6. Your work for The White Stripes Icky Thump limited edition album release was nominated for a Grammy award. How did that feel and how did that collaboration come about?
The collaboration came about from me posting a fan art poster on Myspace. Somehow that image made its way into the now-defunct Gigposters.com. Someone who worked for The White Stripes saw it, showed it Jack and Meg, they liked it and I got a phone call from out of the blue! I was over the moon to be asked!
However, discovering I was nominated for a Grammy probably couldn’t have happened at a worse time. My father had just passed the week before. However, I can pretty much say that working with the White Stripes was what made it easier to break USA so to speak, it opened lots of doors and created plenty of opportunities.
7. Do you have a particular favourite illustration you have done or a project that you have worked on?
No, I don’t have a particular favourite. My favourite changes on a daily basis, however I’m most pleased with the Nina Simone illustration, that I did about 10 years ago, which eventually ended up being used on the cover for an album that was recently re-issued.
Some pictures I’ve illustrated kind of take on a new life a while after they’ve been done. At the time of doing the Nina Simone, it was never my favourite, but the fact that it ended up being used on a record sleeve makes me extra fond of it.
8. What advice would you give for aspiring creatives and artists, and those who are graduating this year?
It is the dream job to be successful in your chosen creative discipline. To make that dream come true you have to work your arse off just to even give yourself a remote chance. You have to dedicate as much time as possible to realise that dream. It doesn’t come in the way of a silver spoon. Having talent is helpful, but will count for nothing if you don’t work hard and have the right attitude.
I’ve seen artists who are maybe less artistically gifted than some, but their dedication has made them successful. I’ve seen incredibly gifted artists, who just aren’t as successful as their ability suggests they should be. It’s not to say they don’t work hard: the harder you work the better chances are of being successful.
9. All creatives have different approaches to receiving a brief or starting on a piece of artwork, do you have a typical process for when creating your illustrations?
All briefs are different and so are the art directors who set the brief, so I approach each brief differently as to what is required from me. For me, there is no typical way. You work in whatever way you have to, to see the brief through.
10. What are you currently working on, any projects in the pipeline?
I’m currently working on a series of kids books for Penguin Random House. They’re little biographies of famous figures. The first two which are due out this Christmas is of Martin Luther King and Jane Goodall. These books will be keeping me busy until next summer.
11. This series is all about putting the spotlight on different creatives, are there any creatives who you have recently come across that you would recommend?
I recommend Jane Bowyer, check out her work here: bowyerjane.co.uk
Some really interesting insights there. We are looking forward to seeing the series of kids books that Stanley is illustrating for Penguin Random House.
And we’ll be back soon with another creative spotlight on one of our favourite artists. Keep an eye out!
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