Freelance Illustrator Dick Vincent works out of Manchester, his work blends hand drawn print with typography and old drawings. We were lucky enough to have Dick painting live at our shop opening night, and we also now stock his prints and Christmas cards in store.
Here we got a chance to sit down and discuss; his creative inspirations, the first steps into selling your work, what he enjoys as an illustrator, future plans & more!
“Getting paid to draw pictures for a job is pretty awesome.. the thing that I love the most is the research I usually have to do on projects, I really enjoy learning how to draw things I’ve never drawn before.” –Dick Vincent
Who were your first creative inspirations growing up? How have your inspirations developed in recent years?
Growing up I was a massive comic book nerd and I really wanted to work for Marvel, but as I got older I realised I would have to work in someone else’s style which I knew I’d never be happy with. Through Skateboarding I discovered people like Margret Kilgallen and Ed Templeton who inspired me to paint which then introduced me to people like Ben Shahn, David Hockney and Frida Kahlo.
More recently however I’m more inspired by children’s book illustrators such as Oliver Jeffers, Tove Janson, Carson Ellis and Jon Klassen, artists I feel have completely changed the face of children’s books. During my time art school Children’s books were seen as a lower art form and many of the books that were coming out at the time felt like saccharinely sweet Disney imitations and then when people like Oliver Jeffers came along they were creating incredibly successful books that had still had an artistic integrity, which inspired me to produce the work I make today.
How did you take your first steps into illustration and selling your work?
The thing that helped me to make my first steps towards selling my work was my smart phone. Every time I did an illustration I was pleased with I’d upload it onto my phone then add it to several forms of social media. One thing I found helped was to give my self short briefs to illustrate an image from the book I was currently reading or if there was some form of public holiday I’d do an image related to that. Once I started building up a network I started to get asked to exhibit in local bars and cafes, I’d print a bunch of work off and anything I didn’t sell I’d add to my etsy.
Can you remember what the first piece you sold was?
The first piece I ever sold was to a friend from one of the illustration I had on show at Oddest bar in Manchester, it was an illustration of a bear and well dressed man holding hands. At first it felt strange that people wanted to buy my work but it gave me the motivation to produce more work. Alot of the stuff I did when I was starting out was work for friends which I’ve found has helped to bulk up my portfolio and helped to get more work.
Today what do you enjoy the most about your job?
Getting paid to draw pictures for a job is pretty awesome and I’ve been incredibly lucky with the clients I’ve got to work with. I think the thing that I love the most is the research I usually have to do on projects, I really enjoy learning how to draw things I’ve never drawn before and often in my work I try to have a nod to folk tales or other cultures which gives me an excuse to go to the library and I feel adds a depth in my work.
Where do you see yourself and your work going in the next 3-5 years?
My dream is to work on Children’s books, so I want to start aiming my work in that direction. I’ve wrote a picture book about the reluctant friendship of a Fox and Bear which I hope to finish soon. I’m also working on a range of greeting cards which should be on my etsy in the near future.
What’s your little Nook or hiding place where you enjoy relaxing and watching the world go by?
I live in the centre of Manchester which is great for keeping in touch with friends and is good for my work but at heart I’m country boy and whenever I have a bit of free time I head into the great outdoors. One of my favourite places is Hard castle Crags in West Yorkshire, its a path I’ve took over a thousand times but because of changing seasons no two walks ever feel the same.
Tell us your five favourite people to follow on twitter!
What songs have you been playing the most on your iPod this month?
I recently went on a trip to Iceland and stumbled into a local band called Low Roar, they were playing in a super cool bar in Reykjavik, they have a really nice dreamy sound thats so typical of Icelandic bands and I’ve pretty much had them on repeat since. I’m also obsessed with ‘The Rake’s Song’ by The Decemberists I love the lyrics about a young father murdering his children to pursue a life of bachelorhood, it reminds me of a cross between Edgar Allen Poe and Lemony Snicket.
What’s the best thing about christmas?
FOOD! and I don’t just mean the initial Christmas dinner I love how in December its perfectly acceptable to have a cheese board after every meal and not feel guilty. I’m not very good at shopping so I tend to make gifts for people and one of my favourite things is various forms of pickles and chutneys.
What was your best & worst present you’ve ever received?
The best present anyones got me is my Aeropress, I’m a big coffee nerd and it has helped me through several late night drawing sessions and it makes the best expresso. The worst gift was a glass corn on the cob, not really sure what the person was thinking.
What are you asking Santa for this xmas?
I always feel awkward asking for things but I’m happy with the boring this such as socks and chocolate.