ALEX FOSTER graduated from Middlesex with First Degree Honours in 2013. Now based in Margate he has worked on a variety of projects for clients such as Roald Dahl, Anorak Magazine, Hallmark/M&S cards, Talented bags and The Poetry Society. He has also produced illustrations for The Folkestone Triennial, Totally Thames Festival and his House Portraits were featured on ITV’s This Morning and The Guardian Gift Guide. As well as this he runs his own ONLINE SHOP offering clothing, stationary and personalised illustrated prints.
– Tell us a bit about how you make your images. “I produce my images by starting with a pencil rough, then tracing the individual shapes with layout paper. I then scan this in, and cut out each shape on Photoshop, this allows me to move the pieces around and change layouts and colours as I go. It is sort of a ‘digital collage’.”
“A Typical day for me is after breakfast I get to my desk, get through my emails, then I will spend the day working on any commissions I have on the go. With my shop and orders from that it usually means that I will be working on those as well, then packing orders and trips to the Post Office. Me and Farrid are friends now.” – On top of freelancing you also run a successful online shop. Can you tell us a bit about your products and what you feel the benefits of having an online store are? “Personalised products just seemed like a good idea to me and that it makes great gift ideas and that people will like them. It is mostly about building up my shop as a business, then also me as a freelancer. I do plan to get some more products released when I have some more time to work on that, things like a greetings card range and stationery.”
– Are there any projects that felt like milestones in your career? A fun one was when the House Portraits were featured on the Guardian Christmas gift guide, which led them to be featured on This Morning on ITV. Seeing Phillip Scofield talking about them was cool and surreal! I think the best thing so far has been seeing my poster for Totally Thames all over the London Underground and UK train stations.
– How did you find the transition from student to practicing illustrator? Do you have any words of advice for students who may be in that position right now? The transition is definitely difficult, especially with the pressures of rent etc if you have that. All I can say is work hard, and the more work you put into it the luckier you’ll get with being noticed! – What are you currently working on? I’m currently working on the biggest project I’ve ever had which is a big map for the new Roald Dahl offices. It’s a bit of a dream come true getting to draw all these characters and locations that everyone loves, and the map is 4 x A1 size, featuring 22 of Roald’s books – so there is a lot to fit in! Find more of Alex’s work online: