Vulture Visual Arousal (feat. Ed Clews)


This week’s Vulture Visual Arousal is brought to you by the hand of Ed Clews, a freelance designer, illustrator and photographer all the way from North Yorkshire (England for you uncultured nincompoops). His eye-popping blend of insanity and sweetness reminds us of our favourite 90s cartoon that never existed.


Clews has his talented fingers in many pies, taking private commissions and creating personalised artwork for a lucky few; to designing adverts, websites, magazines – and he loves all of it. “Actually getting paid money to draw stupid cartoons is an achievement in itself. People voluntarily give me cold hard cash to draw them riding cats or being cuddled by chimps,” he says.


Ever creative, one of our favourite of Clews’ work involves the changing faces of David Bowie.
“I wanted to get in different periods so I set it up like I’d framed the Beatles picture I did earlier. It was then just picking the periods of Bowie I like best so Ziggy, Labyrinth, Berlin Trilogy and Let’s Dance. It’s tempting to do a follow up with the less popular ones so Tin Machine, Outside, Glass Spider Tour etc.”


Talking about his system of work, Clews says, “I’ve certainly got my process down a lot speedier than it was a few years ago,” he says.

“I’ll always start out with a pencil and paper sketch. I’ve usually got a rough idea of what I’m going to do with it – it’s either from a quick scribble I’ve done earlier or a short one line sentence (I’ve got a bucket of these on my phone, in notebooks, scraps of paper). Once it’s sketched out I’ll just snap a pic and email it to myself, then it’s a three step process of inking-in the lines, colour blocking and then scribbling over the top of that in Photoshop.”


Clews grew up inspired by similar illustrators, and continues to be inspired by those around him.
“I’m a big fan of Great Pop Things which used to run in the back of the NME in the mid 90s. David Lyttleton‘s work in Select and Neon Magazine during that same period was fantastic […] I’m a big fan of the Tiki/Googie style of illustration – people like Shag, House Industries and Coop.”


“I like having a good old trawl of Flickr, Tumblr, Behance, Deviant Art and Pinterest – they’re a nice rabbit hole to disappear in for a few hours, pass the time and slurp up some ideas,” says Clews.


Lucy Wood


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