Work inspiration with James Wilson

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James Wilson

Illustrator from Bristol | Editorial, posters, books and branding

Hi, I'm James and I'm an illustrator living and working in Bristol, UK.

What inspired you to become a designer?

I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I used to draw monsters as a child and copied things that I'd seen on tv. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a favourite. I get pretty restless if I'm not being creative in some way. My Dad used to play in a band with a couple of guys who were incredible illustrators and they had some pretty amazing studio setups, vinyl toys all over the place, posters, comics etc, which really made an impression on me.

What design software do you use?

Generally Photoshop CS6 and an Aiptek drawing tablet, but looking to upgrade the latter pretty soon. You can't beat a pencil and paper though in terms of the satisfaction you get out of it.

What is your ideal work environment?

A decent sized desk, natural light and some decent tunes to help me along the way. I like working on my own as well.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

It comes from a lot of different places. I mainly draw inspiration from my childhood, 80's movies, posters, old computer games. But I'm always inspired by stuff I see around me, there's tonnes of amazing artwork everywhere all the time,  on Instagram and websites like Designspiration and Behance.


© James Wilson

Who is the person you admire most?

I try not to focus on one particular artist, but to absorb good work in general and hopefully channel that subconsciously into my own style.

If I'm going to name drop though I'd say some current favourites are Sam Dunn, SinEater, Timba Smits, Sam Taylor, Kyle Platts, Freak City, TallBoy, Johnny Crap.