Read on to discover what inspires our wonderful new artist, Tim Budgen, and find out his top tips for aspiring illustrators!
Where do you live/work?
I live on Hayling Island, a small island just off the main land in between the cities of Portsmouth and Chichester. I work in my study surrounded by my favourite collectables and inspirational art.
What do you love about working there?
Since the Summer of 2017 I have been a full time freelance illustrator. This means I get to work from home. This was a huge change in career for me as I had been an Art teacher for 18 years previously. Working from home means that I can make my own rules about how I want to work. Being a teacher for many years has meant that I have become used to having a lot of structure, this hasn’t changed as I still wake at 6am and begin work around 7am. I am very lucky to live very close to a great beach where I take my dog Baxter for long walks. As I am a bit of a workaholic having Baxter ensures I get a bit of exercise!
What are your dislikes?
I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes , mushrooms or broccoli haha. I also can’t stand rudeness !
What do you love most about being an illustrator?
I think that my favourite thing about being an illustrator is the fact that I get to live out my passion every day. I’ve always wanted to have a career in Art and to be able to create something that people will be inspired by is, i believe what dreams are made of.
I also like being able to spend the day in my dressing gown if I want to !
How do you work – what are your techniques?
When I first started out I used to sketch out my designs and then colour them with felt-tip promarker pens. Over time i transferred to digital drawing and taught myself how to use photoshop. I bought myself a second hand tablet from ebay that cost about £15 and I started to practice as much as possible. Since then I have moved onto working completely digitally using photoshop CC and a Wacom Cintiq. For those who are unfamiliar with the cintiq it’s like a big monitor but instead of drawing onto a tablet you can draw straight onto the glass.
What is your favourite thing to draw?
I absolutely love drawing animals! For the past twelve months I have been lucky enough to illustrate a monthly section for Storytime Magazine called ‘Alphabet Zoo’. This means that I have had the opportunity to draw every kind of animal from Aardvarks to Zebra ! I’m also a bit partial to drawing animals playing musical instruments ! This spread below involving Tapirs and Toucans has become one of my favourites, maybe because it involved drawing steamy Tapir poo!
Are there any tricky parts to being an illustrator?
I would say time management can be a difficult thing to control. As all illustrators know, we do not keep regular 9 to 5 work hours so it can be tricky sometimes getting away from the desk. If it wasn’t for walks with my dog I would happily spend 10 to 12 hours a day ( maybe longer ) drawing and that isn’t healthy at all! I would also say juggling projects can also be a little tricky. It’s so important to make a note of deadlines as they can have a funny way of creeping up on you when you least expect them to!
What or who are you inspired by?
My great Grandfather was an artist and often illustrated for the Daily sketch in the 1950s. He was an incredible artist who could turn his hand to most things, whether it be illustration or sculpture. I've also been inspired by a number of illustrators over the years who I would say have had a real impact on my drawing style. I grew up enjoying the work of Richard Scarry, Quentin Blake and John Patience.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not illustrating?
As i've mentioned earlier I love walking my dog along the beach we are lucky enough to live near. I also go to the gym regularly. If i didn't go I think I would definitely seize up! I like to travel regularly, my favourite city being New York and I also enjoy cooking.
How did you get into illustration?
Fortunately I was always encouraged by my parents to lead a creative lifestyle. Like many illustrators I began drawing at a very early age and it is something that has always stayed with me. I spent many years teaching Art but in the Summer of 2012 I began an online diploma in children’s book illustration. Although I loved teaching there was always the determination to illustrate full time and one day make a career out of it. In the Summer of 2017 I took the decision to leave teaching and become a freelance illustrator.
What are your three top tips for aspiring illustrators?
Practice, practice, practice ! haha
On a serious note of course it’s so important to draw every day, even if only for five minutes. Over time you will get better, I promise !
My second top tip is to never snack at your desk. I work from home so the temptation to raid the biscuit jar is always very strong !
My third top tip would be to not compare yourself to other illustrators. I know it’s tempting but try and forge your own path!
And my fourth (if i’m allowed one?) dream BIG !
What’s your ultimate dream?
I have to say that I think i’m one of the luckiest people to be able to do a job I absolutely love and have a passion for. Of course, there are days where the last thing I want to do is draw but fortunately they are few and far between. My ultimate dream would be to write and illustrate my own picture books and have them read the world over. I know I am close, I just have to keep working hard!