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Character Art 1Iíve been illustrating and doodling characters since before I was potty-trained. I was obsessed with Frankenstein and zombies, and I used to doodle characters to scare my little brother. Then I became obsessed with nudity and bosoms, and I doodled images to scare my parents. And now Iím obsessed with squashed animals. I doodled my way through an illustration degree course at Chelsea, and then I doodled my way through a 2D animation course at St Martins, and then a cartooning course and a storyboarding course.

storyboard 1 storyboard 2

Thereís a pantheon of illustrators and animators stuffed in my cupboard. I remember when my dad bought me my first 2000AD comic. When I saw the illustrations from artists like Carlos Esquerra and Simon Bisley,, I immediately binned my Beanos. Then I discovered Gerald Scarfe and Ronald Searle. I loved their splotchy, scratchy illustrations.

fairy tale 1I recently wrote and illustrated a fairytale. I took the sick world of Grimmís fairytales as my inspiration. The characters I developed, I tried to invest with humanity, but also a bit of humour.

I started a job as an Art Director in an advertising agency. And it was like entering a sweet shop. I could pick from any illustrator I wanted. I discovered people like Dave McKean,, and Mark Ryden, Have a look at Mark Rydenís carnivorous Alice and Wonderland illustration on the front cover of Hi Fructose volume 3.

fairy tale 2From my 2D animation course, I learnt a lot about characterisation and expression. I was inspired by the work of golden oldies such as Milt Kahl and Richard Williams. And then subsequently I took a lot of inspiration for my Roadkill characters from the Ren and Stimpy Show. Their cartoon is stuffed full of bloodshot eyes and bulging veins and contorted expressions. To create a good cartoon character you need to invest it with humour, and Ren and Stimpy is about as funny as you can get. Hereís a befuddled alien character I animated recently.

Since starting on the road to Roadkill, Iíve been lapping up contemporary character design as influences for my Roadkill designs. I love James Jarvisí work, Heís taken the mundane and turned it into the quirky. And I like Nathan Jurevicius for his surreal octopi and his steroid-pumped Heenie. And then thereís Pete Fowler with his dumpy Jogger and his Festival Ranger.

Character Art 2And hopefully some day, somewhere, someone out there will quote Twitch and his bashed-up buddies as their inspiration.