Ben the Illustrator is popping up here, there and everywhere at the moment. Be it in publications such as Computer Arts or through the many...
London-based illustrator Rod Hunt has been creating all sorts of retro-tinged landscapes and characters for a number of years now. He’s a prominent member of the AOI and is frequently featured in high profile publications. We stole a bit of his time to ask him a bunch of questions.
Welcome to Thunder Chunky, thanks for speaking to us. How are you doing today?
Pretty good thanks.
Tell us about yourself in 3 easy-to-follow steps.
1. London based Illustrator/designer
2. I draw much of my inspiration from humour, retro graphics & contemporary culture.
3. I’m also Deputy Chairman of The Association of Illustrators (AOI) http://www.theaoi.com.
Congratulations on your recent 5m wall display at The Lightbox, it’s quite something. How has the reaction been to the project?
It’s been very good. The design press have really picked up on it & given it some great coverage. Everyone who was involved with the project from the commissioner Real Studios to the the client & sponsors, are exceptionally pleased with the final result. It was great to work on such a challenging & unusual project that really stretched me to the limit.
The display is a sprawling town-scape, which is a common theme throughout a number of your projects. What do you find appealing about illustrating towns and cities?
I’ve always enjoyed drawing architecture, cities & the varied array of characters with in them. Maybe it has something to do with being brought in a rural community & going to a city always seemed like such an exciting adventure.
What would you say were the biggest influences on your style?
Comics were my big love as a kid, especially 2000AD, & that fired my imagination & inspired me to draw.
Things that inspire me, in no particular order: Edward Hopper, comics, 2000AD/Judge Dredd, pulp fiction covers, sci-fi, Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, robot toys, retro 50’s/60’s/70’s advertising & graphics, architecture, animation, film, Mad magazine…
What was your first big break in the industry?
After cutting my teeth on a few years of editorial work, my first big break was a series of brochure covers for Arthur Andersen. At the time it felt like a big step to get that first major corporate commission.
What are the best and worst things about being a professional illustrator?
The best things are getting to be creative everyday, & not having to commute to work.
The worst things are dealing with the increasing amount of appalling contracts & copyright grabs that some clients are trying to force on us. I would suggest everyone resists this erosion of our rights, & join & support the AOI who are constantly campaigning to protect the rights of all illustrators.
You’ve participated in various collaborative projects, what do you feel you get out of them?
I’ve been contributing to various exhibitions & projects this year, including the InkThis “Dreams & Nightmares” exhibition http://www.inkthis.co.uk , My Brand Project http://www.my-brand.com & All Systems Go! at Florida State University.
Doing shows & projects gives me interesting briefs to work on with complete creative freedom! I try to keep progressing my work by doing self initiated projects & using them to experiment with new ideas & techniques.
Change The World 9 to 5 Mural
If your illustrations were made into a movie, what would be on the Rod Hunt soundtrack?
It would have to be an especially composed soundtrack by Danny Elfman of course.
Finally, what’s the one thing everybody should do today?
Go out & buy the book Change The World 9 to 5 (that I did the cover for) & take it’s social & environmental message of “small change x lots of people = big change” to heart.
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