London-based illustrator, Billy Clark’s, playful style originated from his fascination with cartoons and comic books. His rolling, peanut hills feature rich nutty textures and smooth buttery hues.

Q: What’s your background? How and when did you decide to become an illustrator?

I grew up in North London and was always a huge fan of comic books and superheroes. It wasn’t so much about what they did- I was more drawn (no pun intended) to the visual style of them, and became good at drawing by mimicking them and creating my own comic stories.

Q: How did you develop your style?

I think that my style developed as a blend of playfulness and wanting to be in control of my own process. I did lots of collage at art school, but couldn’t get away from the feeling that it was somehow cheating by relying on found imagery. So, gradually over time, I guess I’ve just simplified this process. I always start with drawing and I often draw the same thing many times to reduce information and make it feel more ‘my style’.

Q: Who are your artistic influences? What have you read or seen that has most influenced your work?

I still consider those early comic book days as an influence, evident in my use of shadow. Hockney is a big influence although his work was never really on my radar as a student. I’ve always liked to depict aspirational and colourful scenes, so his Californian work really resonated with me. I’m also influenced by more minimal and modernist movements.

Q: Where do you get your motivation and ideas from?

Often my motivation is to simply produce objects of beauty. Recently I’ve been producing abstracted landscapes and I love to illustrate people. These days, my ideas tend to be driven by commissions but in a general sense I’ve always enjoyed representing the mundane in glamorous and stylish ways.

Q: What’s the inspiration behind your Peanut Butter & Almond illustration?

I wanted to do something playful with scale and I thought a creamy, buttery landscape inspired by the nuts and butter itself would be really cool.

Q: What’s your favourite part of your Peanut Butter & Almond illustration?

I love the stripy almonds and the big background peanuts.

Q: Tell us an interesting fact about your Peanut Butter & Almond design

The little checked textures of the peanut shell took a long time to crack!

Q: Sum up your Peanut Butter & Almond illustration in 3 words

Vibrant, playful, nuttiness.

Q: What do you love most about PROPERCORN and your chosen flavour?

I genuinely think that PROPERCORN is a great product, and my experience working with them has solidified what I already perceived, which is a really positive and fun company. I loved creating my flavour world as I’m obsessed with peanut butter!

Q: How many iterations did it take before you came up with your final design?

I was pretty set on doing the landscape, but within that there were quite a few iterations – mainly around the ingredients in the illustration.

Q: What do you do to overcome creative blocks?

It’s a tough one. I think you have to get out of the studio and get inspired, rather than forcing things through.

Q: What’s next for you?

I’m hoping to have an exhibition next year. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and think it will be a good way to inspire a new body of work.

Follow @billyclarkillo to see more from Billy.
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