Presenting Steve Scott, Whose Designs will Feature on The Fableists’ T-Shirts

Illustrator Steve Scott

Illustrator Steve Scott

Steve Scott is pixel pusher with a Wacom tablet and a master at mixing up fresh, contemporary image making with a nod to the retro. He is famous for his stylised characters of all shapes and forms, gaining a reputable clientele including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Volvo, Led Zeppelin, Channel 4 and Wired Magazine. Get this – he has featured in the New York Guggenheim Museum and the Pictoplasma Festival in Berlin. Often abstract and stylised he can create a character or a scene which lingers in an inspiring way. Steve Scott is represented by Jelly London.

The Fableists > Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got in to illustration

Steve > I lived in Australia for half my life and moved away at 16. I landed in illustration by accident. I started doing music videos and it led on from there. I was in a band and did my own music video, quit my job to do it and this is how it all started happening. Because I had an illustrative style, a lot of people liked it. I started a studio in Australia and that is kind of how I got a career going.

The Fableists > Was that studio for commercials?

Steve > Mainly music videos for bands; low budget stuff. It was a different style from what I do now. I think of animation as different from illustration. With illustration I try to keep a style and keep it quite tight. With animation, it is more about what the job needs and I try to adapt styles. We did a lot of animation that is really psychedelic – some that is rotoscoping. I did this band in 2003 – they were the biggest grunge band in Australia at the time: Silver Chair. The money was terrible, and that is when I thought, this is the height of what I am going to get here and that was when I went into illustration.

The Fableists > Where does most your work end up? Is it mostly moving pictures?

Steve > A lot of drawing and 70% animation. But hard to say. If I’m not animating I am usually drawing!

The Fabeists > What inspires your day to day work?

Steve > You are constantly having to re-inspire yourself. I give myself little projects, for example last year I spent a lot of time in Soho (London). There are cool buildings and I gave myself a project of drawing these buildings and then I wanted to add magic things to them. Soho, to me, is quite mysterious and has a history, so I started drawing these buildings and putting in weird parades and then buildings with people in the windows and strange bird creatures. I mainly focus on characters and creatures, odd and weird people.

Matt > What were the inspirations behind the pictures you did for us?

Steve > I wasn’t sure what the brief was, but I knew it was about attitude and so I went round and came out with loads of ideas and wasn’t sure what worked. I also have two budgies, and they fly around and make a lot of noise. I love them if you walk past my lounge you can hear them outside on the street.

Matt > Your work has a certain look…

Steve > I guess what I really wanted was strong colour and pop colours. I always really liked 50s and 60s stuff, so I tend to kind of go that way. My influences are old cartoons – I grew up on comics. I have this great collection from Italy of old Mickey Mouse comics in the 30s and 40s style. I have been doing a lot of things like this recently. I did this whole thing of sketches of hillbillies with big baggy pants and guitars – I have this thing about guitars, I don’t even play guitar. The hillbilly with his banjo, but with a really heavy metal part to it also.

Matt > What do you feel about what we are doing, our message?

Steve > Especially now-a-days, there is so much that is overproduced. In terms of living in a sustainable way, that is really important for us now and for the planet. You can see in the last 4-5 years, people have started questioning this rampant consumption. The idea of maximizing profit is unhealthy.

Matt > If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

Steve > So many things, aren’t there? I guess I would get rid of a few dictators, probably.

Some of Steve Scott's Work for The Fableists

Some of Steve Scott’s Work for The Fableists

May We Introduce Indian Organic Farming Collective Chetna Organic

Ayan Banerjee, CEO of Chetnna Organic

Ayan Banerjee, CEO of Chetnna Organic

Chetna Organic is working with small and marginal farmers in India in order to improve their livelihood options and by making farming a sustainable and profitable occupation. Chetna’s strength has been collective action and the fair supply chain. Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company Ltd (COAPCL) is the name of the 100% farmer-owned producer company. Some of The Fableists’ clothing is made from cotton grown by farmers who are a part of this collective.

We spoke to Ayan Banerjee, CEO of Chetna

The Fableists > Tell us how Chetna was started and what inspired you to form a collective? 

Ayan > The Chetna Organic & Fair Trade Cotton Intervention Program (OCIP) was established in 2004 as a supply chain initiative in organic cotton that works towards improving livelihood of farmers. The intent was to improve livelihood options of smallholder farmers by making their farm systems more sustainable, profitable and creating access to ethical and fair-trade markets in cotton. Chetna Organics or Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company Ltd India (COAPCL) has made clusters of organic cotton farmers from 2005. Established in 2009, Chetna Organic Agriculture Producer Company Ltd (COAPCL) is a 100% farmer-owned Company, professionally managed and backed by venture philanthropy so as to empower farmers by engaging them to build an ethical supply chain.

The Fableists > Where are you based and why are you active in that region?

Ayan > We work in the highly underdeveloped areas of Maharashtra (Vidarbha – Amravati, Akola, and Yavatmal), Andhra Pradesh (Telengana – Adilabad, Karimnagar) and Odisha (KBK region i.e. Kalahandi, Bolangir and Koraput). Most of the districts are rated as some of the country’s 250 most backward districts. We are present in that region to improve the livelihood (options) of small farm holding households in India through making their farming systems more sustainable and more profitable.

The Fableists > How many farmers are now part of your collective and how do they benefit?

Ayan > Currently we are working with 15,000+ farmers across the areas mentioned.
The benefits they are provided are:

  • Premium: Organic cotton generally would receive a premium over and above the market price. This premium is very important for a small farmer whose income is just sufficient to feed his/her family with one meal;
  • Low investment: Organic farming normally does not involve capital investment as high as that required in chemical farming. Agriculture greatly depends on external factors such as climate, pests, disease. Further, most of the small farmers are dependent on natural rain for water, as they are based in far off tribal areas. Therefore in cases of natural calamity, pest or disease attack, and irregular rainfall, when there is a crop failure, small farmers practicing organic farming have to suffer less as their investments are low;
  • High return on investment: Compared to BT (conventional) there is a high Return on Investment for farmers, thereby creating social impact;
  • Traditional knowledge: Small farmers have abundance of traditional knowledge with them and within their community. Most of this traditional knowledge cannot be used for chemical farming. However, when it comes to organic farming, the farmers can make use of the traditional knowledge;
  • Create community owned and managed assets: The money which is received as Fairtrade premium is used for creating assets for the farmer groups and cooperatives towards local institution building, thereby fulfilling the “Gandhian concept of local Self-Sustainability”. The farmers of our various cooperatives in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odhisa have built a storage warehouse with 560 MT capacity and Water Treatment plant at Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh, Bio Fertilizer unit at Amravati in Maharashtra, Dal processing unit/5 MT/Per day and purchased a tractor at Akola in Maharashtra, Rice processing unit at Golamunda in Odhisa and Dal processing unit/5 MT/Per day at Bhawanipatna in Odhisa.

The Fableists > Are there a lot of farming collectives in your region now? If so, do you work together?

Ayan > Yes. There are a lot of farming collectives in the region compared to 10 years ago. We do work with some but not all because there are some activities that are done with the use of chemicals and pesticides, which will deviate from our major environment objective of being organic.

The Fableists > Apart from cotton, are any other crops grown by your collective? What are they used for?

Ayan > Yes, they also grow pulses, soya bean, millets, etc. It is used for self consumption as well as for commercial purpose.

The Fableists > Where and to whom do your collective crops mostly get sold?

Ayan > The products are sold domestically as well as internationally in Europe and Japan. Some of our buyers are Fellisimo, Rajalakshmi, Armstrong, C&A, Jackpot, H&M, Marks and Spencers, Sainsburys, and more.

The Fableists > Why organic?

Ayan > It is the belief of the organic farming community that organic farming minimizes the need for chemical inputs thereby limiting damage to health and the environment. It is a more sustainable method of farming than conventional techniques and biodiversity is promoted. Intensive farming is said to destroy the fertility of the land but with organic farming and sustainable crop rotations, soil health is improved. However, weed control is carried out mainly by mechanical cultivation methods thereby disrupting the soil structure, releasing carbon into the atmosphere, removing valuable moisture and increasing soil erosion.

There is a potential in organic farming to create systems that give farm animals good welfare, and current research does not contradict this. However, there are some dilemmas caused by the underlying philosophy, and these must be recognized and discussed so that solutions can be found which promote animal welfare within the given framework. At the same time, the organic approach can open up for new ways of thinking and for innovative solutions. Organic farmers must take animal welfare issues seriously.
Organic farming is substantially based in eco-centric ethics, and the overall goal is to create sustainable agro ecosystems. However, animal welfare has, from the start, been an important goal and animal welfare concerns in organic farming can be supported by the underlying philosophy.

The Fableists > Tell us about the certification you have received.

Ayan > We are certified by 3 agencies:

  • Control Union (CU)-For being organic
  • Aditi-For being organic
  • FloCert-For being Fairtrade (FT)

The Fableists > How have the prices your farmers are receiving for their crops changed since you were founded (in 2004)?

Ayan > They never knew the benefits of doing organic farming. Once they started to do it; they realized that they would receive a premium for the products produced by them. It has become guaranteed for them that they will receive a higher price … and also the MSP (Minimum Support Price).

The Fableists > What are Chetna’s goals and objectives over the next 5 years?

Ayan >

Goal: To improve the livelihood options of Indian small farm holding households (we are working with about 40,000+ farmers not all engaged in organic cotton value chain); we hope to touch 100,000 farmers through making their farming systems more sustainable and more profitable.

Objectives over the next 5 years: Procurement, processing and marketing of 2500 tonnes of organic and fair trade certified cotton lint, produced by around 12,000 small and marginal tribal farmers. This is expected to translate into a total business value of approximately INR 20 Cr. Procurement and processing of 1000 tonnes of various food crops (e.g. Soya, pulses, rice etc.) – in partnership with the local cooperatives, is expected to generate revenue of approximately INR 3 Cr.

Establishment of related community owned infrastructure (through part financial contribution from the community) at co-operative level that supports the farmer’s business activity. Infrastructure envisaged are Dal Mill in Adilabad (for pulses processing), Vegetables grading and transport facility in Karimnagar, Bio fertilizer production facility (to support organic farming), shade nets and green houses etc.

The Fableists > And how about for the long term?
Ayan >

  • To demonstrate an ecologically and socially sustainable delivery model for poverty elevation through development of an organic and ethical supply chain.
  • Empowerment of farmers through prompting collective decision making, appropriate training and promoting greater participation in food and garment supply chains by moving up the value chain.
  • Consumer education and sensitizing of supply chain constituents towards creation of an ecologically safe and socially sustainable market system which is a win-win for all.
  • To achieve operational and financial self sufficiency of COAPCL through business operations

The Fableists > Has the suicide rate amongst farmers struggling with the cycle of debt in the areas that Chetna works decreased as a result of your effort?

Ayan > The suicide rate has decreased gradually in the areas where Chetna is working. It is important that the farmers are given necessary support that they require to become sustainable and to mitigate risk under different circumstances.

The Fableists > Is collective farming the future for farming in India? Can the smallholder survive on its own anymore?

Ayan > The smallholder farmer would be able to survive on its own only if he is not exploited and fetches the ‘right’ (not economically, with asymmetric bargaining powers, but (fair) price if offered in the market. But it is unlikely to happen in India. Therefore, collective farming is looking like the future for farming in India to get the ‘right’ price for the farmers for their produce. It also becomes easier for the farmers to raise finance for themselves through collective farming.

Meet our R&D Gal, Ruby Griffiths

Ruby Griffiths, Fableists

Ruby Griffiths, Fableists

My name is Ruby and I do research and development. I am quickly going to tell you a bit about how I ended up here. My journey began around age 15 when I had to choose what I wanted to take for my A-levels. Going to an art college in London studying business, sociology, psychology and philosophy was an interesting experience considering I had chosen the least artistic subjects – this is probably because I am the least artistic person I know.

Yet it was here where my deep love for psychology began to blossom and I decided that I wanted to carry on with further education studying just this. Before embarking on this adventure, however, I took a gap year. I wanted to work and earn some money but I also wanted to go away and find new experiences and new challenges (despite being so young!). I have always felt a deep desire to help people in some way or another and so I spent 4 months in Arizona at a mental health clinic where I provided a helping hand.

Not only did it open my eyes to the array of methods to try and help people, but it was the beginning of my understanding of sustainability and what it means. Daily life wasn’t simply centred on peace of mind but also about looking after your environment and culture. There were vegetable patches where the patients would cultivate their own food and they were made to participate in equine therapy. Equally, there were numerous discussions of caring for our environment and creating a caring culture. This opened my eyes to how the environment touches everything and it impressed me that it was a big part of treatment.

After this I took my degree by the horns; I had been accepted into Royal Holloway University to do a bachelor of science in Psychology. Here I decided to hibernate behind my books for the next 3 years. When I finished I started to search for a career – I wanted to point it towards caring for the world in which we live, in some way.

I was lucky to have Matt come along just as the search had begun to look fruitless. I had been told before our first meeting to read a book by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shows, called ‘Start Something that Matters’. It’s an incredible story about a man who goes to Argentina and comes home with an idea and a dream and turns it into something spectacular. So going in I knew he wanted to create a children’s clothing range that made a difference but I had no idea how he was going to achieve this.

When I arrived and Matt turned up he sat down, talked with me a bit about the book and then took out his tablet from his bag. Here he brought up 5 sketches he’d done himself of what he wanted his collection to look like. There were so many ideas in his mind but hardly a business plan. But what Matt captivated me with was his story (or ‘fable’ as The Fableists would say) about sustainability and how to get children and parents excited by it.

This is not an easy message to get across to people, but in one meeting Matt had hooked me, and so began our 10 month journey that had led us here. I have been able to watch a wonderful transformation as a man’s brilliant idea has been put into action. In a mere 10 months so much has happened and everyday I learn more and more, I have been privileged to be involved in such a unique and special project.

Meet Creative Director Andy Fowler of Brothers and Sisters

Andy Fowler from Brothers and Sisters. A Fableist

Andy Fowler from Brothers and Sisters. A Fableist

My name is Andy Fowler.
I am founder and Creative Director of Brothers and Sisters.
We are a bunch of 55 creative boys and girls in Clerkenwell, London.
As well as doing advertising for brands, we also like to create our own brands, platforms and products.
In many ways this is what inspires us and gives us the freedom we crave.

We love working with clever, inspiring people with great ideas.

Recently we launched My London Story – a beautifully emotional, location based storytelling app, with our friend Greg Williams the Executive Editor of Wired magazine.

I first met Matt from The Fableists about 9 months ago.
I love people who are full of spirit, ideas and belief.
Matt has truck loads of all three.
We got on like a house on fire – both entrepreneurial, creative people more interested in making a difference and doing interesting creative things than making money at any cost.

I have three kids: Missy 7, Sonny 4 and Goldie 9 months – and I share Matt’s frustration in the difficulty of finding clothes for them that are individual, beautifully designed and ethically produced in equal measures.
It’s either high street tat which I would never dress myself in, so I’m damned if I’m going to dress my kids in it.
Or, more likely, vintage from eBay or boutiques or small designer kids brands.

There’s no-one on any sort of scale proving it’s possible to marry the cool factor with the sustainable factor – until now.

Matt didn’t have all the answers when we first met but I could see in his eyes that he believed.
Belief is everything.
When I first met my Malian friend Ballo and he told me he believed he could make a difference to the quality of teaching in Bamako, the capital of Mali, by launching an independent teacher training academy – I saw the belief in his eyes.
So, Brothers and Sisters raised funds, made some flying visits and started a love affair with North Africa that will never die.

I hope our commitment to The Fableists is just as everlasting.
This is something to believe in, to get behind, to throw ourselves into.

We are going to throw all our creative skills at this – by telling the fables behind the brand – in films, in look books, in whatever media the stories are best told.

It’s going to be a hell of an adventure.
We want you to come with us.
Together we can make the first truly cool and sustainable clothing brand for the next generation.
For the future of the planet, for the future of the little people.

The Fableists Speak at WWF One Planet Leaders MBA at Exeter University

WWF One Planet Leaders MBA at Exeter University

WWF One Planet Leaders MBA at Exeter University

The Fableists were recently invited to speak at the WWF One Planet Leaders MBA at Exeter University. Jean-Paul (JP) Jeanrenaud MSc. Oxon., of the WWF and Director of the MBA programme ask us to come along and present to the group of MBA candidates. We were honoured to be asked. For us, it’s a great place to tell more people about what we are up to and to discuss our business with the business leaders, CSOs and huge brains that happened to be there from all over the planet. We all love the WWF (who doesn’t, right?) and feel this MBA they are running will help change the world by creating future leaders of businesses that see things a different way – the right way, as far as we are concerned.

So, on Thursday the 13th of June 2013, Ruby and Matt got up and told the story of The Fablesists and were put through their paces. It was really exciting and great to be challenged on all points of our story. We were questioned in an intelligent way about what we are doing and why. We had a 3 hour slot which rattled past in no time and then had the wonderful experience of setting the crowd a task or two. They performed the tasks and fed back to us. Wow, their ideas were inspiring.

We spoke not just about more great reasons to be doing what we are doing, but other ways to push the brand. And, interestingly, other regions that the candidates thought that we should launch The Fableists. We felt like we made some new friends and perhaps created some new Fableists to help us along this road.

What a privilege, what a benefit and what a great day. It really was a great moment and made us realise that we not alone in our mission and also how important our business plan really is. You see we are all about collaboration and we think we found some new collaborators.

JP of the WWF commented, “We invited The Fableists to come and inspire the One Planet MBA students because they are a cutting edge example of how all businesses will be in the future. They care, they’re cool and they’re credible. They’re proving that doing the right thing is good for people, planet and profit. Dressing kids responsibly in robust clothes that have a story, lets you trace the journey of the tee-shirt, jacket or jeans from the farmer through the factory-worker to the finished garment in your wardrobe. Your kids can look good and you can feel good knowing that they’re dressed in clothes with a conscience. Wear the story!”

We are next speaking at an event this week in Cannes, France at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

We hope the more we talk, the more people will listen. We hope that in a couple of years all brands will have the same sustainability goals.

Thanks very much to JP at the WWF for this fantastic opportunity.

Meet our Designer: Kate Williams

Kate Williams, Designer at The Fableists

Kate Williams, Designer at The Fableists

I’m Kate. I became a Fableist after meeting Matt and hearing the brand’s journey and intentions first hand! After some years of working in the fashion industry, surrounded by fast fashion and seasonal trends, I found the concept refreshing. We share the same vision that clothes should be bought and made to last.

I am a multi product garment designer with a specialty in men’s and children’s design. Over the past few years my personal buying habits have changed. I’ve moved away from really on trend garments and prints and become drawn to cool, classic pieces that are well made and have the potential to become long serving additions to my wardrobe. I have garments that I saved up for that I love and that make me feel good every time I wear them. Now, getting involved with the Fableists, I not only ask myself, ‘Do I love this garment?Is it good quality? Will it last?’ but also, ‘Is this a responsible brand? Should I buy it?’

While The Fableists brand is built on sustainability, the look is equally important – something that really drew me to the concept. Influenced by a love of utilitarian work wear and vintage garments, combined with directional graphic design, this is a look that I’m really passionate about and that you can buy knowing we have considered sustainability right from initial concept. It’s a group effort and I’m looking forward to our future collaborations!

Matt, the Founder on Why he Launched The Fableists

Matt Cooper, Founder of The Fableists

Matt Cooper, Founder of The Fableists

I’m Matt Cooper, and I guess you could say I’m the guy who started this thing and I thought I’d tell you why.

I have been lucky enough to spend 25 years working in the advertising and production industries. Starting in an agency dispatch department, I have worked in a number of companies in various fields within the advertising world. I have been able (along wife my wife, Sarah Cooper, who runs this blog) to create a few things within the advertising world that have become interesting global businesses. Along this journey, we have worked with and met some of the world’s most celebrated advertising people, from top creatives to world class directors and been inspired by their creativity but also how they so often put their ideas and talent towards good causes.

It was while I was in India on business that the journey towards launching The Fableists began. I fell head over heels in love with India and started to read about it. For several years, the only books I would read were based in India, about the history, the culture, the people. You could say I got a little obsessed! As part of my personal study of India, I read about child labour and grim factory settings. This made me start to look more deeply in to the garment industry in general. I became interested in the whole process of making clothes and was shocked to discover what heavy chemicals are used to grow the raw materials we make clothes from and in the dyes we use. I was horrified to learn that farmers in India were exposed to these chemicals and that it was making them and their families ill, that Indian farmers in their thousands were committing suicide in order to escape the cycle of debt in which they were finding themselves because they weren’t getting a fair price for their crops. On top of that, as a lifelong asthmatic and father of one eczema sufferer, I couldn’t believe that this could be partially caused by the presence of chemicals in the clothes that I was wearing; that I was clothing my children in. I wasn’t entirely naïve to the slightly dodgy by-products of the fashion industry but this was a wake-up call.

So, I made some changes to the way I buy clothes, and my family buys them. I started talking to people about sustainable clothing. I spoke to some clothing designers about ideas, I spoke to people in the ethical and sustainable fashion world, I spoke to the contacts I had in the advertising industry… I was probably kind of annoying! I was like a dog with a new bone and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I believed we could do something to make some changes and that we could do them now, rather than waiting for some deadline a decade (or more) away. In trying to make changes to how my family consumed, I found that there weren’t any sustainable clothes for kids that suited us. I thought: ‘We could make them. Why not? We’ve started businesses before!’ Between my passion for buying sustainably, my desire to create some cool kids’ clothes, and my connection to the creative world – I had a bit of a light bulb moment. We could do two things: create a lovely but edgy kids fashion brand that would appeal to this trendy crowd (and others) and work with those brilliant creatives to help us create the brand and get it out to the rest of the world and help spread a very real, positive story – minus any b*llshit. And bang! We were off.

What we wanted to do was simple. First of all, build beautiful, design-led clothes that would be affordable and sustainable. And secondly, allow you – the buyer – to find out everything about who produced them, designed them, packed them, shipped them and helped us along the way. Really we were creating our own mini movement to push out to the world. We know you want to make good choices and we’re offering you an easy, stylish way of doing just that.

We built the brand and started to put a team of people together, all of whom we met through business one way or another, to build on our mission to change the world, one design at a time. That beautiful line and simple mission statement was dreamt up our agency partners Brother & Sisters. You can read more about them and why they have gotten behind this project in the Our Story section of this blog. We are also working with director Olivier Venturini of global production company Great Guns to create documentary style films about amazing kids who are true Fableists. We are in the process of creating a beautiful brand film, written by the team at Brother and Sisters and animated by Oscar-winning visual effects company The Mill. The Fableists are many!

What started with a small idea has now launched as a brand and we are both excited and extremely proud of what we have achieved. This business is and always will be a collaboration of creative folk doing what we think is right and giving our customers what we believe they want – amazing clothes that will stand out from the crowd (and last) and for the business to be totally sustainable. We want you to hear our whole story as it unfolds and you can always find out more about The Fableists on this blog.

This is a passion for us. It’s become a lifestyle and it’s certainly helped me make more positive choices in the way I buy. We hope it will do the same for you.

We hope you like where we are going so far and hope you’ll pick up some of our clobber for your own lovely little punks.

We are always eager to hear from you, so please be in touch.

Viva La Fableists!

Matt Cooper

Illustrator Greg Abbott Talks Shop as We Unveil His T-Shirt Designs

Greg Abbott's Work

Greg Abbott’s Work

Greg Abbott is an illustrator and designer currently based in West Sussex, UK. His bold characters and striking typography have previously been featured on projects for Warner Music Group, EMI and Fueled by Ramen.

Greg is represented for illustration work by YCN Talent Agency, London.

The Fableists > Have you always worked in illustration? How did you get your start?

Greg > Yes. Although I work in a number of different fields, since working full time, the majority of commission projects I have received have been related to illustration. I first started by offering web design and development services over the internet when I was in high school: I had taught myself the basics of a few code languages a few years before and enjoyed web design but didn’t have any projects to work on. At around the same time, I discovered Apple computers and since then have been an enthusiast. Subsequently I found an interest in design, typography and illustrating digitally. As I figured out and made the most of trial versions of Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Flash and other applications, I posted the results online for fun. This eventually lead to illustration project enquiries. Until that point, I hadn’t considered that there might be interest in my illustration work. As I was interested in creative projects of all kinds, I accepted and took on all projects that I was lucky enough to be offered and given the opportunity to work on. A few years later I was receiving enough creative work to be self-employed.

The Fableists > Tell us about some of the work you’ve done that you are most proud of.

Greg > I’m quite pleased with my most recent children’s picture book, written and illustrated as a self-initiated personal project, it hasn’t been released yet. I’m normally most excited by creative projects that are outside of the areas I usually get to work in. I’m interested in a wide variety of project types and very enthusiastic to experiment in different areas. I quite like the toy design projects I have worked on as they cover a wide range of areas: from character and 3D design for the toy to net design, print design for the packaging and branding and marketing for the product.

The Fableists > Do you begin by drawing by hand? Tell us about your process.

Greg > Yes. I create and develop illustrative work by hand with the use of: a Mac, a Wacom Cintiq 12WX graphics tablet and various design software. My workflow for drawing makes use of both hands, right for drawing, and left for keyboard shortcuts. I select software based on the type or the stage of project. (e.g. Corel Painter for sketching, inking and textures; Adobe Illustrator for linework, layout and colouring). My process for drawing projects is: sketch, revise, develop and colour. For personal pieces, the sketch encompasses all of the details and establishes the composition of the design. The revision stage is for commission projects and allows client feedback to be incorporated. Once the sketch is finalised, it is developed to be a vector; at this stage the style and technique of the piece is defined and executed. Colouring is the last part of the design and makes the biggest impact. After that, if the work is for print, I create a colour-separated print ready file to be delivered to the client or printer.

The Fableists > What or who are your biggest influences?

Greg > Everything and everyone but also nothing and no one in particular.

The Fableists > Does your work have a typical look?

Greg > Yes. Whilst I have a few different collections of illustrative work (vector / pencil / inked), each collection generally shares an overall look. My personal work tends to have a friendly feel and a fairly consistent use of colour, I favour a limited and muted colour palette.

The Fableists > Do you draw every day?

Greg > No.

The Fableists > Where do you find your inspiration day to day?

Greg > Although I’m not inspired every day, when I have an idea, it’s usually the result of my imagination finding amusement or interest in something ordinary. If I hear or read a turn of phrase, or observe something noteworthy, I might enjoy it as it is and want to do something with it, or it might lead me to think about or visualise something related that I find more enjoyable and want to capture. Quite a large number of my illustrations are from things I might see in the remaining shape of a half-eaten piece of toast.

The Fableists > Is most of your work for print? Or do you do work for film/TV, online or any other media?

Greg > Yes. Most of my commissioned illustration work is for merchandise and physical products (clothing and art prints). I would love to work with film or TV but haven’t yet although I was excited to spot one of my designs on Britain’s Got Talent yesterday. When I’m not illustrating I enjoy anything else productive or creative including: user interface design, web design, coding, scripting, furniture design, editing videos, writing stories and playing instruments. In my spare time I work on personal projects and like to teach myself how to do things that take my interest.

The Fableists > Which client would you most like to collaborate with?

Greg > 

– Illustration: a children’s book publisher.
– Design: Apple.
– Furniture design: Ikea.

The Fableists > Our limited edition t-shirts will be wearable art. What do you think about seeing kids emblazoned with your work?

Greg > It’s lovely, exciting, rewarding and encouraging!

Greg Abbott's Work

Greg Abbott’s Work

Check it: Greg Abbott’s Designs for our T-Shirt Line

'Think Differently' by Greg Abbott for The Fableists

‘Think Differently’ by Greg Abbott for The Fableists

We think these designs are iconic and that these tees will be total classics.

These t-shirts will be available through our web site. Be sure to snap them up quickly as they will only be a limited edition run.

'Built to Last' by Greg Abbott for The Fableists

‘Built to Last’ by Greg Abbott for The Fableists

All our shirts are made of organic cotton and not only are they built to last but they are built ethically and sustainably.

'We Are the Fableists' by Greg Abbott for The Fableists

‘We Are the Fableists’ by Greg Abbott for The Fableists

Greg is represented for illustration work by YCN Talent Agency, London.