Andrew Gibson is a digital artist and illustrator based in Suffolk. His personal style has developed through a process of traditional pencil drawings, sampled textures and digital colouring. Andrew took some time out to talk to us here at The405 about his work. Check it out! Why do you think you became an artist? Do you recall any specific events that triggered you? The processes involved in creating images gives me the biggest natural high. Thats something i never want to let go of. Its what continues to drive me 345 days of the year (few days off for holidays) As for specific events that triggered me wanting to persue a career path in the arts..... i would say its a combination of life experiences, the advice of some very creative people and an idealistic childhood vision of learning to draw with my granddad. I would like to think i could make him proud. How has art changed your life? For a start its made me poor... i certainly didn't choose this career path to make money. Other than that its given me a creative output that helps balance my head. Who or What inspires you into creating a new piece? People fascinate me. How individuals interract with one another and their surroundings. A lot of my personal work revolves around the concept of 'Mass observation' the social science founded in the 1940s as a way of recording the everyday lives of ordinary people. Would you say that each of your portrait pieces can tell or have a personal story attached to the character in them? Is this intentional? I've only recently gone back to playing around with portraiture and yes. I try and bring in different elements of the sitters past and present into each piece. Attempting to capture the sitters mood and personality through the use of colour , textures and emotive expressions. Did you find it difficult to become recognized for your work and to build yourself a reputation working under that student typecast amongst other established artists, after you left Art college? I still am finding it hard to build a reputation... it takes a life time. Its always hard when you leave college. from my experience of artistic education it never really prepares you for 'life on the outside'. You become somewhat institutionalized. The illustration course i was on in Scotland was exceptionally good at giving you the skills needed to tackle a brief and the freedom to develop your own style but lacked any practical guidance. I felt some what lost when i left college and decided to take a year off and relocate south. So far it has taken me 3 years of trying to get my work seen by the people who are willing to pay money for it. First establishing myself on the local Arts / illustration scene, entering local competitions working with local youth magazines. Its then slowly progressed up from there. What is the average amount of time that you spend on a piece? Anything from one hour to three days. Once i have settled on a concept I prefer to work quickly as it leaves less time to over-think the image. All my best images have taken less than 2 hours from start to finish. What is the key to keeping your work and ideas fresh and not getting mentally or physically burnt out by what you do? Finding inspiration in the most unlikely of settings..... and continuing a creative output on a daily basis. If i stop I find it difficult to restart. How did you get into illustrating for names like - The Big Issue, Waitrose Food and The Wolsey Orchestra? Self-Promotion... I'm useless at it, but getting better. Get your images out where they can be see by those who matter. Finally, where do you see yourself 3 years from now, in regards to your work, new projects and any other personal aspirations you have in life. My main objective is to work full time as a freelance illustrator and artist. At present i have to subsidize my income by working part time in a local school. I am also interested in finding an appropriate illustration agent. Be sure to check out more from Andrew by visiting his Official Website here