Based in Ireland, Steve Simpson is a freelance illustrator and designer working in the areas packaging design, illustration and art for children’s books. Discover the colorful world of this artist in an interview below. Thank you, Steve Simpson!
– Can you tell me who you are, what you do?
Basically I’m an illustrator who also takes on the design role on a project. I guess, I’m what used to be called a ‘commercial artist’ before the ‘desk top publishing’ revolution took much of the illustration out of graphic design. I’m originally from Manchester but working in Ireland for the last 22 years. I have a background in traditional TV animation (Danger Mouse & Ninja Turtles) & British comics (The Beano). I studied technical graphics in Portsmouth in the days of Grant Enlargers, Letraset and Cow Gum. For the last 20 years I’ve been working as an illustrator for ad & design agencies, locally and internationally. I also work as a children’s book illustrator.
– You do a lot of things: illu, packaging, art for kids. What is your favorite?
Not sure I have a favorite. I like them all for different reasons. Illustration for the problem solving and quick turn around (esp. with advertising projects), packaging gives me the chance to create a whole piece, rather than just an element of a design. Children’s books are a lot more leisurely, with longer deadlines, the most important client is the kid who’ll be reading it:)
– Where from, this need of you to use crowded elements to create such interesting worlds?
I’m probably suffering from undiagnosed illustrator-obsessive-compulsiveness! It possibly comes down to the need for me to experiment. I play around with ideas in my sketchbook a lot and sometimes I get to use them in the more open briefs.
– What was your most beloved brief?
The best brief has a clear problem to be solved, but is also open with regard to corporate guidelines. There’s a certain style/feel to my work which I feel is quite consistent, but the content/elements/characters need to change to suit the intended audience. I really enjoy working this part out, it’s where I get the chance to experiment most.
– What are your clients?
I have a wide range of clients from all over the world in the areas of editorial, publishing, advertising & design agencies and also working directly with small start-ups. A real mixed bag:)
– What is your current/ next project?
Just finishing an activity book on the Day of the Dead for Penguin NY, which has been great fun. I’m also looking forward to getting stuck into a couple of new hot sauce labels for Mic’s Chilli in the new year.