After a foundation year in Southend, Sholto went to the Cheltenham School of Art where he specialised in painting.
Drawing in pencil on paper is where it always starts. Sholto used to use watercolour, coloured pencils and ink but these days his inked drawings are scanned in and coloured using Illustrator and Photoshop.
Sholto’s style is energetic and immediate. He likes to work quickly and in doing so his work is very expressive. There’s wit and humour in it too – not necessarily jokes but something amusing that people can quickly relate to. When he works he always imagines the person viewing the illustration at an individual level rather than as a ‘market’.
Question: Do you have any formal design training? Sholto: I have an Honours Degree in Fine Art from Cheltenham where I specialised in painting. Question: Where are you originally from? Sholto: Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England. Question: Where do you live now & what drew you there? Sholto: I live near Bath in Somerset. It was the quality of the countryside. I'm from South East Essex so until I moved here, 'countryside' meant places to build supermarkets and 'executive homes' on. Question: Where is your studio and can you describe it for me? Sholto: In our garden under an apple tree. It's old and made of stone. Sometimes the roof leaks. Inside it's slightly chaotic, but does the job. Question: Who or What is your biggest inspiration? A Sholto: At the moment it's my seven-year-old son Louis who frequently sends me scampering to my notebook. Question: How do you get your ideas? Sholto: Thinking, thinking. Always thinking. Question: What are your interests outside of illustration? Sholto: Racing, riding and maintaining bicycles. Painting. Question: Tell us about a favourite project you’ve recently completed. Sholto: I have just finished illustrating a great story about a tiger who one morning appears in the garden of two young children. Question: What would be your dream job/commission? Sholto: Left alone to illustrate a collection of poetry for children.
Question: Who are your art heroes? Sholto: Otto Dix, Peter Howson, Stanley Spencer, Balthus, Pablo Picasso, Velasquez, Francis Bacon, Paula Rego. Question: If you were not an illustrator, what would you be? Sholto: Professional cyclist. Question: What do you say to people who say illustration isn’t really "Art"? Sholto: I ask them to define 'art' first. It's usually a great discussion. Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Sholto: My art college tutor, "you can only do what you can do". Question: Do you think anyone with Photoshop can be an illustrator these days? Sholto: Absolutely not. It's like saying "anyone with a paintbrush". Question: If you could travel back in time which period would you visit & why? Sholto: Medieval England. To mingle for a while. It would be valuable to compare popular thought then to popular thought now. Question: Have you any hidden talents? Sholto: Hill-climbing (on a bike). Bicycle wheel-building. Question: Do you have any pets? Sholto: One cat, Spike. He's a polydactyl, which means he has five or six toes on each paw. Most cats have four. Question: Who would you like to have as your muse if your were painting their portrait? Sholto: My partner Jenny.
Kodak , Carlton Books, Heinemann , Harper Collins , Annick Publishing , The Financial Times , US film & animation company Klasky Csupo Inc.Favourites
: Cafe La Strada
: At the moment it's a corner of Spain in the mountains about an hour from Valencia. Peaceful and great for bikes.
: Instant coffee
: Any tool shop. Any second hand shop. Cornelissen & Son
art shop, Great Russell Street, London (I used to work there)
: William Mitchell Ltd. Gillott no 404 drawing nib