Robotic flamingoes, iron fists and delicate lino prints of insects can all be found in the portfolio of work by Pierce Braysher. A freelance illustrator, designer and printmaker based in London, Pierce also works at Cass Art Soho, bringing his expertise in design and illustration to the shop floor. Incorporating humour, his work focuses on the future, fusing technology, imagination and colour to produce utterly original prints alongside T-shirts, greetings cards and more.
He's a busy man, but thankfully not too busy for us - because we wanted to know exactly what makes him tick, and why his futuristic drawings move so fluidly between different mediums.
Hi Pierce! Whilst your work is primarily illustration, you explore a range of mediums from digital art to lino printing. Do you think it's important to experiment and keep things fresh?
I've always felt it is important to broaden your skill set, as producing the same style of work can be predictable and not as interesting. When I explore different types of art I like to mix it in with my work to keep it interesting, new and exciting - otherwise I feel it would eventually become stale.
Where did you study illustration? And have you had any recent exhibitions or special projects?
I studied at Southampton Solent University and was taught by the Johnny Hannah and Pete Lloyd, both of whom are renowned in the field of Illustration.
I've had a recent exhibition at an event called Rumpus at Islington Metal Works. The theme was called Big vs Small, and the idea is to send and exhibit your response to that concept. Here is my response titled, "Bugger".
Who are your illustration and design heroes?
David Hockney is my all time hero. When I studied him during my Fine Art A level, I went to his exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery a couple of years ago and was completely blown away. My favourite pieces were his line drawings. Whilst they were very spacious, the face was always incredibly detailed, making you really focus on the subject. The fact that he is still active today, producing different styles of work has played a part in my decision to always experiment and never stick to one style for too long.
I'm always influenced by others but he was a major factor on why I'm an illustrator today.
You work seems to focus particularly on robots and technology. Where does this futuristic inspiration come from?
I'm a huge fan of the Sci-Fi genre from films and TV shows such as Alien, Akira and Futurama. It's the way that no one knows what the future is and it is completely unknown, and so there are no limitations on how I can imagine what will be part of it. I can let my imagination run riot.
What materials do you use to make your illustrations and why?
For my main body of work I use a mixture of pens to create the outlines and to achieve the greatest level of depth. The brands can range from Rotring, Posca and Staedtler - I mix and match to suit whatever I need to do to achieve what I'm trying to portray.
For colour, it's a mixture of Photoshop, colouring pencils and acrylic paint, depending on what I want to achieve. I only ever use digital for colouring as I want to keep the human element of drawing in my work as much as possible but I am not adverse to trying any medium.
What's coming up for you and your work this year?
I'm currently experimenting with screen printing for canvas bags and t shirts to sell for the summer. which can be found at art fairs and my Etsy shop...
Visit Pierce Braysher's website here.
Pierce works at Cass Art Soho, so feel free to drop by and ask him about his work, techniques or your own illustration queries.
Remember all our staff are artists so they can offer expert advice in-store!