Vinyl Impression is very blessed to have a fantastic team of product designers that regularly create high quality products that are exclusively found on our website and affiliate online stores.
Over the last couple of years, we have worked really hard to build a collaborative network of freelancers who have jumped on board with the vision from Vi HQ. Over the next few months or so we will be removing the veil to show you the faces behind the designs, showcasing these talented individuals work and why we love working with them.
So first to remove the mask is Andy Elkerton, the mastermind behind the 'Once upon a wall' vinyl wall sticker collection. Now that we have been introduced lets kickstart the questions.
1) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself Andy?
My name is Andy, I'm originally from Birkenhead Merseyside but now live in Oban on the West coast of Scotland. I have a wife called Tori, three little kids, and an old cat called Bisley.
For the past twelve years I've worked as a children's book illustrator, but for fourteen years before that I was an artist/producer in the computer games industry.
2) What things are essential for you to have in your space and why?
The most important thing by far is my PC. I produce all my work digitally, so without that I'd be lost.
I'd also find things difficult if I didn't have my Wacom Tablet. For those that don't know this device is a large, pressure sensitive, black slab that sits on my desk, and in conjunction with a Wacom pen lets me draw and paint images directly onto the computer. It's a fantastic bit of kit that can emulate a myriad of drawing and painting tools and media. After that, as long as I have coffee, an internet connection, and enough podcasts and music to keep me going then I'm very happy!
3) What is your favourite part of the design process?
That's a straight split between when I start putting ideas down on paper, and the early stages of colouring an image. The first gives me a chance to exercise my imagination, and the second gives me an idea of what the final piece is going to look like, which is really rewarding.
4) Who is your greatest influence?
I don't think I've got one specific influence. However there are loads of fantastic children's illustrators out there, and I think each one of us trawls the internet or browses the shelves at bookshops to look at each others work, and get inspiration from whatever our contemporaries are up to.
5) What led you to be a designer?
Genetics. I think you either have artistic ability or you don't.
You can learn about art theory, colour theory, perspective etc all you want but unless you have the innate ability to be able to draw then you won't get far. My dad has artistic ability ( inasmuch as he knows which way round to hold a crayon), and one of his/my ancestors was a figurehead sculptor for 19th century sailing ships, so I'm guessing my ability comes from that line of the family.
Three years at Art College gave me insight into different artistic processes, and convinced me that spending my day drawing dancing Hippos, Laser-firing Robots, and cauldron stirring Witches was much better than getting a proper job!
6) Favourite project to date?
That's impossible to say. I've done hundreds of books, some advertising and t.v work, and have had some fantastic commissions. Some have been better than others but I can't think of any stand out jobs. I think what really excites me at the moment is a book I'm writing and illustrating myself. It hasn't been commissioned but I hope a Publishing House might pick it up when it's finished.
7) What is your drink of choice when designing?
Coffee; strong, lots of milk, no sugar please.
8)What is your favourite tool or piece of kit?
My Wacom Tablet.
9) How did you get involved with Vinyl Impression?
Ed contacted me out of the blue. A client approached Vinyl Impression looking for some wall stickers for her son, based on a book I'd done about Knights; so Ed decided to get in touch to see if that would be something I'd like to do.
I had a look at what Vinyl Impression were doing and absolutely loved their stuff, so I said "Yes".
After that I came up with a few more designs, which have all been fun to do. Ed was kind enough to send a copy of the original "Knights" stickers up here and they look great....even if I do say so myself!
For more information on Andy and his work click over to his Blog.