Illustrator and Truro College lecturer Tom Heard talks about his work on latest book – Project Bugs.
– You say latest book, how many have you worked on?
I’ve been fortunate to have illustrated just over thirty titles so far across both fiction and educational markets. These have been for clients including Ladybird Books, National Geographic Learning and Miles Kelly Publishing. I am represented by the Bright Group in London and have been with them since I graduated back in 2012. Project Bugs is the second title I have worked on for Miles Kelly Publishing forming part of the Project book series. The first, Project Body was written by John Fardon, published in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize 2016.
– What’s your role, is it illustration and design of the book?
I illustrate the pictures within the book, (for Project Bugs I completed all of the cartoons throughout). I am provided the text by the editor and the layouts by the designer.
– It must be fascinating for students to know their lecturer is published, do you ever talk about your work in class to help inspire and educate those wishing to go down the publishing route themselves?
Yes, I think it’s important that students develop an understanding between the tasks they complete in lesson and how these relate and prepare them for the creative industries.
– Do you have a particular process when creating content for the books?
I often start recording my ideas in a sketchbook using a variety of pencils and pens. I then scan them into Adobe Photoshop and work on a Cintiq tablet to produce my artworks digitally. For each project I will often send sketches to the editor for approval before moving onto colour. Generally, when I work on a project it will be published anytime after six months, or sometimes the following year!
– What advice do you give students who are interesting in illustration?
Keep drawing, practise is key. I always encourage students to keep a sketchbook with them at all times, you never know when that next spark of creativity may arise!
Toms book can be seen here.
On from now until this Sat 27th May, 3pm – Page Turner.
A celebration of great student art from Truro College, Cornwall.
Take yourself down to Lemon Quay Piazza in Truro and become inspired by the wealth of talent on display.
From fine art to jewelry, from architecture to graphics design, and everything in between.
Our 12th annual show, Page Turner.
Caroline Pedler, Cornish based illustrator and artist, took time out from her busy life to give an informal talk and discussion, on the realities of being a full time practising illustrator.
She then led a collage workshop, one of the techniques used within her own practice. The students were a willing and captive crowd and the results were fun and amazing.
Our next college alumni that has gone on to bigger things is VFX whizz kid Chris Mutton –
“I’m currently working as a Rigging TD / Technical Artist in the VFX industry in London. The company is called Framestore, and after a brief stint in their commercials department I am now working in the world of feature films. I have only been here a couple of months so far, so haven’t worked on any big blockbusters that I can boast about …yet!
My job is the bridge between the modelling and animation teams. I take a 3D generated model and add the control systems and skeletons, as well as defining how the model deforms and anything else animation need to make a character move in a believable way. It’s a great mix of artistic eye and technical knowledge.
Since University I have also worked in the games industry for Sony Computer Entertainment on the Killzone franchise, and for a company called Jellyfish Pictures on a children’s animated TV show called the Floogals.
At Truro College I studied Fine Art with Louise and Tristan, Graphic Illustration with Natalie, as well as Maths and Music Tech. I also got involved with the regular Life Drawing classes on offer, which has been invaluable to my understanding of human form and function and something I kept up throughout education and still try and attend as often as possible. I had an enjoyable year on Truro’s Art Foundation course before heading off to Bournemouth to study Computer Animation and Visualisation which is how I got into the career I have now.
Truro was a really great place for me to get a excellent grounding in Art. The department was always such a fun place to be, full of energy and friendly faces!”