Vulture Visual Arousal (feat. Steve Simpson)

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This week in Vulture Visual Arousal, we showcase Steve Simpson, an Irish illustrator who dabbles in a mix of media and prefers to use a mouse instead of a tablet for illustrations. Keeping it old skool.

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Simpson gets great satisfaction out of his own work on a daily basic, but says that speaking in front of almost 2,000 people at the Irish creative conference, OFFSET was one of his proudest moments in his creative life. Having been working as an illustrator for 20 odd years, Simpson says that his methods haven’t changed much, even with advances in technology.

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“I start every project with pencil and paper, often in my sketchbook. I make many sketches, exploring varied directions until I’m satisfied I have the best option for the project. Once the client has approved the sketch I scan it into Photoshop, and colour up the final artwork … Prior to the early nineties I would have used more traditional methods watercolours, acrylics, pastels and pen & ink,” says Simpson.

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Inspired by tribal and folk art from around the world, Simpson relishes the stories and traditions behind statues, masks and carvings. Complimenting this is the influence and design philosophy of William Morris, although good music never goes astray, with Simpson preferring the tunes found on BBC6 and Gil Scott-Heron.

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“I’m a big Gil Scott-Heron fan, sadly the one time I got a ticket to see him, the concert was cancelled. I produced this illustration in tribute to the great man,” says Simpson.

“I usually spend as much time thinking about the ideas for my work as I do actually working on it. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised is such a great track, it throws up plenty of visual imagery and was quite easy for me to be inspired by. This image took about three days to complete. I initially made a pencil sketch and then used Photoshop to work over it.”

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E. Adamcewicz

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