I can hardly believe it myself but I have now been in the business of illustration for three whole decades! To celebrate I’ve created a new online blogfolio to showcase some of my best efforts. Here’s the blurb I’ve been sending around clients etc. 2010 is the 30th anniversary of Creative Review, also of Walker Books and Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
It’s also 30 years since Paul Morton created Hot Frog Graphics.
As the world lost John Lennon, the UK lost the sixpence and the first fax machines appeared in Japan, Paul started his (non-digital) illustration and design studio in the centre of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, and has never looked back.
If you’ve heard the name, but imagine that you’re not so familiar with the artwork of Hot Frog then you might be surprised to learn that some of the best known illustrations on thousands of chocolate packs originated from this busy studio, along with countless postcards, greetings cards, advertising posters, characters, children’s games and beer labels.
As a successful ‘airbrush artist’ in the 80’s with top notch clients of the day, such as Athena, Scandecor and Verkerke, Paul says …
“I’ve never given up the pencil, but making that digital switch and swapping paint for pixels was the best decision I ever made – I now move light around for a living.
These days commissions arrive from across the globe and it’s always exciting to hear from new clients in Dublin or Dubai, across Europe to the USA, Australia, Turkey, Japan, Hawaii and many still back home in Yorkshire.
What is the top most frequent thing that I’m asked to illustrate?
Easy, it has to be fruit. Every supermarket carries thousands of packs featuring fruit whether it’s cereals, yogurts, soft drinks, sweets, washing powder or medication, and you can bet there’s orange, strawberry or blackcurrant in there for sure. I thought I’d illustrated most fruits, and yet just last month I was asked to illustrate rhubarb for the very first time, featuring on a yogurt crumble.
So if you ring and find yourself speaking to my answerphone I’m either hard at work pushing those pesky pixels around; or, because I get to sample all those cakes, cereals, chocolates and sweets, plus gallons of beer and soft drinks – (and if the weather is favourable) – I’ll be out working even harder pushing mountain bike pedals, as I desperately try to burn off some of those calories!”
Paul has now showcased a broad selection of Hot Frog’s most entertaining work spanning his ongoing 30 year career, with examples ranging from posters for rock bands, campaigning fund raising postcards, mini-magnetic children’s books to board games, advertising campaigns and also featuring a peak into his personal collection of hundreds of sketchbooks.