Issue Three Feature: Oliver Catherall | Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Oliver Catherall
Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Who are you and what type of creative are you?

I’m Oliver. I’m an illustrator/graphic designer born and raised just outside Liverpool, currently living in Manchester. My passion for art started at an early age; having a big passion for ancient history and mythology I would draw scenes of Jason and the Argonauts, Homer’s Odyssey and random characters. My dad taught me how to draw after it being a passion of his too. As the years went on my drawing technique improved and I started to think more creatively. It’s only while I’ve been at University that I’ve realized which direction I want my work to be heading. I think it’s important to have your own kind of bucket list, a to do list of what work you want to create in the future and where you want to see it.    

 Where do you get your inspiration for work? 

I take inspiration from anything and everything; whether it is something on the street or something someone has said. I would say my main influences are popular culture, music, film, history and anything unusual. I think it is important to look at new styles and artists, where the trends are heading and what people are looking for. However I like to be individual and create something new out the styles. I think looking for inspiration from the past is also a great technique. By taking inspiration from all walks of life, new processes and designs can be created.

What is your artistic process?  

I think it is important to look at a piece of work in different stages. I start off with a rough idea of what I want from the piece and gradually illustrate more layers and versions for the piece. I like to work this way as I get a better perspective of the piece I am drawing. Some pieces of work will be computer based, but I do prefer to hand draw my images and perhaps only tweak them on the computer afterwards.

The outcome from this style of work always works for me. Each piece of work I create depends on the mood that I am in. Sometimes depending on the project the piece will be heavily coloured, using mixed media and patterns. Whereas sometimes the drawing is best when it is just black and white.

What designs are you most proud of and why? 

The two designs I am most proud of are the two skateboards I have designed. Named Long Live The King and Long Live The Queen, they were both screen printed onto the boards. I was first told that this process would not work because of the curvature of the skateboards, however they came out really well. I had a group of friends holding the boards whilst I maneuvered the screen, trying to print the characters I had designed on there.

I think I am most proud of a piece of work when the finished outcome is exactly how I wanted the illustration to look. I think a lot of designers have a idea of how they want the outcome to look, however actually getting to that stage exactly is one extreme to another. It can look perfect or horrible.

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