Kerr Mcilwraith the genius behind Pen Etc. whose previously exhibited his lovely illustrations in Essex is going to be exhibiting at The Royal Museum of Kingston upon thames soon. So Recently caught up with me for a quick chat before he jetted off to Berlin.
Fox By Pen Etc.
V.A.S: Heyy Kerr, Lets start from the beginning, When did you start illustrating?
Pen Etc: I guess I started drawing seriously after Sixth Form, it was nice not having structured criteria to follow; I liked being able to draw what I wanted for no reason, and I was extremely lucky that people liked it too!
V.A.S: So you've been working on some new illustrations, which I love! What was the inspiration behind your latest collection of illustrations?
Pen Etc: Well I’m in the process of completing two sets, one of which is Landscapes and the other one, (currently untitled), is of really ugly people and ugly animals. The landscape series was influenced by my History of Art lectures at university, my eyes have seen sooo many landscapes, just wanted to have my own go at it. In the patterned river piece I wanted to use the traditional composition seen in Turner and Gainsborough works, but then give it a modernised twist so it appealed to the younger audiences. The ugly series doesn’t really have much inspiration; I have a friend called Dan who writes the most horrendously unique poems, we are going to be making a book of the illustrations and poems over the next few weeks.
V.A.S: What’s the Creative Process behind your work?
Pen Etc:The majority of the time I just draw as soon as I have an idea for something, sometimes it works, and other times a piece comes out completely different to what I intended it to be. I much prefer not doing drafts for pieces though, it’s a bit cheaper and uses fewer trees.
V.A.S: What are your favourite medium's to use when illustrating?
Pen Etc:Pen and Ink! That’s almost all I use, that and watercolours. I wish I could use more expensive mediums: gold leaf, oil bars etc. I try to make do with what I have though!
V.A.S: You've recently been selling T shirts through ASOS how did that come about?
Pen Etc: It was literally just by people nagging me for t-shirts with prints on, I thought it would just be easier putting them online instead of dealing with cash in hand and distributing them by hand. I don’t really want to be known for the t-shirts, more the prints that are on the t-shirts, that’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the sales!
V.A.S: If you could describe your work using three words what would they be?
Pen Etc: Simple. Ghastly. Endearing.
V.A.S: Lastly, What are your plans for the next year?
Pen etc: From the 11th April I am exhibiting at the Royal Museum of Kingston, I’m collaborating with 2 other artists on a landscape of Kingston Upon Thames, as well as also exhibiting all of the pieces from the landscape series so far. I’ve also got plans for a few one night exhibitions in Long Melford, Brick Lane (London) and Kingston upon Thames. And of course the Ugly book I mentioned earlier. It should be a good year!
Connect with Pen Etc:
Like his T shirts check him out on ASOS here
Thanks for reading guys hope you liked!