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Rob Hodgson Bristol Illustrator

May 13, 2013

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Rob Hodgson is a freelance illustrator currently living in Bristol, England.

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Born in the seaside town of Torquay, he spent his winters enjoying the surrounding woods and spending his time drawing and making films. Perhaps that’s where he dreamt up some of these scary creatures.

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A tribute to The Wicker Man reveals not only a wonderful inky, scratchy and patterned figure but a great burning fire too.

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Like me, some of his inspirations include 20th Century European painters, folk music, JD Salinger, and Franco-Beligan comics, he currently works as an in house designer for Urban Graphic.

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In 2011 Rob won an AOI Gold award for his work and you can find it stocked up and down the country in the Tate, V&A, John Lewis.

I approached him and asked him some questions for the FISHINK readers.

How did you come to be an illustrator, where did you train and what are your key inspirational artists.

I took an art foundation course for a year in Exeter and I have a degree from Plymouth university in illustration. I have always been interested in communicating ideas and pictures and as I went through education, it became clear that illustration was the name of the thing I was interested in. The key artist growing up for me was probably Hockney, because all my family are from Leeds/Bradford and he was kind of put upon me from a young age. At college I discovered all the greats of the 20th century and had a profound impact on me, like Picasso, Matisse, Klee, Miro.  I was also thinking the other day how a lot of British comedy was a big influence growing up, like Vic and Bob, the Monty Python, lots of surreal humour.
Like me you like a touch of americana in your work, did this come about from your travels or we’re you drawn to the USA before ? (one of my fav books is Catcher in the Rye)
 
America has always seemed like this very cool place to me. I travelled round the Pacific Northwest when I was 19 and it dispelled a lot of myths and also interested me in new ways. I think if you’re English, then America will always fascinate you, because it’s like an alternate version of where you grew up. America looks very appealing in film and books and music.
Are you still working for Urban Graphic, what do you do there ? Do you have much time to do other work and what ambitions do you have for your work ?
 
I work at Urban Graphic half the week and my own projects the other half of the week. We publish design led cards and wrap and I work on illustration for this, and also look for illustrators to license work from. It’s really interesting and rewarding. We’ve just opened a shop here in Bristol which is going to have a screenprint studio in the basement, which I’m really excited about. It’s great because my work gets published in a commercial realm so I can work on more projects in my own time that have a less obvious purpose. I’ve been getting really interested in sculpture and working in wood. Im also getting into animation. It’s good to play- we’ll see where it goes!
Any new projects that are in the pipeline or any new images of work or yourself that haven’t already appeared on the net ?
 
Later this year I have my own card range coming out through Urban that I think is due out September time. Once the screenprint studio is ready I’ve got a ton of things I want to print and I’m going to open a new online shop for these. I’ve also been working on a short film about the work of Ben Hartley, who was a great artist who lived in Devon- look him up!
Thanks Rob I will do and thanks for your chatty replies too. Some lovely considered work here, all the best for the future and the next time I’m in Bristol, I’ll look up the shop too.
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2013 2:32 pm

    Wonderful charming work. I pinned that “Catcher in the Rye” cover about a year ago, love it, nice to know who illustrated it! His wood characters are awesome, too. Nice post 🙂

    • May 13, 2013 2:38 pm

      Nice to hear from you Allyn. Yes some wonderful work here and great colourations too.

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