When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?
When I was about 20 I became interested in typefaces and the beauty and diversity of alphabets.
What was your first job?
I started work at 16, in a ‘commercial art’ studio where we made short 15-second cinema commercials. I was an apprentice commercial artist for five years. I hated the phrase ‘commercial artist’!
How would you describe what you currently do?
I still use the same materials (gouache and water colour) that I learned about in my first job. The things I draw and paint look like the real things – they have highlights and shadows – but I stylise them and put them into unexpected or ‘unreal’ situations. I try to create beautiful images with some wit or humour.
What has been the biggest change in design since you started?
What is your favourite project, that you’ve worked on?
The Key of the Kingdom – a pack of Transformation playing cards. They won the D&AD gold award and the V&A illustration award in 1994.
What is your favourite project, that you haven’t worked on?
A series of Still Life paintings. An illustrated collection of my own favourite stories.
What was your biggest mistake?
Selling my flat after falling into debt, thanks to spending too long finishing a book.
What is your greatest ambition?
To be healthy in mind and body for as long as is possible.
Who is the most inspirational person you have worked with?
Al Vandenberg, an American photographer/art director, who encouraged me not to do as others do, but to strive for my own originality.
What piece of advice would you give to people starting out in design?
The same as my friend Al Vandenberg gave me.