Hope For Children's Live Art is a charity fundraiser, showcasing some of the UK’s most exciting up and coming artists. Whether you have a passion for photography or illustration, abstract painting or realism, there will be something for everyone. You will be able to bid on all the artwork shown and witness the artists’ create a joint mosaic live! Hope For Children are aiming to raise enough money to set up an intervention center for street children in Uganda that could change their lives forever. 100% of the money raised on the night will go directly to this project. The 405 were lucky enough to interview partaking Illustrator Steve Wilson in the run up to the show. Check it out! Why do you think you became an artist? Do you recall any specific events that triggered you into exploring it? I guess my earliest memory of drawing properly was with my grandad. He used to come round every Sunday afternoon for Dinner and we would sit and draw together afterward. We used to draw plants, horses things like that. At that point I was just trying to learn how to do the basics...how to get the shading right etc. I was only young...around 7 or 8 years old. I became pretty good at it and other kids at school would ask me draw things for them and I think that small sort of success/confirmation from the other children gave me some belief and encouragement to carry on trying to get better at it. I knew even then I wanted to do something creative. In terms of being an Illustrator specifically it wasn't until I was actually at Brighton Uni studying Illustration full time that I knew for sure I wanted to work in that field. We had some great lecturers and visiting lecturers there such as Ian Wright, Jasper Goodall and Lawrence Zeegen and Georgie Hardie to name a few that really opened my eyes as to what Illustration can be. Obviously you're very influenced by the psychedelic era of 60's and 70's. Why do you think this type of imagery has appealed to you so much and therefore shaped the way you create your own work? I think it's just because it's so fluid. I really like a sense of discovery within an image. Psychedelia often has lots of elements worked into it and there may be things you don't see at first that you discover as you stare at it. That era in particular was very creative across all fields and so it's no surprise that it still influences artists today, not just in Illustration and design but n other fields as well such as music for example. As an artist you've been commissioned to do various pieces for companies such as CocaCola, Baby Shambles, Amy Winehouse and others. Is there any one out there that you've always dreamed of working for or with? My dream client is probably Vivienne Westwood. She has a great story and it would be amazing to be a part of it even in a very small way by contributing something to her body of work. I missed out on the punk era being born in 1979 but it seems pretty exciting reading about it and it would be great to work with someone who was so integral to it's beginnings. I don't think my work is particularly suited to what she does so it's unlikely to ever happen but as a dream it would be to work with her. Besides the commissioned pieces you're ask to do, do you ever get time to yourself to just doodle and try out new things in your work? Yes, I think this is a really important part of being an illustrator. It's imperative to try and find the time to try new things out to help keep the work moving forward. Occasionally I will work with a great art director who takes a gamble and asks me to do something that is different to my previous work and that is great but usually I have to make the time myself to experiment. Without that, everything would just become very repetitive. I don't want to find myself in a situation where I am known for doing one thing so try to move my work on as much as possible. I definitely think most of the eureka moments I have had whilst working have come about from my self initiated work. What do you think about artists who work under different nicknames and aliases? Was this something you ever considered before opting to use your full name? I never really thought about it when I first started out 7 or 8 years ago and by the time it did occur to me I already had quite a few commissions under my belt and had begun establishing myself under my own name. In hindsight it probably would have been a good idea for me. It's important now that you get attention on blogs, etc and on the web in general and having had such a common name as Steve Wilson has made that harder I think. Working under an alias would obviously have helped with that as I could have been called something a little less common. If I'd thought up something unusual enough I might even have been able to buy the web domain I wanted as well!. Being a Brighton based artist , do you ever find that with such a big media focus on Brighton as this mecca for talented artists right now that there is a certain amount expectation for your work to live up to or meet? I don't really focus on what is going on in Brighton particularly. The internet has meant I can, and do, work for clients anywhere in the world and I suspect that is the case with most artists who produce commissioned artwork. The internet has made the whole world seem very accessible so there isn't much point becoming too focused on what is happening on a local level. However, I think it's great that Brighton has so many creative people and it's one of the reasons it's such a great place to live. I certainly don't feel any sort of burden or expectation because of it though, quite the opposite, it's nice to be surrounded by so much exciting stuff going on. What is the key to keeping your work fresh and not getting mentally/physically burnt out by what you do? I suppose it's different for everyone. but I actually like to stay busy. It seems to keep my energy levels up and my mind concentrated if I am under pressure. When I have loads of time to get something done I will usually procrastinate. If I do get stuck and feel that I need some inspiration I usually just go out for a walk or a run. Sometimes I'll pop into a few of the flea markets or book shops in Brighton for something to inspire me but usually just giving myself an hour or so out of the studio to refresh my mind helps. And finally, what does the future hold for Steven Wilson? In regards to your work, new projects and any other personal aspirations you have in life. Is there anyone you'd like to give a shout out to? I think for the future with work I just hope to carry on being fortunate enough to make a living doing something I enjoy. I'd like to perhaps exhibit my work a little more and produce more to sell to the public alongside my commercial work but really I'll be happy as long as the type of work I am doing remains varied and creative. On a personal note I have a young son now so hope he will have a brother or sister in the next few years. You can visit Hope For Children's Facebook event page for information, updates and a sneak peak at some of the art on offer here For more info please visit www.hopeforchildren.org