1970's - 1990's
.A mining village on Wat's Dyke, (Mealor ,N .Wales) from 2 generations of
mining officials. My grandfather was a former Royal Welch veteran of the Boer War
and Gallipoli and captain of the rescue team at Gresford's
1934 mining disaster
.He survived to write
the folk ballad which followed. A hard act to follow.
Wrexham Art School, (now "promoted" to the new Owen
Glyndwr university ) my drawing teacher was the best draughtsman
I have yet seen... Earnest Mitchell .I found it hard to adjust-
after leaving this fondly remembered socially close environment . I had
to move to Liverpool college of art to obtain a Dip. AD.
Although an exciting and
innovating time ( Beatles and cavern etc ),I left the
course after a year .People connected to the college at the time: Mike Mcartney
(brother of Paul) , painter / poet Adrian Hendry and poet Roger McGough.
London during the
optimistic mid 60's ,like other art students I found a
lively experience . I had found myself in the right places
however after that memorable decade came the reality check..
.After Goldsmith's College I taught art part
time at London Comprehensives for the next 5 years
while pursuing other unfulfilled interests. . For a person of my ilk
,surprisingly I ended up eventually with a 2.1 hons.
BA in history of art but never did complete an MA in
the mid 70's I was introduced by Jim Burns (the Science fiction
illustrator and former drinking companion) to the Young Artist's Agency
. As a novice , I began to produce realistic figurative work for
paperback covers and took on any work that came along-. others in the
agency at the time : Richard clifton-Dey, Chris Foss , Gordon Crabbe ,Chris
Collingwood etc. I had a healthy disregard for
competing for work in commercial agencies ,the type of work and the
"art business" generally. I returned to this agency on 3
separate occasions thanks to Alison Eldred.: later spent a year at the
other then top agency Artist Partners and worked my way through 8
others. ,I have independently worked outside the
system and An unwillingness to sell myself had been
detrimental to any prestigious marketing success I may have had.
In the pre-digital 80's and 90's I worked for the main UK
Publishers and produced most types of genre except science
fiction and fantasy art -now inundated with those digital
pneumatic tits. Although things military are of interest,
I have questioned an involvement in past macho action
covers -naively romanticizing war etc.
gave me a cover series of young adult novels after seeing an Oxford
Press children's cover . I was given a free hand throughout the
90's and had illustration exhibitions in Italy
most useful and productive period .Italy and southern France
became favourite places. In the past for my sins through agents
I have produced advertising work for government agencies;
corporate companies; banks ; hotel chains; computer
manufacturers ; packaging for games
; British Lion posters; and even a plate to promote Manchester United.
desire has recently made me return to my childhood
haunts in the quiet borderland backwater of the Alyn
Valley , revealing it's forgotten rich
contested history .