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13th March 2020
Meet the Artists – Harry Goldhawk
Rounding off this edition of Meet the Artists is Harry Goldhawk, an illustrator and motion artist whose work captures tranquil atmospheres, and the subtle movement through them. Harry joined the Artworks in October 2019, working with an impressive list of publishers (Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishing, Michael O’Mara Books…) as well as founding the beautifully designed lifestyle brand Papio Press, which is stocked in over 100 shops across the globe.
Harry opened up about balancing parenting and illustration, his favourite cartoon and the shift to working fully on a tablet…
Where do you live?
I live in beautiful Cornwall.
Where is your studio located?
My studio is in my house.
Can you describe your creative process?
For quite some time I was using Photoshop and a Wacom drawing tablet for my illustrations but after having a baby in 2018 I was getting to my desk a whole lot less than I was used to, so I switched over to an iPad and never looked back. I find you get the convenience of drawing digitally combined with the feel and immediate response you get from drawing straight to paper. It’s amazing being able to use one tool for sketching, developing and finalising a project.
When starting a new project I start with a few rough sketches to decide the composition and then I slowly work up the illustration to a more finalised form using colour and texture.
What does a typical working day look like?
Everyday is so different. Having a toddler around definitely complicates the working day! My wife is also an illustrator who works from home a lot of the time, so we split the day in half, I spend half the day with the little one and work the other half. In the evening once he’s asleep I can get a few more hours of drawing in.
I usually check my emails first and that determines what I’m doing that day. If it’s the beginning of a project I’ll be working on some rough designs for clients, or if I’ve received some feedback for my roughs I’ll get working on some finalised designs.
Do you listen to music or the radio whilst you work? If so, what’s on your playlist?
Always, I find it easier to concentrate with a good album. On my playlist at the moment is The Maccabees, Foals, Mac DeMarco, James Blake & Bon Iver but I like to switch it up depending how I’m feeling. If I want something a bit more ambient I’ll put a Tycho or Bonobo album on.
How long have you been with the Artworks for?
I joined The Artworks last October so I really haven’t been here that long!
What drew you to Artworks?
I was so impressed with the calibre of artists and the range of projects that The Artworks works on. I read a couple of interviews with the Artworks and everything that they said resonated with me and my way of working so I got in touch!
What books or programmes did you love as a child? Have they influenced your work in any way?
As a child I loved watching Samurai Jack. The palette and backgrounds are gorgeous and still hold up.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be instead?
Before being an illustrator I was a product photographer for an online business which I enjoyed doing. I could definitely imagine doing that again if I wasn’t an illustrator.
What was the most important lesson your learned at Art School, if you went!
To draw from life and to make time to do drawings for your eyes only, drawings that aren’t necessarily aesthetic but help you understand structure and form. I also learned so much about colour theory which I really value and has had a real impact on my work today.
What inspires you the most to create?
I’m most inspired by the natural world. Living in Cornwall makes it so easy to go out and find some beautiful subject matter for me to draw.
Name three artists that you admire
Eyvind Earle, Eric Ravilious & Hiroshige.
What kind of commissions do you enjoy the most?
I love any commission that involves drawing landscapes. It’s also a massive plus when at the end you have something tactile that you can hold on to. When you work entirely digitally your illustrations only exist digitally, so it’s so nice when one of your illustrations arrives through your letterbox and is tangible.
What would your dream commission be?
I’d definitely like to do some more animation. It’s so tricky, like solving a complicated puzzle. There’s something so rewarding about seeing your artwork come to life.
Do you have any pets? If so, what and what are they called?
I don’t have any pets, just loads of house plants.
What 5 things could you not live without?
My wife and son, my iPad, my house & coffee.
What is your very favourite meal?
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I don’t have a whole of spare time at the moment but when I do get it I train in Judo and read.
What is your current dream travel destination?
I’d really like to check out Iceland.
If you want to see some more of Harry’s work, you can check it out here.