For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about just two things – great art and the artists who create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these amazing artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Web.” In this column, we focus on one artist and the amazing art they create, whether they’re amateurs, up-and-comers, or well-established. The goal is to discover these artists so that even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences and more. If you are an amazing artist or know someone who should be featured, feel free to contact me anytime [email protected].This month we are very pleased to bring you the amazing art…
Neil is a multi-award winning poster and key artist. Born in High Wycombe (UK) and now living in Falkirk Scotland, Neil grew up desperate to be in the film industry, but a lack of acting, camera work, visual effects and writing talent led Neil to concentrate on his passion for art, Neil’s the break in the industry came from a single piece of fan art for the viral Shudder hit HOST, since then he has worked on over 60 productions from indie films, book covers, bigger budget productions to helping established directors get funding via pitch decks. Former product designer for Marvel, Warner Brothers, Disney and DC, among others, Neil now divides his time between the daily work with Corporate design and Poster and Key art.
JOBLO: What got you started as an artist?
NEIL: My dad was always the artistic one growing up, he painted a lot and used to draw my pictures of my favorite characters, so I’ve always been around that, but my real passion for art itself came from walking the isles in Blockbuster Video and looking at all the glorious horror and sci-fi covers and just being mesmerized by the style and color of them, I was lucky that at that time in history horror and sci-fi had taken off and the 1980s explosion of marketing was in full swing, so movies like ET, Gremlins, The Goonies, Back to the Future and Star Wars were just marketing machines, so artwork that I fell in love with was everywhere and on everything. I also had a love for the do-it-yourself adventure novels by Ian Livingstone and the artwork just made my imagination run wild and Alan Langford’s cover of “Island of the Lizard King” was by far my favorite.
Moving on from there I was basically not competent at anything other than art, I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else, but I’m actually not a big traditional artist, I’m very messy and all the designs were done by hand so even at I was told I would never make it because I was so messy and disorganized.
It wasn’t until 1998 when I had an accident and was in bed that I really started studying photoshop as my mum had bought me a PC to help pass the time and I spent hours and hours finding out of what did what, I think the old saying about everything happens for a reason is true, no accident, no time to practice, no career.
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
The aforementioned Alan Langford of course, but my main inspiration and role model was John Alvin, sadly no longer with us, and for me he was very much overshadowed by Drew Struzan, but his work just amazes me, his mix of styles and compositions was just outstanding, posters he did were so different, Gremlins, Arachnophobia, ET, Darkman, The Princess Bride, Aladdin and Spaceballs were all so different but equally spectacular that I am and always will be in awe of him and that’s why if you see a moon in my work it is my tribute to john as he included suns and moons in his work quite regularly.
Who are you really digging these days follow on Instagram?
Oh so many people who are far better creative than me who deserve so much more love than they get I love Chelsea Lowe, Zoe Rose, Simon Heard, Hannah Gillingham, Chris Barnes, Kyle Lambert, Trevor Henderson but every artist inspires me and there’s never an artist I can’t learn from, no matter what medium or style they use.
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
The best advice I can give is never ever give up, trust me your career can change in an instant, I know how hard it is to work on something for 50, 60 or 70 hours and get 6 likes and a retweet, it’s soul destroying why you have to work for you some of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done have 20 likes but that’s just the nature of the game sometimes the art doesn’t click but then I’ve done things that literally took 2 hours and it’s taken off, a lot of right place right time can have a lot to do with it but there is a LOT of hard work that goes into this job that I don’t think a lot of people realize I use a good few hours every day just engaging with people, making contacts, writing work, basically trying to stay on social media algorithms.
The other thing that I can’t stress enough is practice practice practice if you struggle with certain things, work on them and look at ways to work around what you feel are weaknesses, but I would say that composition is the key to everything, a good composition kind of hides a million mistakes..
What should we look for from you in the future?
There’s a decent amount of work going on, I’ve signed on for my first big budget production where I’ll be doing all the exclusive artwork which is exciting and it’s being filmed up here in Scotland so I’ll get to go and be involved as well me.
I’m in discussions with a few productions which will hopefully lead to some great projects and I’m working on a selection of collaborations with some of my favorite artists on my desktop series which I’m releasing for charity early next year, and currently working with Kindergiest Podcast on a mental health awareness children’s charity “On our sleeves” event running until January 11th where you could win a bespoke commission from me or a few freebies from my shop if you donate.
But mostly I want to work on my favorite thing which is indie productions, I love the ambition and vision these guys have and I’m always honored to work on art for them.
My main goal for 2023 is to get more of a profile and perform at a few more rallies, I had so much fun at the few I attended in 2022.
As a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies/TV shows of all time?
Oooh depends on what day it is, I mean I’m an 80s kid so the horror and sci-fi boom of the 80s and 90s really stuck with me, Killer Klowns From Outer Space is still one of my comfort movies, along with Chopping Mall, Star Wars, Back to the Future, Mimic, Clue and Big Trouble in Little China.
TV shows I love, A-Team, Knight Rider, X-files etc. I’ve really enjoyed the new Willow series as well as Wednesday but I always struggle with TV, my attention span is terrible.
Scroll down to see some of our favorite artworks from Neil as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / IMDB / All Things Dave Podcast / Store / TeePublic / Nationwide Children’s Hospital Collection
Back to the Future
Big problems in Little China
ET The extraterrestrial
Evil Dead Rise
The invisible man
Jaws: The Revenge
Superman: The Movie
What we do in the shadows