In the Studio: Son of Alan

Brighton, United Kingdom

Son of Alan’s clean lines and block colours make him a perfect choice to convey information in a humorous manner, whether editorial or advertising based.

How would you convey your illustration in five words?

Infographics with a dry twist.

Pick three things that are most valuable to you in your studio and explain to us why you have chosen those and what story there is behind them.

Sounds a bit boring but My Mac, Photoshop and my Wacom screen… These 3 things have utterly revolutionised my work from where it started in the 90s. Feeding roughs into fax machines and sending final painted artwork via dispatch bike… Aaarrggh I don’t miss those days! We have been blessed by these new tools and they should never be taken for granted.

What are the first three initial steps that you take when a commissioner approaches you for an illustration project?

I read through the brief and then the copy (if it’s a magazine job). If the brief is not too prescriptive I’ll have a think and then make some very rough thumb nail sketches of possible illustrations. I’m fairly lucky in that this never takes me long and I tend to settle on something fairly quickly.

I’ll then begin to draw out the illustration to a finished standard in Photoshop (it’s easier to work this way) and minus a few extra details I’ll forward on a line drawing to the client for thoughts and (hopefully) approval.

I’ll then take on comments and add extra tweaks and things I was going to add as well, then colour up for a final round of comments. I work fairly quickly and this process tends to run quite smoothly!

Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you…

I was punched in the face in America (in the nineties) by a jealous boyfriend who thought I was phoning his girlfriend, when it was actually Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame) flirting and leaving messages for said girl. Dave you owe me one, despite not remotely sounding anything like me… Yanks eh?

Describe a typical day for you.

Up at 6:45am to get my daughter ready for school and assist in preventing my son from covering the kitchen floor with sucked toast scraps.

Rushed breakfast, then out the door as quickly as possible to an outlet that sells caffeine to top up my levels and maybe a cheeky apricot croissant (Tuesdays or Thursdays only). Get into the studio and procrastinate a little via social media before cracking on with some lovely commissions (hopefully). Home for lunch, then an afternoon shift interspersed with cups of coffee, before getting back to help out with the kids at dinner time and then bed time…

7pm out for a run for an hour or more in the great British outdoors, then back home to sit trance like in front of the TV until the urge to sleep takes me…and repeat!

If you aren’t illustrating, what are you doing in your free time?

Off running somewhere, coated in mud and probably taking it all too seriously…

I’m a very keen runner and am often training or racing for my local athletics club across the south downs and at road races. It’s the total opposite of sitting at a desk illustrating all day long and gets my head into a different space, which works really well for keeping things fresh I think!