonathan: Take a break. Read a magazine, go for a run, phone a friend, walk the dog.
Orange, Diageo, Paramount, Time Warner, Benetton, Unilever, Virgin, Ecolab
Cafe: Coffee and Books, Dervaig, Isle of Mull
Gallery: Halle Saint Pierre, Paris
Art Equipment/Tool: Wacom Cintiq 21
Food: Flaxseed muffins
Drink: Brew Dog Punk IPA
Website: Design Observer
Blog: Drawn & Quarterly