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Q&A with Saroj Patel

Illustrator, artist and graphic designer

I'm a London based illustrator, artist and graphic designer and I divide my time drawing, painting, photographing and designing. You can see examples of my work here:

How did you get started in art? What is your background?

I've always drawn from a young age and my parents gave me the freedom to paint and draw on whatever I wanted. When I was a child I was even allowed to draw on the walls when we first moved into our new house. At university I studied as a graphic designer and worked full time when I first moved to London, but I had a passion for illustration and art so I quit my full time job to become freelance and to work on both illustration and design projects. I was lucky enough to have some contacts, great friends and luck that help me transition into the freelance world.

Let’s talk about the creative process and how you work. What are you working on now?

Research, sketch and create. At the moment I'm working on generating ideas for a new mural which I'll be painting in the Zizzi's restaurant in Derby.

What tools and materials do you use for your work?

I work with a mix of materials, pencil and ink are my favourite tools, I carry them with me everywhere. For my illustration projects I draw by hand using ink, and then use acrylics and watercolours to apply colour or scan in my artwork and then digitally colour the image.

What is your ideal work environment?

I don't I have an ideal work environment, I like to work in different spaces depending on the project, sometimes alone and sometimes surrounded by people. Sometimes I work better in the day, and sometimes the best work comes late at night. I always like to work with music, and as long as I have some pencils, ink and paint then I'm happy.

© Saroj Patel

Where are your favorite places for art? 

I don't have any particular places that I go to to see art, I try and go to exhibitions that seem interesting or I think will inspire me. I like small pop up galleries and also love the main art galleries and museums London has to offer. I also like to walk into galleries I come across in London to see whats on show. London is full of art, its everywhere and I never run out of places to go for inspiration. Recently I went to see 100 years of graphic design which was a pop up show by the Kemistry Gallery which was really cool and inspiring, David Bray's solo show Wrong Turn at the Stolen Space gallery and Angus Fairhurst  Bodies: animations from 1995 to 2001 at the Sadie and Coles Kingly Street Gallery.

Who are the artists you admire most?

There are so many great artists I admire, here are a few: James Jean, Pat Perry, Hello Von, Yuko Shimizu, Good Wives and Warriors, Si Scott, David Bray, Conrad Roset, Will Barras, Herakut, Lucy Mclauchlan. Antony Micallef, Chloe Early, Kate Moross, Miso and Swoon.