Pure Illustration represent many talented illustrators and artists, some who have worked with us for many years. It’s always interesting to get a back-story about the artist who creates a licensed piece of artwork so we’ve been chatting with our creative team members to find out more about their work. Here is a brief interview with Tony Parsons, Pure Illustration’s most successful Fine Artist.

1. How did you find yourself working in the world of art licensing?
For many years I was a caricature portrait artist. All of the commissioned work led me off on a number of artistic tangents, life drawing when I wanted to improve the postures and landscapes when I wanted to include more advanced backgrounds. I also have a lifelong passion for boats and the sea so I started painting boats and seascapes. I found I quite liked the freedom of painting whatever caught my fancy so began to slowly diversify. I try and do portraiture alongside my landscapes now just to keep it interesting and fresh. Richard at Pure found my work in a tiny but stunningly beautiful Cornish Creek.

2. Are there any artists who inspire your work?
I find a wide variety of artists inspiring. Everyone cites Norman Rockwell but I also love the work of Sebastian Kruger, Pete Wileman and David Atkins. There are so many talented folks out there, many of whom I’m lucky enough to call friends!

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3. Describe your work space, do you have a mascot or a favourite pen?
A work in a chaotic studio. To the untrained eye it might be considered messy, it is! I have anything up to fifty paintings piled up – some are on their way to owners, galleries or the framers. I also re-use boards that I may have just done a sketch on. Sometimes a bit of a previous sketch pokes through the work and adds something to the piece.

4. Do you have a ritual before you start your creative work?  I.e make a strong coffee, turn on radio 4?

I try not to be on the outside of too much coffee when I work. The neighbouring office has a friend in it, we are both on the Brighton Lifeboat Crew so there is usually a marine VHF radio chirruping in the background. If a shout goes up there is a mad dash for the door as we both run to the vehicles. I like to work to the radio, I love news and current affairs and comedy but also supernatural thrillers. I rarely work to music as it doesn’t seem to fill the right place in my brain for painting.

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5. What is a typical day like when you are creating?
I don’t paint until the afternoon. The morning is usually spent on emails and admin until my brain has warmed up. If I’m painting outside I’ll ofter wander round with my kit until something grabs my attention. I enjoy the challenges of working outside, people coming to see what I’m up to etc. Often you’ll get a surprise pop up that will make it into the final piece. There’s no substitute for being there.

6. What has been the proudest moment in your art career?
I’m delighted to have been given the chance to paint the cover to the BBCs Countryfile Christmas Magazine. The show is a staple favourite and I’ve always admired their composition and camera work – It was an honour to be asked!

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7. Who would be your dream customer to see your work in? Are there any shops or brands you would love to see your work associated with?
I’m always excited by new challenges. I’d quite like to do a whole calendar at some point. I find the ideas clients bring to me exciting. I’ve been asked to paint directly on to a van before and of course it’s always great to see your work reproduced in the shops!

8. How would you like to develop your work in the future?
I look forward to expanding the scope of my work. Through licensing I’ve found directions I wouldn’t have otherwise pursued. I’ve got a lot more into snow and autumn scenes and recently I’ve been working on a series of golf course paintings which has been enormous fun. I’ve never done a book cover so that would have to be a must

If you would like to commission Tony to create a piece for your publication then please let us know. Tony is also available for private commissions.

Pure Illustration – the agency for artists and illustrators working in art markets worldwide – www.pureillustration.com