Print Shop Chat with Guy Parsons.
If you've visited our Windermere shop recently you might have met our newest member of the team, Guy Parsons. Guy is also an illustrator and print maker – and some of his designs are now available here in the Print Shop. We sat down in his tea break for a chat about his art.
Did you always want to be an artist?
I've always loved drawing, but there have been many times in my life when I wanted to do different things. I think through education I sort of fell into it. I studied illustration at university and loved the collaborative environment, but from the outset I think I had more of a commercial mindset: I wanted to do something creative but also for it to be viable. I've not really gone down that commercial route yet. I just love drawing pictures. It’s fun!
How would you describe your style?
Hopefully not twee! I hope that's not how people see my artwork. For a long time I tried to pin down what my style was, but after a while you fall into a natural rhythm. Now it’s just how I draw. If I were to try and categorise it, I would say it is like a digital collage, a very graphic drawing style. But most of the time it's literally just how I draw!
How do you create your work?
I've got a sketchbook where I just scribble things down. I draw from reference first because I don't really have one of those minds that can visualise an apple and turn it 360 in my head. I’ve got a scatterbrain where I see bits and bobs of things! I tend to draw stuff out then go onto my iPad or my computer and scan it in, arrange it digitally and then go through colour palettes and textures. I don't really like digital textures, so it is nice to use the Riso printer because that eliminates any digital texture and brings in a natural softness.
What inspires your artworks?
I'm very inspired by nature, in particular the different relationships and how narrative exists within nature. A lot of my drawings are focused around two elements, how nature works together and how you see certain things in conjunction with each other. I’m also interested in folk art and folk lore.
I'm quite an emotional person and that definitely informs my work. If I'm feeling moody, I'm going to make something that's kind of moody!
A lot of your work explores the outdoors – how is nature and the outdoors important to you?
It’s pretty crucial. My partner and I go hiking a lot, that's very important to me. I find that when I walk out in nature, I feel like my head's completely empty. I like that feeling, it's the only true time you can actually feel at peace. You just focus on that one walk and everything around you. It’s so important to my mental health. It's also pretty sick, you know? Pretty sick to see a red squirrel or something amazing like that.
What is your big dream when it comes to your work?
My dream is children's book illustration. I would love to design and write a children's book.