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?
– 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!