Originally from Cornwall, Lee studied at Falmouth School of Art then at Bournemouth School of Art, specializing in Illustration. In addition to creating vibrant, mixed media illustrations featuring strange and wondrous characters, he runs club nights across the Southwest of England and his poster work for them caught the eye of new clients leading to his career in illustration. He recently made a boardgame with Clarendon Games, emblazoned with his inimitable artwork.
Lee uses a range of media including paint and screenprinting, and often cuts out the parts that will make up his characters, paints and assembles them to form his illustrations. His sketchbook is full of doodles, and he also works digitally with a graphics tablet.
Lee’s work is textural and painterly, abstract and vibrant. He’s inspired by Latin American artwork, culture and music. It shows through in his style, which is also influenced by artists like Edward Gorey, Yuri Norstein and even Saul Bass.
Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Lee: Drawing was my first love, if you are lucky, try and do what you love. Question: Do you have any formal design training? Lee: Yes, I went to Falmouth School of Art and Bournemouth school of Art and Design. Question: Where are you originally from? Lee: Falmouth, Kernowfornia (Cornwall). My family come from a little village called Port Navas in the Helford river, close to Falmouth. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Lee: Ashburton (Devon) in the foothills of Dartmoor. We always used to come up from Cornwall to Dartmoor on day trips, it's a world of its own; rugged, raw, wild and untamed, like the sea, I find it very inspiring. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Lee: I'm in the Attic on St. Lawrence Lane in Ashburton. It's a visually voracious jumble of books, records, cds and doodles. It's much like how my head would look if you took a peek inside it.Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? Lee: Latin American culture, Mexican Dia de los Muertos, art, short films, long films, the sea, books and music!Question: How do you get your ideas? Lee: By immersing myself in music and any one of the above, or going for a long walk. Question: Do you collect anything? Lee: Ideas, I keep them in jars and feed them until they grow wild and free.Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Lee: I have many - I run a club arts night called The Rambunctious social club, creating sets, interactive art and DJ-ing.Question: Tell us about a favourite project you've recently completed. Lee: A really cool small editorial job for HOT RUM COW - illustrating a piece called 'Rum, Reggae and Duppies' about the 'supernatural' qualities of Rum and Jamaican ghosts and how they have influenced Reggae music. The subject matter was right up my street! Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Lee: To design all posters, artwork, giant 3D stage sets etc for a full scale immersive show or festival, music or theatre.Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Lee: Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, Eduardo Munoz Bachs.Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Lee: A one man Mexican Mariachi band.Question: If you could live anywhere, where would you go? Lee: Colonia, Uruguay - lovely colonial town by the sea, full of old streets, sea smells, great music and art.Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Lee: The time of the Mayans. Their culture fascinates me, especially the art, witness the Mayan hieroglyphics and stelae, the original colours of all the temples.