We are so happy to publish our exclusive interview with magnificent illustrator Edward Blake. Edward is open and very nice person with wonderful sense of humor. Once you see his work, you’ll never forget it. Vibrant colors, delicate shape, smooth lines. Brilliant style!
L: Why do you choose ink as your tool for creating beautiful pieces? Is it difficult technique?
EB: I used to paint with oils but became disenchanted with the long winded process and it was too expensive. I wanted to produce something more immediate, with a pen you can just pick it up and start drawing. I also intended to produce mixed media work incorporating daubs of impasto oil paint, which you can see in some of my earlier work, but ink held its own. I enjoy seeing what I can achieve with limiting myself to the humble biro or rollerball, and at the moment, just the colours readily available in the Pilot V ball range. I love ink, the contrast you can achieve with a single pen; it can be fluid, it can be solid, it can be bold, it can be barely there, all traits I try to emphasize. People tend to notice the thousands of dots in my work and think it is a difficult technique and it is; I know there are simpler ways of drawing. My style is intricate and time consuming but I find without imposing these rules in my work I would never get anything done. I’m easily distracted.
L: Your works are so poetic. Do you like poetry? Who from poets touch you deep inside?
EB: My girlfriend wrote me a poem and, as I’m not a wordsmith, I made her my first love heart drawing. The idea behind the love heart was taking the stereotypical love heart scrawled on a desk and developing the gesture into something complete and hopefully beautiful. I’ve since produced more love hearts because people seem to really respond to them. I like that an image, like a poem, can be something personal and intimate but at the same time is open and can have meaning to anyone. I like trying to create an atmosphere or narrative within my work if this is poetic or not I’m not sure. I don’t read poetry but I am currently reading Sylvia Plath’s short stories and I love the way she can make something so mundane or sinister sound so beautiful.
L: Do you have eccentric habits?
EB: If you asked most of the people who know me the answer would be a resounding “Yes.” Apparently I’m always dancing and bouncing around, doing handstands, cartwheels, making strange noises and recalling obscure animal facts. The exact opposite of my work, where I have to be controlled and disciplined.
L: What do you think about the future? In what direction will it develop?
EB: At the moment I’m working on a few pieces of fashion illustration in order to make my portfolio more commercial. My current portfolio is quite traditional and I’m enjoying producing images that are a bit more fun, allowing me to experiment with pattern, colour and bringing paint back in.
L: Do you think emulating great artists help to find your own style or it gets on the way?
EB: Having studied art I understand the value of studying artists’ work in order to learn techniques, good composition etc. I don’t think this stops me from finding my own style, all artists are thieves. I don’t consciously emulate artists but of course I am influenced by them, artists such as Aubrey Beardsley, Franz von Bayros and Euan Uglow. I think this is because I like what I see and I draw what I like. The two cross over. Knowing what you like helps you become confident in your own style. My influence isn’t necessarily just from artists. I love wallpaper and this is where my obsession with flowers and floral patterns comes from. Nature and organic patterns are another influence that consciously informs my work.
L: And our special question:) Imagine that you are sweets, what kind it would be and why?
EB: I would be pic n mix because I’m far too indecisive to settle on just one.
Thank oyu Edward!