Over the past few years I’ve been blogging and running my etsy shop I have come to know and admire other creatives. The great thing about social media is it give the opportunity to showcase your work to so many people. I have loved being a part of Facebook groups and twitter chats that champion the hard working creative minds all around.
So I wanted to showcase so of my favourite makers and designers I have had the pleasure of tweeting, liking and sharing over the years. This is the first of what I hope to be a regular spot on the blog.
So welcome to the first creative corner Rich Banks, whose detailed and intricate work I have admired during many a #creativebizhour
1. Introduce yourself.
Hi I’m Rich, I’m a freelance illustrator, designer and artist based in York.
2. Tell us a bit about your business.
I have been working as a freelance artist, illustrator and fine art printer for the past 8 years. I have created bespoke illustration work for global brands, and exhibited my artwork internationally in places such as London, Sydney and New York. I specialise in unique and detailed handmade drawings, which are easily translated into limited edition prints, and other accessories. I also print all of my own illustrations, either digitally or using screen printing techniques. Which I then sell either online, through my website or through art galleries and markets.
3. What made you start your own business?
I graduated in 2009 from the University of York with a Ba in Graphic Design, and the design agency I was meant to be going to work for went bankrupt due to the recession, so I didn’t have a job. My friend was in the same position and after a few beers one night we decided to set up our own design business. We ran that for 2 years before a string of bad business decisions meant that financially we were struggling and we had to close the business. I knew I wanted to stay in the industry so I then went freelance and I am where I am now.
4. Did you have any formal training or are you self-taught?
I have a Ba in Graphic Design from the University of York. But I have been drawing my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are sitting at the dining room table with my Grandad, who was an architect and drawing buildings or playing with a Spirograph and creating endless pages of patterns. Since I graduated I realised that you always have to keep learning, whether its a new version of illustrator for my design work or a new drawing technique for my artwork. You have to keep learning and improving your creative practice.
5. Explain your creative process.
So for the digital client work I produce, normally it
starts with exchanging a few emails to figure out what the client needs and to
see if I’m the right fit for there business. If we decide to go ahead with the
work then we will meet up and discuss the work face to face. Then say it is a
logo design, I will go back to my studio and produce 4 or 5 logo concepts
for the client to choose from. I will then work up the chosen concept into a
finished logo. All my client work tends to follow that pattern whether its a
logo design, poster or website. Or if its hand-drawn not digital it will follow
the same pattern. For my own hand drawn artwork generally all my ideas come
from doodles in a notebook that I carry everywhere with me. If I have
a drawing in there that I think could work or just be fun to draw I
will sketch it out roughly on a piece of A4 to figure out the layout and
position of objects. Then I will draw it full scale at either A3 or A2.
6. Describe your typical day, Rich.
I get up at 6am and make coffee and check the news and my emails. Then normally I’m drawing by 7am, whether that’s client work or personal work. I like to start work early because I find there’s less distractions, so I’m very focused and I can be really productive. I will then work until about 2/3pm when I will stop and have some lunch and chill out for a couple of hours to try and refresh. Then I will go back to my drawing board or computer and pick faults with what I spent the morning drawing, try to figure out what changes will improve the work. Generally be quite self critical for half an hour each day so I know at the end of a project I’ve given myself the best chance to create something that is as good as the idea allows. I will then work until about 8/9pm when I try and switch my brain off for the next days work.
7. What’s your biggest seller?
Tree Of Life
8. What have been the high and low points of running your own business?
The high points are being able to do something you love and are passionate about as a job. Meeting some incredible people and working on inspiring projects. The low points, like most freelancers, generally involve money. Not being able to find work, clients not paying on time, having your artwork stolen by large companies. It can be a very insecure way to make a living at times.
9. What would be your top tips for running your own creative business?
Find something you love doing and work hard at it. If you work doing something you love it doesn’t matter if the clients an idiot or the money is terrible, or whatever, you will be happy.
10. What are your aspirations?
I try not to set goals, I just go day by day, enjoy the journey and see where I end up. So I guess if in ten years I’m still doing what I’m doing now I will be a very lucky man.
Thank you Rich for taking time out to be involved in creative corner. I think you have a great mind-set and are an exceptionally talented artist.
You can view more of Rich’s amazingly detailed work on his website where you can find my personal favourite of his work a fabulous illustration of a coy