Meet The Illustrator

In this blog post, you’ll get to “Meet The Illustrator”. The person who creates our wonderful images for all our Christmas productions with DerbyLIVE and this year’s summer outdoor adventure for families, “Here Be Dragons!”

Here be dragons poster image for a family outdoor adventure

Welcome, Andy. He runs Karate Graphics based at Friar Gate in Derby. I got to ask him some questions and here’s what he said:

What inspires your Creativity?
I am often inspired by something that will catch my eye or things that stand out from the normal. Quirky cartoons and stories, popular culture.. Things that are a little bit macabre too! Visually I try to keep abreast of what other illustrators are doing. Growing up I was a big fan of the Tintin and Asterisk books and these still influence me today.

Andy's pencil drawings of mythical creatures that might be lurking in the woods
Andy’s initial sketch drawings for “Here Be Dragons!”

How did you become an Illustrator? I have always loved drawing. I studied fine art at college and then went on to complete city and guilds and evening classes in desktop publishing, Web design, Illustrator (software) and Photoshop. I then got unpaid work illustrating a magazine and from that set up my own graphic design company which eventually became me doing my illustrations!

Andy's pencil drawing of a woman adventurer running
Andy’s initial sketch drawings for “Here Be Dragons!”

What Type of Projects do you enjoy and why? I enjoy most of the work I do. I enjoy working in a variety of styles as I think it keeps the work fresh. Projects, where I have some creative influence, can be nice as opposed to “draw this like this”. But, those too are rewarding in there own way.

Andy’s initial sketch drawings for “Here Be Dragons!”

Looking back, what advice would you have given yourself when you were just starting out in your career? I guess I probably wouldn’t have listened to myself, but I’ll have a go:
Learn to take criticism – not everyone’s vision is the same and if someone is paying you, they’re the boss! Having said that people will come to you because they like what you do. Buy a tablet and pen for your Mac about 2 years before you did.

Andy's pencil drawing with colour . It depicts a male adventurer running through the woods followed by children
Andy’s initial colour sketch for “Here Be Dragons!”

If you love Andy’s work as much as we do you can follow him on Instagram “Karate Grafika” or email him