Friday, July 22, 2011

Jonathan Woodward "Endless Inspiration"

Jonathan Woodward's passion for illustration goes back to as far as he can remember. Jonathan Woodward is an illustrator and creative designer in the UK, he was a commended finalist in the "BBC wildlife artist of the year 2011 competition". His current passion project is saving endangered animals at  but also the website  Illustrators Union is a platform he created, which helps to inspire, enable and motivate artists to make a living from what they're good at and what they enjoy. With Trade Your Talent he speaks about the endless inspiration from nature - from majestic birds like the Golden Eagle to the power of the ocean and every form of life it contains.

Can you remember your first illustration that you ever did? 

Jonathan: I've drawn all my life and was always known as the arty kid in school before moving on to study Graphic Design at University and then returning to my first love, Illustration, so it's difficult to pinpoint my first ever illustration. However, I'd say my Illustration work really came to life when I started using traditional cut paper collage. It was as simple as seeing a woman's hair in a fashion magazine and thinking it would make a good tree bark texture that sparked my curiosity - this experiment and the first illustration that I created using this medium (the medium and style I work in today) was 'One For Sorrow, Two For Joy' so I would probably class that as my first Illustration.

Is it hard being an illustrator and following your dreams as an artist?  

Jonathan: In some respects it is hard but I just feel that it's the only thing I want to do and so in that case it's easy. It takes a lot of people a long time to discover what there passion is and I had mine (creating and admiring illustrations/art) from as far back as I can remember so I feel luck to have always known what I wanted to do.

 What inspires you most when you have a creative block?  

Jonathan: Nature. It's the subject of every illustration I do and provides endless inspiration - from majestic birds like the Golden Eagle to the power of the ocean and every form of life it contains.

 You just started a creative business. What was the path leading up to that like?  

Jonathan: I've been a freelance Graphic Designer for the past 5 years (working in Design Studios prior to that) but after many years of procrastination, I finally got an illustration portfolio up and running online that I'm happy with to dedicate to my Illustration work. The path leading up to that was full of self doubt, comparing myself to my favourite Illustrators, struggling to find my own personal style and lacking the confidence to think that my work was good enough, until I just thought that if I didn't go for it I'd regret it forever. I started an Illustration resource blog called to chart my progress and give myself external accountability to actually get things done - the blog grew and I met so many amazing illustrators on the same journey as myself that it always inspires me to keep striving to get better at the craft and business of Illustration.

Do you have favorite illustrators?

Jonathan: Oh wow, too many to mention and they change all the time but at the moment to name a few they would be Lindsey Carr (current favourite), James Jean, Dave McKean, Charley Harper and Greg Manchess.

For more about Jonathan's art and projects

Twitter @jonwoodward 
Johnathan illustrated and saved endangered animals at 
Jonathan's illustration community
Jonathan's illustration resource blog


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