For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up-and-coming, or well-established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected].This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
Neil is a multi-award-winning poster and key artist. Born in High Wycombe (UK) and now residing in Falkirk Scotland Neil grew up desperate to be in the movie business, but a lack of talent for acting, camera work, visual effects and writing led Neil to concentrate on his passion of art, Neil’s break in the business came from one simple piece of fan art for viral Shudder hit HOST, since then he has worked on over 60 productions from indie films, Book covers, larger budget productions right through to helping established directors get funding via pitch decks. Formerly a product designer for Marvel, Warner Brothers, Disney, and DC among others Neil now splits his time between the daily grind of Corporate design and Poster and Key art.
JOBLO: What got you started as an artist?
NEIL: My Dad was always the arty one while I was growing up, he painted a lot and used to draw my pictures of my favourite characters so I’ve always been around it, but my actual passion for art myself came from walking the isles of Blockbuster Video and looking at all the glorious horror and sci-fi covers and just being mesmerized by the style and colour of them, I was lucky that in that time in history horror and sci-fi had taken off and the 1980s explosion of marketing was in full swing, so films like E.T, Gremlins, The Goonies, Back to the Future and Star Wars were just marketing machines so artwork that I fell in love with was everywhere and on everything. I also had a love of the make-your-own adventure novels by Ian Livingstone and the artwork just made my imagination run wild and Alan Langford’s cover of “Island of the Lizard King” was by far my favourite.
Moving on from there I basically wasn’t competent in anything other than art, I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else but I actually am not a great traditional artist, I am very messy and all design was done by hand so even at college I was told I’d never make it as I was so messy and disorganized.
It wasn’t until 1998 when I had an accident and was bedbound that I really started to study photoshop as my Mum had bought me a PC to help pass the time and I spent hours and hours trying to figure out what did what so I guess the old saying about everything happens for a reason is true, no accident, no time to practice, no career.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
The aforementioned Alan Langford obviously but my main inspiration and role model was John Alvin, sadly no longer with us and to me, he was very overshadowed by Drew Struzan but his work just amazes me, his mix of styles and compositions were just outstanding, the posters he made were so varied, Gremlins, Arachnophobia, E.T, Darkman, The Princess Bride, Aladdin, and Spaceballs were all so different but equally spectacular that I am and always will be in awe of him, and it’s why if you see a moon in my work, it’s my tribute to John as he included suns and moons pretty regularly in his work.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram?
Oh so many people, there are far better creatives than me that deserve so much more love than they get, I adore Chelsea lowe, Zoe Rose, Simon Heard, Hannah Gillingham, Chris Barnes, Kyle Lambert, Trevor Henderson but every artist inspires me and there’s never an artist I can’t learn from regardless of the medium or the style they use.
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
The best advice I could give is never ever give up, believe me, your career can change in an instant, I know how hard it is to work on something for 50, 60 or 70 hours and get 6 likes and a retweet, it’s soul destroying which is why you should do work for you, some of my favourite pieces I’ve ever done have 20 likes but that’s just the nature of the game, sometimes art doesn’t click but then I’ve done things that took literally 2 hours and it’s taken off, a lot of right place right time can be a lot to do with it but there is a LOT of hard work that goes into this job that I don’t think a lot of people realize, I spend a good few hours each day just engaging with people, making contacts, posting work, basically trying to stay on social media algorithms.
The other thing that I cannot stress enough is practice practice practice, if you struggle at certain things work on them, and look at ways to work around what you feel are weaknesses, but I will say that composition is the key to anything, a good composition kind hide a million errors..
What should we be looking out for from you in the future?
A decent amount of work going on, I have signed on to my first big-budget production where I will be doing all the exclusive artwork for which is exciting and it’s being filmed up here in Scotland so I will get to go and get involved too.
I am in discussions with a few productions which hopefully will lead to some fantastic projects and I am working on a selection of collabs with some of my favourite artists on my desktop series which I will release for charity early next year, currently working with the Kindergiest Podcast on a mental health awareness in children charity “On our sleeves “event that runs until Jan 11th where you can win a bespoke commission from me or a couple of freebies from my store if you donate.
But mostly I will be working on my favourite thing which are Indie productions, I love the ambition and vision that these guys have and I am always honored to work on art for them.
My main goal for 2023 is to pick up more of a profile and appear at a few more conventions, I had so much fun at the few I attended in 2022.
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time?
Oooh depends on what day it is, I mean I am an 80’s kid so the horror and sci-fi boom of the 80’s and 90’s really stuck with me, Killer Klowns From Outer Space is still one of my comfort movies, as is Chopping Mall, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Mimic, Clue and Big Trouble in Little China.
TV Shows I love, A-Team, Knight Rider, The X-files etc, I really have been enjoying the new Willow series as well as Wednesday but I always struggle with TV, my attention span is appalling.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from Neil as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / IMDB / All Things Dave Podcast / Store / TeePublic / Nationwide Children’s Hospital Fundraiser
Back To The Future
Big Trouble In Little China
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Evil Dead Rise
The Invisible Man
Jaws: The Revenge
Superman: The Movie
What We Do In The Shadows
The X Files