Illustrator Interview: Andy Hart
The UK illustrator Andy Hart has made the cover art for Sometimes Always’ single on EardrumsPop. Andy is the man behind the blog A Fog Of Ideas, and he has made cover-art and fliers for several bands. Visit his websites to see more of his art.
Here is our illustrator interview with Andy.
Can you give us a short presentation of yourself and your art?
Oh boy, well… um, I’ve produced sleeve artwork for singles by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (for Atomic Beat), Horowitz (for Cloudberry), Pete Green (for Lost Music) and the cover art for the Precordial Catch CD ‘No More Of Your Fairy Stories: An Indiepop Loveletter to Ramones’… I’ve also produced a bunch of fliers here in Nottingham and some for Half My Heart Beats in Glasgow, Odd Box in London and SF Popfest in San Francisco. There’s other stuff out there too…
How did you get started in the illustration field?
I’ve been drawing since I was tiny… drawing is just something I do, I guess… I get to do record sleeves and fliers because really lovely kind people either like what I do or take pity on me or both. I’m no pro, I’m strictly ‘amateur hour’ and I wish some Daddy Warbucks-type figure could bankroll me so the bills get paid and all I needed to do was draw all the live long day… that would be pretty sweet
What are you working on right now?
What are your favourite tools?
Nothing too fancy… I tend to sketch using Uni-Ball Eye Fineliner pens, I also use felt tips, brush pens, markers, colouring pencils, acrylic paint, sometimes pastel crayons… whatever’s to hand, whatever helps. I have basic- more accurately primitive- computer skills so I’ll use the technology to ‘clean up’ an image by cropping it, fiddling with the contrast and the colour saturation… if it benefits from doing that.
Please tell us about the process of making the EardrumsPop-cover! Is this the way you usually work?
I listened to as much Sometimes Always as I could (which was a pleasure) and let images and stuff come to mind, they just bubble up behind the eyelids, then I attempted to scribble as many of those ‘behind the eyelids images’ down as I could, I had a pretty good idea of the ‘finish’ of the picture I wanted to achieve even before I knew what specifically I was going to draw… it’s more intuitive than intellectual… it mostly comes down to ‘would I pick this up?’ if I found it in the record racks, etc
Who / what are your greatest Visual Inspirations?
Wow, um, that’s a tricky question… not because I can’t think of anything but because I wouldn’t know where to stop… there’s so much… too much
Is music or other forms of art an inspiration? If so, what do you listen to?
Oh yeh, music, film, photography, painting, television, going outdoors and taking a look around… I have pretty catholic tastes, there’s normally too much stuff that I’m looking at or listening to and getting excited by… it’s a relief that those obsessions don’t diminish with age, if anything they just become more important/necessary… my two favourite bands are Beat Happening and The Pastels…
Describe an average working day.
In terms of artwork I draw much as I did when I was little, either lying on the floor or hunched over a table, with my tongue sticking out and a furrowed brow. Drawing for me is about problem solving, problems such as ‘how do I draw this?’ and ‘when do I stop drawing?’ and ‘is this bad or good?’… but my average working day is very much dictated by societal pressures of paying the rent and paying bills so Monday to Friday I’m doing a 9-5 job in an office daydreaming about lying on the floor with my tongue sticking out and a furrowed brow drawing, drawing, drawing
How did you develop your style? Is it different now than when you started?
I really don’t know how to answer this, I try to not to get too complacent… it’s that problem solving thing, wrestling with your ability/limitations plus questions around form/space/composition, etc. I think I’m more conscious of that now than I was when I was younger… being aware of my limitations and tackling/embracing them that’s how I developed (I hope)…
What’s your favorite color?
Probably blue, possibly orange, various browns, silver, inky black, crisp white… why settle on just one?
What are your future plans? Any exciting things you are looking forward to?
There’s talk of doing artwork for a festival next year but nothing’s confirmed yet… I’m hoping that secret pamphliterature might come to something
What question and answer would you like to end this interview with?
Question: Are you available for work, commissions and suchlike?
Answer: Why yes I am, thank you very much. I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read Andy’s blog “A Fog of Ideas” here:
Visit his Flickr page to see more of his art here: