Featured Illustrator

Shaun Hill

April 2018

Falling in love with low-brow art and skateboard culture—we can see where [Shaun Hill's] inspiration for his whimsical illustrative style comes from! Shaun fills his days with lists, doodles and photo's to get the idea engine running 🧠Also keeping him busy is the awesome Bat Butt zine!

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design? / When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

I watched lots of TV and was obsessed with cartoons from a young age. I loved everything about the animation back then. I liked how merchandising was targeted straight towards kids and shamelessly drew you in with packaging design and illustration. Later on, skateboarding and music became a huge influence ­— I was fascinated with the artwork and illustration of it all. This introduced me to low-brow art and tons of new artists who have inspired my creative direction.

What does a typical working day include for you right now?

My creative process varies from project to project as I don’t always have at set method to start working. I like to draw inspiration from whatever seems to interest me at that time or place. I’ve found that it is not so important to try find inspiration but to rather grab it whenever it comes naturally, this for me results in lots of lists, doodles and photos. These triggers are then ready and loaded for the next time I’m out of ideas.

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

In 2014 I started a zine called Bat Butt, the lo-fi publication is illustration based and includes a bunch of extras like stickers, fold-out posters and more. The first issue started with a few local contributors and has grown over the years to included artists and illustrators from around the world. I have found this side project to be extremely rewarding as I have received lots of feedback from young creatives who have been inspired and influenced by the zine. Check out batbutt.com

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Don’t box yourself with restrictions. Exploring new styles and experimenting often leads to discovering something new in a haphazard way.

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How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I think my style is still growing and developing as I am always exploring new techniques and learning constantly. I also learnt to not be so precious about perfecting a particular style, and to tailor an artwork from the start rather than than trying to make it fit. Don’t box yourself with restrictions. Exploring new styles and experimenting often leads to discovering something new in a haphazard way.

What role does digital design play in your studio in 2018, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age?

Digital design plays a huge role in my studio but I have learnt it is best to keep one foot on each side of the line between digital and traditional techniques. Sometimes the merging of digital and traditional techniques can lead to surprising and fresh outcomes that would not be achieved without exploring both directions.

What advice would you give students starting out?

Don’t get bogged down following design trends, follow your gut!

Website: shaunhill.co.za

Instagram: @shaun_hill

Bechance portfolio: https://www.behance.net/shaun_hill

Bat Butt: batbutt.com

Instagram: @batbutt_

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