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Andy Bourne


How did you get into Illustration?

I got into it quite late, illustration is what I wanted to do but I did Graphic design because there’s more jobs. I was 26/27 and I was working as a night porter at the Full Moon and it allowed me to draw all the time basically.

So I went and did an FDA at Bristol College in Graphic Design and then I went into third year at UWE. Sometimes it’s hard to see at the time but when you look back at uni it’s about generating ideas and when you go to work in industry that’s everything because it all starts with that. I’ve worked at companies where there are just ideas guys.

Whats your process?

It depends what it is because I am a bit of a “jack of all” but if I’m doing more illustration style stuff, everything starts with a pencil sketch. I’ll research first and then I’ll usually collate some kind of mood board on Pinterest or something like that. Then I’ll just start making compositions sometimes with pen and paper but when I worked for a company called ‘Ilovedust’ we didn’t really have time for pencil and paper too much so we used to make on screen compositions quite a lot.

But from that I’ll make compositions and ping those over to the client and make sure thats alright before you start drawing out anything! If that goes well then you just start making it. I usually do a few rounds, like the next round i’ll do a rough sketch of the composition that I made and maybe a small portion of it will be final and then you show the client that this piece is how it’s going to look – you have to always make sure you’re checking in with the client.

How do you price up a job?

I generally do day rate and then give a rough estimate to the client of how long it will take me which I pretty much always get wrong. Some clients you have to start from dot; you’ll ask if there’s anything they’ve seen that inspires them and they will reply saying “no that’s why I came to you.” Some people, however, are amazing and they know exactly what vibe they’re looking for and the only thing they can’t do is execute it which is a dream.

It’s all about sizing up, asking the right questions and figuring out time from that; if someone doesn’t have a clue then you’ll have to add a day or two because they will be indecisive.

When I have people like that then I usually do three sketches in completely different styles and get them to choose one and then at least we’ve got a direction to go in. There’s always an element of one that I don’t think they’re going to go for but I put it in there anyway because it helps them to decide by giving them a point of reference. It’s always nice working with people that don’t ever do this stuff because I like to make it fun for them; it’s exciting!

What’s the difference working with different sized companies?

Well, every company works in a different way, I remember Nike was fast, exciting and less corporate than I thought it would be but they would always want work done yesterday. Quite often it would be “we need you to make something that’s never been seen before…” Which can be a really amazing and liberating experience, or can just be terrifying – usually a bit of both. As your confidence builds and you do it more it does become more fun.

Red Bull, I’m not going to lie, I wouldn’t take on a job doing the can’s again. It was a lot tougher because there are so many franchises in different countries that the designs would have to go through, as well as a big mainframe. The designs were also normally for someone so it would also need to be approved by the artist or sportsperson as well. For me it was sometimes a bit messy at times because you would design it all and then it would be scrapped.

Was your approach to working different at “ILoveDust” to now ?

Working for one of those places, there are so many things going on so speed is essential. They really drill it into you; It’s a good skill to pick up on. You should definetly enjoy the time now while you have it, it’s nice to take time with things. The amount of times when I wish I had more time to work on a project, you have to just bust the work out because they have to make a certain amount of money each month. I would say now that I can work under my own time a little bit more, on budget and on time. I don’t really lose money that much anymore, before I went there I would quote for three days and take 2 weeks. You have to learn because its a business.


Andy Bourne is an accomplished illustrator and designer with experience in a wide range of industry sectors. He is an illustrator and graphic designer from Bristol, England. With a passion for vintage graphics, he exercises a multi disciplinary method to his work, combining both classic and digital techniques.

A short while ago he was operating as a mid weight designer at award wining studio, “Ilovedust”, where he experienced a particular sphere of activity working on a variety of large-scale projects with some of the most successful brands in the world. He now lives in Bristol where he works as a freelancer.

He is always eager to delve into new projects. Throughout his career he has been lucky enough to work with the likes of Nike, Red Bull, Subaru, Grolsch, Khiels, Hurley, Guinness, Budweiser, Levi’s, Fast Company Magazine, Sports Magazine, Kith, Meat Liquor and many more.