Brighton based doodler Phil Weyman (AKA Mister Phil) invites us in to his studio
Step inside the world and studio of Brighton based illustrator and characterful doodler Mister Phil.
Mister Phil grew up near Portsmouth, UK. He studied illustration but after graduating fell into a web design role. “Making art was always going on in the background, but it’s only in the last few years that I’ve put my energy into trying to make it my main career.”
I live and work in Brighton, on the South coast of England. There’s a strong creative scene here with plenty of exhibitions, gatherings and the like going on, as well as a ton of street art, particularly around my studio. So, it’s always easy to go for a wander and be inspired. My studio is shared with other illustrators and designers. There’s a great sense of camaraderie; someone’s always available to ask advice or help with ideas, be they creative or practical. I also have a studio set up at home so can work there too. It’s nice to have that flexibility.
I takes time to discover and develop your visual language – it’s a combination of your personality and time spent allowing yourself to nurture it.
About 3 years ago I started a daily doodle project. This culminated in me talking at ‘Reasons To‘ in Brighton, the very conference that inspired me to start the project. It also gave me the opportunity to develop my working method. By drawing everyday and having to work relatively quickly I cultivated a particular style with motifs and characters recurring over time. Unintentionally I fine tuned a style that hopefully conveys my personality and therefore helps my work stand out.
I try to avoid looking directly at other work and thinking “what can I take from it”. I’m sure it happens but I try and allow it to take place on a more subconscious level. I haven’t embraced the “great artists steal” ethos just yet. I’ve obviously got more developing to do…
When I’m not slogging it out in the studio I like to get out into the country with my dog, or out on my bike (sometimes both at the same time). Smashing a shuttlecock about, going to gigs, attending talks, embarking on YouTube comedy wormhole journeys, sampling unusual ales!
I’m often musing over a dream project…imagining covering a series of buildings in the same location with my work. Creating a visual identity and animations for music events/festivals, think huge projections/backdrops accompanying live music, interacting and reacting to what’s going on.
Everything I do starts with drawing, and I’m always looking for new things to draw on. There are quite a few robots dotted around my space, you might be able to see them lurking amongst the chaos.
My toolkit typically consists of: Pens, Sharpies, POSCAs, Uni fine line, my iPhone, macbook pro, wacom tablet, sketchbooks, A2 paper, scanner, Illustrator, Photoshop… and finally the humble keyboard (sounds silly to mention it, but what a tool, all those buttons. Keyboard shortcuts don’t get the recognition they deserve.)
As for my studio space, it’s generally quite messy as I’ve often got quite a few things of varying sizes on the go. Everything I do starts with drawing, and I’m always looking for new things to draw on. There are quite a few robots dotted around my space, you might be able to see them lurking amongst the chaos.
I’ve recently created the artwork for an album due out this month. It’s a double gatefold vinyl so it gave me the opportunity to create 3 separate images – front, rear and double inner spread. Was always a dream from a very young age to create album artwork, so I’m really pleased this has happened. Especially as the resurgence of vinyl means it won’t just be on a CD cover, or 300px square icon. I’ve also created artwork for a local brewery called ‘Lost Pier Brewing‘. They keep producing new and interesting beers and therefore I’ve been kept quite busy with new and interesting labels!
Next year I really hope to take part in more live events! I recently did a live drawing event where I was creating a large unplanned artwork while conference goers could come and colour it in – really enjoyed creating something from nothing on the day and allowing other people to get involved and interact with both the artwork and myself. I’m hoping to find a way to do more of these events, in more exotic locations ? Collaborating with an animator would be on the list too (if anyone fancies a collaboration give me a shout!)