Saturday, 11 February 2012


Hi Martin, how are you? 
I'm very well thanks. 
Can you tell us a bit more about you, where you're from, what you like? 
Originally from Bedfordshire before moving down south to West Sussex. Graduating from a 'Graphic Design & Illustration' couse, I found becoming a illustrator a little hard so I naturally fell into Graphic Design. I have now been a graphic designer for the last 6 years working with clients that include Rod Stewart, Prince, Weight Watchers and Raymond Blanc. My love has always been illustration though and it's only now I have started to creep back into the messy world of collage. I have a huge interest and admiration for everything that involves being creative, from photography, fashion, music to cooking. I enjoy drinking wine and working into the early hours (weird I know). I also love Polaroid cameras.

What inspired you to be an illustrator? 
I remember when I was young I used to enjoy drawing whenever I could. My dad is good with a pencil, my nan is very arty herself, these things so early on in my life gave me a '1 track mind' that I wanted to be some kind of artist. It was during college I was inspired to go down more of the illustration route.

Would you share with us your creative process?
In the uni days, it used to be collecting as many textures, marks and interesting imagery as I could, which I would then start to collage together by hand adding pen, pencil, paint & tape as I went. I started to have trouble getting the original piece on digital format due to not having enough money to buy a great scanner or camera. I used to also be very 'anti-computer' when illustrating, thinking it would compromise the textures I was working with. But since I've started illustrating again, I've recently got myself a brilliant scanner. So my methods are similar, but I only make a hand based composition of the illustration now, I then scan all the pieces separately & start to layer them together, tweaking colours etc until I'm happy with the final piece.

Do you have a favourite illustration you have created?
I like to think my favourite illustration is the last one I have achieved. So I guess the last couple of illustrations I have produced for Don't Panic's poster competitions.

How long have you been an illustrator?
I've been illustrating on and off since uni which was around 6/7 years ago now. But I've been pushing it it properly now since last September. It's early days, but I've enjoyed everything I've managed to do so far and I intend to keep pushing it further.

Can you describe what you do in three sweet words?
A "Controlled textured mess"

What/ who inspires you?
Old photography. Postcards. Random textures. Random marks and symbols. Typography. Family. Friends. Music. Wine. 

What inspires you to have an online presence & encourages you to tweet/blog art?
Social networks like Twitter are brilliant for a community of artists of all kinds to see what each other are working on, their thinking, their inspirations. Working as a graphic designer full time, having an online presence for my illustration is very important. It's a great way to share to those who want to see it. People follow you because they like what your doing and continue to follow to see more of what you have to offer. I'm happy to say I love Twitter, it's put me in touch with so many great artists.

Who are your favourite/ most inspirational illustrators/designers/bloggers?
There have been 2 distinctive inspirations in my illustration. Both were tutors of mine at University, Michelle Thompson and Paul Burgess. Both are collage illustrators and both are extremely good at it (look them both up!). I have managed to keep in contact with Michelle over the years and she has given me great advice and guidance. Something I am deeply grateful for. Other illustrators/designers... There are far too many to list but maybe a selection of 10 off the top of my head: Mr Bingo, Able Parris, Tez Humphreys, Martin O'Neil, Stefi Orazi, Mcbess, Peter Crawley, Matt Blease, David Sparshott and Si Scott.

Which ways do you best promote your work?
Any new piece of work I do, I'll use the usual social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr. I have my website which includes my graphic design folio as well as my illustration work. I also try to enter as many competitions and exhibitions that I can. Recently I was picked to show my work at 2 exhibitions in Brighton. Both were run by Collate Presents. A huge thanks goes to the organisers of Collate, Carly & Gem. What they try to achieve in their exhibitions is something any new artist should take note off.

Do you have any favourite blogs/ websites?
Sites I would normally visit on a daily basis are: Creative Review, It's Nice That, Magma Books, We Occupy and September Industry.

Have you got a picture of your workspace? (Drawings accepted!)
This is honestly what I have to put up with. (Taken in the moment with one of my Polaroid cameras)

How does your workspace help you to be creative?
As long as I have music, I can be creative. 

Are you involved in/ working on anything lovely right now? Do tell!
The most recent thing I have produced is for a Don't Panic poster competition. I managed to win last months, which I was very chuffed about. Apart from continuous illustration for portfolio and for limited edition prints, I am putting together a project which I think would look great as a exhibition. But I also think it may take up to a year to complete.

What's on your most awesome playlist?
This list is bigger than the inspiration list above. How about another random 10: Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Beck, Josh Ritter, Reef, Canned Heat, Bloc Party, Metric, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie.

If I wanted to contact you about a collaboration/buying artwork/to say hello etc, what's the best way for me to do that?
Via details on my website - or find me on Twitter - @pt32design / @Martin_Parris

What are the loveliest mags you read?
Grafik, Creative Review, Computer Arts

Do you have any nice plans for the future? (Picnics, pictures, exhibitions, afternoon teas, blogger events?)
Work wise, I will be pushing my design and illustration further. Like I mentioned earlier I'm hoping to continue to add more limited edition prints as well as sending work to agencies. I would also love to exhibit my work at some point. Personally, my fiancée and I have a wedding to organise *Gulp*.

Book - 1984 by George Orwell
Colour - Grey
Shop - Magma Books
Drink - Coke
Cake - Chocolate Gateau
Tea - I don't drink Tea (Not very British I know)
Attire - Casual with Converse
Month - December
Activity - A good restaurant with good company.
Film - Into The Wild. A film I never tire of.
Actor/Actress - Bill Murray
Tattoo - None
Band/singer - Pearl Jam
A massive thank you to Martin for this wonderful feature! Congratulations on winning the Don't Panic poster competition!


  1. i love his work so much! for my art gcse my topic is 'cut and paste' and after looking at all his work it's given me so much inspiration. ah i love this post- awesome interview too! xx

  2. Thanks for sharing, some lovely pieces! x

  3. Glad to hear you lovelies like this feature so much, a great illustrator worth sharing! :) happy saturday to you both x