Thomas Hedger is an illustrator based in London whose work is known for its bold lines and punchy colors.
Where do you find inspiration for your illustrations?
Inspiration usually comes from something that I’ve seen or heard in everyday life that sparks an idea. I then try to represent that idea or show it in a different light. I think I've been a lot more expressive with my work recently that moves away from observational to more suggestive pieces.
Recently, I completed a project which reversed this process by taking inspiration directly from literature. It was a very different way of working and much more challenging, but I’d like to try some more.
What is your favorite illustration that you’ve made thus far? Why?
It’ll be the petrol stations - I really liked how they turned out. I didn't go in expecting to draw a series. I just wanted to capture the architectural presence of an often mundane and overlooked structure, then it quickly led into a few more drawings. It felt really smooth, and I enjoyed drawing those.
How do you hope to see your illustrations evolve over the next 5 years?
I would like to explore different mediums, perhaps moving in to some 3D work and definitely working on some more physical pieces, taking my images off the screen and into prints or books. I don't have an exact plan, but through maintaining a regular drawing practice, you get little evolutions that build up and come together over time.
What is your favorite part of the creative process?
I love drawing. I get absorbed by the process, and it’s not something I ever really shut off from. Concept, drawing, and editing all merge into one. I like to get straight in and start drawing. If I don't feel it, there are often elements I can extract or work on. Obviously finishing’s a great step though, as I can move on to the next idea.
What kind of tools are used to create your images?
I usually work by drawing digitally straight away. I use a blend of Jasc and Illustrator. The old software merged with new software can be difficult, but its what I’m used to. I think it gives me a lot more freedom as working digitally can often be quite restrictive.
What is, in your opinion, the most underappreciated aspect of illustration?
I think it’s probably the ideas and research behind a piece. Particularly for editorial work, you often have to get to grips with tricky or sensitive subject matter and find a way to portray it in a way that fits the tone.
Who are your favorite illustrators?
I’m not sure about a favourite illustrator, but my favourite artists are Hockney, Emin and Matisse. Seeing the Hockney exhibition at the Tate earlier on this year was incredible.
What do you think makes a great image?
That’s a tough one. I guess it’s really context dependent - if you can pull out the meaning of a drawing with it still remaining aesthetically pleasing, I think that’s the strongest form of visual language.