THE FACE Magazine 2001/2

After graduating from Brighton illustration course in 1995 I began my illustration career with editorial work for magazines like Elle, GQ, ES magazine, and Nova. My work evolved over a period of years as job after job I tried out new ways of image making and visual language. When I knocked on the door of The Face magazine, I found the perfect home to express, explore and grow, eventually developing the distinctive pop style that came to influence a generation of young illustrators.

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At the turn of the millennium the Face was being Art directed by Craig Tilford and its head Designer was Graham Rounthwaite. As well as being a talented designer/art director, Graham was also an illustrator and had a strong idea of how a new look of illustration could be used in a fashion and culture magazine. I had always been very influenced by fashion photography, and so my illustrations carried the same attitude that was often conveyed in fashion editorials. This fitted well in a magazine like The Face and Graham gave me free reign, never once asking me to change anything. There was a strong ethos of experimentation and creativity at The Face magazine and individual artists and photographers were given a forum to explore new ideas without heavy handed direction.
Graham had had spreads published in The Face that took the place of what would have previously been fashion photography's exclusive domain, bringing a fresh look to a streetwear fashion editorial. Alongside fellow illustrator Pete Fowler, he made images for Faberge's 'Fusion' perfume campaign and for a brief period in the early noughties, a new school of illustration stood alongside fashion photography, echoing its attitude. This created a buzz around illustration and helped catapult it to new levels of popularity — illustration became aspirational, chic and edgy for the first time in years.