In 2010 I graduated from the University of Plymouth after studying illustration. I found university a great experience but when I returned to Jersey I found it very difficult to find work in this sort of creative field. After having an artist block for a year or so, I started doing illustrative drawings for a friend before volunteering for Jersey Heritage which was where I fully got my artistic mojo back.
As a volunteer for Jersey Heritage, I produced two exciting projects; both resulting in published books - The Battle of Jersey and Jersey Heritage & Culture Maps. With both projects I used a lot of pen and ink which I really enjoyed. I also continued to work on my adobe skills as they were required for the layout of the books. The Battle of Jersey book was in the vein of horrible histories for local school children. This was when I just did the illustrations.
"As a volunteer for Jersey Heritage, I produced two exciting projects; both resulting in published books - The Battle of Jersey and Jersey Heritage & Culture Maps".
The Jersey, Heritage and Culture Maps book however was my most ambitious as it took 5 years to put together. Along with Alan Ley a fellow volunteer we plotted 15 walks for the book which was meant to initially just be a fold out map. But like most projects, it expanded. I illustrated all the landmarks on the island and put together the book so I could prove that I can do graphic design as well as just illustration. After many years of blood, sweat and tears, the book was released in 2017 at the Hamptonne Cider Event. It is my most proudest achievement so far and has been well received. Over 1000 copies have been sold.
I have also been doing paintings in my freetime which have been mainly of buildings and landscapes. I love using acrylic paints and working on top with pen and ink. My scenes are usually very moody and are inspired from the landscape artists of the 1940’s including John Piper, Eric Ravillious and Edward Bawden.
"I love using acrylic paints and working on top with pen and ink".
I have had 3 exhibitions at the Jersey Museum - two promoting the Jersey, Heritage and Culture Map books and one promoting a series of paintings that I was working on at the time. The latter resulted in sales and commissions.
"My scenes are usually very moody and are inspired from the landscape artists of the 1940’s including John Piper, Eric Ravillious and Edward Bawden".
From there I have been doing work placements within the graphic design industry but I feel like my heart belongs to illustration which is my passion. I am going to continue my skills and build up my work set ultimately having my Freelance Illustrator role take over my day job as my main career.
I have now moved to Glasgow where new projects should open up to me. Watch this space...
Find out more about Michael's illustration journey on his instagram page linked below...
And for Michael's career history - his Linkedin account linked below...