Sunday, 23 October 2016

Interview with Joe Todd-Stanton

Joe is a south London based illustrator who graduated from Bristol University in 2012, since then he has worked with a large range of clients including Anorak, Nobrow and Cricket Magazine. He has a bold colourful style, but still tries to keep his work grounded in his strong line work, due to the heavy childhood influence of illustrators such as Tove Janssen and Maurice Sendak.

BWB: Arthur and the Golden Rope is your debut book for children. Are you happy with the end result?

JTS: I'm very happy with how it turned out. After spending so much time developing it it's an amazing feeling just to be able hold it and see other people enjoying it. I also can't wait to use everything I have learned from this experience on my next project. 

BWB: How did the idea for Arthur and the Golden Rope come about?

JTS: The idea came from loving illustrators like Tom Gauld & Mike Magnolia who can take huge ideas from mythology or literature and make them there own. Really the first idea I had was something along the lines of Hellboy for kids although this changed a lot as the story grew. 

BWB: Who and what inspires your work?

JTS: The boring answer is anything and everything but I especially love going to museums. I don't think I ever walk away from a trip to the Natural History Museum without an idea for an illustration or two.  This also goes for the Hunterian although those ideas are normally a lot stranger! 

BWB: I adore your illustration style. Is it mostly digital or do you have a technique you prefer to use over software?

JTS: Thank you! I draw everything in pencil and then colour using Photoshop. One thing I focus on is still trying keep my work looking loose and hand drawn so I limit myself to only a few brushes in Photoshop. 

BWB: How long did Arthur and the Golden Rope take to produce from the first idea to the finished book in your hands?

JTS: The whole process took nearly four years! This was because we made a version which was never released as we weren't happy with some of the elements. Obviously I am really happy with how it turned out so I have no regrets. 

BWB: Any plans for a follow up?

JTS: We have a basic outline for the second story now which I am really happy with. It still needs a few tweaks but I will hopefully get started on it later this year for a 2017 release.

Huge thanks to Joe and Emma at Flying Eye Books for making this interview happen. Arthur and the Golden Rope is available to buy at all good booksellers and on the Flying Eye Books website. Check out my review right here

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