I was always ready to contribute creatively to any project and I took take care to properly understand and fulfil a brief - delivering on time, to budget, to a high standard and clients got the illustration they needed.
During my career I got to make a lot of illustrations but most of the time I was a graphic and multimedia designer. I designed publications, exhibitions, signs, posters, built web sites, audio visual programmes and made interactive projects way back when touch screens were a novelty. Eventually I lectured in visual communications for the last few years of my career. Paying it back.
I always began with the most direct way to explore and develop ideas and bring them into the physical - pencil and paper. The computer has too much between the idea and the exploration of the idea. Trying to work while peering through a thick window that limits and denies all sensory feedback except to the eye. Like a deep sea diver wearing lead shoes and mitts.
It's the ideas that count.
However the computer was freedom when it came to realising the developed idea. No getting out the easel, paints, rags and water and then tidying them away again. Best of all - multiple undo's - no starting over when one makes an indelible wrong mark - a shame that's not available in the real world.
I've given up Adobe - I use Ink, Gimp and Affinity Publisher now. And they work just as well. Brilliantly well if you factor in the price difference.
I've commissioned work from writers, illustrators, other designers, printers, manufacturers and multimedia companies directly as well as through design agencies. I've had work commissioned from me in return by some of them. I've worked as creative director in team environments leading skilled people to contribute creatively, generate ideas, and together make products that worked and were effective.
I was, and still am, very good at working with others.
I had an interest in the technical anyway. I was the Mac IT guy in our organisation. (The PC team wouldn't believe me when I kept telling them we didn't have the millennium bug issue they were obsessing over.) And I was hands on with scanning, back up, archiving, and working with media production and print companies.
I took a technical interest and that technical knowledge fed back into my production. In ways like taking care of colour spaces, resolution, file types and resilience of formats over time and for purpose. I know how to make illustrations fit for print, video or screen.
My first boss's priority in any design work was that the product did it's job - looking good was not the primary aim. He designed the Scottish Countryside Ranger's badge in the late 60s early seventies and it is still in use across the country today. Classic design.
Communication not Decoration.
Consequently under that influence I wanted illustrations to add value to text or an idea and not just to be decorations. Illustrations should do their job too, communication not decoration.
Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Baillie Marshall Design, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Landowners Federation, Clydesdale Bank, Forestry Commission, Avian, Ascenco, Nationwide Building Society, Wigwam Holidays, Scottish Geology Association, Tayside Police, Dundee Museums and Art Gallery.