Jonathan Edwards - illustrator

Today we had an amazing talk by Johnathan Edwards who works as an illustrator.Johnathan qualified at Glyndwr University over 20 years ago and has become very successful in his work. His first work being done for Tank Girl and Deadline  magazine, as well as many other clients that he has had his main one is the Guardian newspaper where he has illustrated the hard sell column since 2002. His amazing portfolio of work can be viewed on his website .

Jonathan took us on a fantastic journey through his career, and detailed his illustration process from start to finish, commenting on the tight deadlines he had to adhere to that ranged from anything from an hour to a week!

Despite what some have presumed of his working process Jonathan has not resorted to tools such as Illustrator, and even though he often has very little time in which to complete work he still uses ink and a sable brush, along with brush pens to produce his illustrations (although i suspect there is quite  a bit of Photoshop thrown in as well).

It was obvious to see how passionate he was about his work, and how committed he was to succeed – this has obviously paid off as he now has some of the big names to add to his list of clients! I did decide when i was listening to him describe the speed he had to work at, that i was happy i had not chosen to do a course in general illustration, and had opted for children’s as the set up of my life (bringing up children on my own) would not allow me to commit to such short  deadlines without it being detrimental to my family life.

I asked him if there was any work that he wouldn’t do, his reply was that he doesn’t do any political work as he doesn’t want to put his name to any particular point of view, and also has refused work that was advertising the RAF for the same reasons. I found this to be quite admirable, but then also thought that he was in a position to be able to turn work down and wondered if he would feel so strongly if he was on the bread line and just starting out?

Being someone who sometimes struggles for inspiration i asked him if he ever experienced the same as i was aware that this could be a nightmare with the deadlines being so short.He answereed that no, he didn’t struggle for inspiration and there had never been a time that he was stuck for ideas, he did also say that this was a good job as otherwise there would be a huge blank space in the guardian each week if he did!

I found the talk awesome and inspirational if not a little intimidating-when you look at people who seem to ooze creativity as he did it can leave you questioning whether or not you are made of the same stuff – but then at the end of the day we are all different and all have our own place in the world!

Some illustrations by Jonathan Edwards