Pure Illustration represent many talented illustrators and artists, and we license their artwork to publishers and manufacturers all over the world. Sometimes, in the day to day of business, it is easy to loose sight of the fact that the artwork is the price and joy of a certain artist rather than a commercial product that will help a product sell. And so we like to take the time to introduce our artists and illustrators as individuals, so that our customers can connect with their story. Here’s a recent chat we had with Luke aka Reginald Swinney.

1. How did you find yourself working in the world of art licensing?

I have been working as a freelance illustrator since Leaving the University of Lincoln in 2010. I have worked on a wide variety of projects/commissions, with a growing client base year on year. I decided to try and find an extra outlet for my work regarding greetings card designs, inspired by the popularity and positive feedback from cards I produced for craft fairs, etc. After submitting samples to a few different agencies, I found the right agency for me in Pure.

2. Are there any artists who inspire your work?

I found my love of illustration when I was young. I started by collecting Pokemon cards and loved the mixture of designs and artworks on them, but I found my self collecting and keeping the more illustrative ones. I also consider my self a collector of design and illustration, and put all items I find of interest on my studio wall. (some people think of this wall as a work of art within itself) This can range from packaging, newspaper/ magazine cuttings, bottle tops or even just a scrap of material of which I like the look of. Whenever I am low on new ideas, I find myself looking at my inspiration wall, which never fails to aid me. I follow a few illustrators on Instagram and love to see their post and updates. One in particular is “Joey Chou” who has a very simplistic but charming illustrative style. Their work is full of simplistic yet charming characters and animals, with a beautiful use of colour. I am a fan of all things retro and vintage (though I’m sure this is a noticeable theme in my work).

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3. Describe your work space, do you have a mascot or a favourite pen?

My studio desk is often in chaos with papers and pencils dotted around with just enough space for my Mac, keyboard and mouse. I often move from project to project working on multiple things at once, so having everything around me is a must. As I said previously, I have my wall of inspiration at my studio with all my interesting findings.

4. Do you have a ritual before you start your creative work?

I often watch or listen to things whilst working, as it tends to help me to stay focused. I regularly listen to the Karl Pilkington podcasts, including their old XFM broadcast (where it all began). I’m sure to of listened to them all plenty of  times. I often sit working, thinking about how this doesn’t feel like a real job. Though the stress of 3-4 deadlines at the same time soon bring me to reality.

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5. What is a typical day like when you are creating?

My typical creative day would involve looking at samples, colour pallets/ swatches and trying to emerge my self within a project, I always have something on in the background, and will only stop working to make myself a brew (Cup of tea)

6. What has been the proudest moment in your art career?

My proudest moments are seeing anything I have worked on in print. However, I often find that my work is used abroad in countries such as Canada, America, Singapore and India, which means I don’t often get to see the published works. However, my client in Singapore has sent samples to me, and find the “panda packs” to be charming, and probably my favourite project to date. They are children’s activities packs, delivered monthly when a subscription is obtained.

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7. Who would be your dream customer to see your work in?

I love Disney’s wonderground gallery (they produce more illustrative representations of Disney films and rides, etc.) and I would love to produce something for them. Other than that, I would feel proud if I produced a Christmas biscuit tin for a large supermarket such as Marks and Spencer. Knowing that you have the legacy of your tin being used to store the household sewing kit in, for years to come, would be the dream.

8. How would you like to develop your work in the future? The art licensing market has changed a lot in the last 5 years. How do you see your work developing and are there any projects you would like to be involved in like magazine work or a gardening book.

Outside of Pure design, I produce works for companies across the globe which are mostly small/start up companies.  A large body of this work is for children’s educational materials, such as worksheets and activity books, this is defiantly something I would like to pursue in addition to my card designs, I also think my style has some potential for editorial and magazines.

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