One of the founding circus honchos, Marisa Straccia interviews fellow circus kingpin Alasdair Bright about his work as a full time illustrator living in Bedford.
1. Hello Alasdair! So how do you describe your work?
Child-like, but with a dash of naïve charm….. but it varies, depending on what sort of use it is for.
2. What sort of things inspire you?
Anything, if I’m in the right mood. If I’m not, I go for a walk or look through books.
3. I love your line work! Spill the beans, what’s in your toolbox and why?
I sometimes use Photoshop pens (with a Wacom tablet), but often I use old fountain pens which can give a quirky line. I then scan the linework and play with it.
4. So is there another form of media you’d fancy challenging yourself with in the future?
I want to try printmaking…..but its shameful that there aren’t any printmaking facilities in Bedford.
5. Tell me about your typical working day!
No two days the same (cliché alert!)…as I do different types of work. I love the freedom of being self-employed but I do hanker after sharing a studio with other illustrators.
6. You’ve been exhibiting in town this month… Do tell us about that!
I’ve just finished an exhibition with another artist at the Eagle Gallery in Castle Road. I loved it: I showed ten images of things I liked about Bedford, one of which has been uploaded above. I’ll let others say whether it was good or not, but I got some great feedback and I made a few quid from it.
7. Do you think living and working in Bedford affects your work?
I went to school in Bedford so it must affect me, and my work. I’m very fond of it but its so frustrating when you see some parts of it going down the plughole. Maybe my next show will be about the bits I don’t like…I won’t mention any High Street pubs by name!
8. I’ve noticed your work has a great sense of humour! What makes you laugh?
People. I only have to stop and watch for five minutes and people will make me laugh. My sketchbooks are full of odd people doing funny things.
9. Last question: Like all illustrators, I love books! Could you recommend us a good read?
I love old-school line illustrations, so anything by Ernest Shepard or Edward Ardizzone….they really knew how to draw!