Question: What drew you to illustration/design? Nick: It was the only thing I was really good at. All hope of becoming an astro physicist died when I failed my 11+! Question: Do you have any formal design training? Nick: I studied 'Exhibition and Interior Design' at the Cheshire School of Art and Design for three years. I then worked first as a visualiser, then a finished artist and finally as an Art Director in a number of Ad agencies for about ten years. This was in the good old days of 'cut and paste' and 'spray mount'! No computers back then. I became a professional illustrator in 1986. Question: Where do you live? Nick: I live in the Currumbin Valley with my wife Judye and my dog George on Australia's beautiful East Coast, five minutes from some of the best surf breaks in the world. Shame I can't surf! Question: Can you describe your studio for me? Nick: It's pretty boring to be honest. Quite clinical. I don't work well in a mess. Must be something to do with my advertising background or that I'm a 'typical' Capricorn apparently. I spent years in the UK working traditionally, so was forever searching for good, natural light. Not easy to do in a country where the clouds seem to be permanently attached to the chimney. Now I work on computer, it's sunny 365 days a year and I have to pull the blinds so I can see the screen! Question: What is your biggest inspiration? Nick: My wife. She's the archetypal 'tough' Australian and spurs me on with inspirational words like 'Get some work done you lazy *¢#*!' Question: How do you get the best ideas? Nick: Observation. I could sit and watch people all day, making mental notes. Question: What technique do you use? Nick: Everything starts with a sketch. Good old pencil and paper. Then it's onto the Mac for finishing. Question: Tell us about a favorite project you have recently completed. Nick: The one I'm working on now. Some anthropomorphised punctuation marks for a publisher in New York. You never know what the next day will bring as an illustrator. Question: What would be your dream job/Commission? Nick: Angelina Jolie's tattoo artist.
Question: Who are your illustration heroes? Nick: Paul Sample, a British illustrator and creator of 'Ogri'. He retired a couple of years ago and I managed to pick up some of his originals at an auction. A brilliant eye for detail. Question: Do you keep a scetchbook? Nick: No. I keep all the sketches I do for jobs, but the last thing I want to do when I'm not working is pick up a pencil. Question: What are your hobbies? Nick: I'm a bit of a country boy at heart, so I love a good walk. We have plenty of wildlife on our property to keep us busy including Wallabies, Koalas, Possums (and Snakes!). I'm also a qualified pilot, so I try to get 'aloft' at any opportunity. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Nick: Definitely a Bush Pilot. Question: Who would you like to meet? Nick: Bear Grylls for his life attitude. Richard Branson for his business aptitude. Question: If you could travel back in time, where would you go to? Nick: Apart from going broke, Greece hasn't changed much in the last couple of thousand years. And the Romans certainly knew how to party! Question: What kind of music do you listen to? Nick: Lots of early Roxy, Arcade Fire, The Cat Empire, Oasis. Paul Weller. Quite an eclectic mix, but if it gets the foot tapping, I'll listen to it. Question: If you won the lottery, would you still work as illustrator? Nick: Certainly.Without a doubt. Of course I would. Or would I? Maybe not. No, to hell with it. I'd buy a plane and fly around the world rescuing injured animals (and gambling and drinking.) Question: Do you have a favorite game? Nick: I've played golf since I was 4 years old. Probably the most frustrating game you could ever play but I keep going back for more. I'm convinced there's a Jack Nicklaus somewhere inside me just bursting to get out, but I wish he'd get a move on.
Storck, Asda, Tescos, Sainsburys, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Ritzenhoff, OUP, Macmillan, Silver EditionsFavourites
: Google Earth
Peter Jackson's Aviation Heritage Centre
at Omaka in New Zealand
: National Geographic Store and ebay
: Rae's at Watego Bay, New South Wales
: Moreton Bay Bugs. Sound awful, look gross, taste wonderful!
: Jamesons Whiskey