Gary Neill

Gary Neill

(He/Him) • Hastings, England

Biography Interview

Gary is an illustrator from Manchester, England with over twenty years experience of creating conceptual, bold, vibrant, illustrations for use in editorial, advertising and design. Drawings, prints, photocopies, icons, type, found ephemera and photography are digitally collaged together to visualise an idea that answers the essence of the brief but in a subtle, yet visually striking manner.

Selected clients

The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, The Nation, Entrepreneur Magazine, Money Magazine, Fortune, The Times, Investment Advisor, Four Four Two, Variety Magazine, PC World Magazine, Pacific Standard, New Scientist, Nature Magazine, The Big Issue Magazine, Lexpert Magazine,

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Gary Neill

Your pronouns

How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?

Where is home?
Beautiful, scruffy Hastings in England.

Describe your illustration style in one sentence
Strong, simple, ideas illustrated in a vibrant graphic style.

What lights your soul on fire?
Family, friends, football, food.

What themes do you enjoy exploring in your illustrations?
Surprising visual juxtapositions and ideas.

What techniques do you use?
Thinking in a sketchbook and making with whatever I can find, all cobbled together using Photoshop.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
Not too much, my work is all about communicating the essence of an article and not the essence of me.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
Strong, simple, ideas.

Which projects excite you most?
Anything and everything. I love what I do and there is no bad brief or project in my mind.

What is your dream gig?
This season, I’m due to illustrate the fanzine ‘United we stand’. As a lifelong Man Utd fan, this is pretty terrifying/exciting.

Where, when and how do you best create?
Mooching about with drawings in a sketchbook someplace that’s away from a computer such as a coffee shop, pub, beach, car, or bath.

How has your style evolved since you started?
It hasn’t really, look at my work from twenty years ago and it’s broadly similar in a visual sense. The ideas are much better though!

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
Ensuring that I remain relevant, enthused and inspired.

How has being an illustrator changed your life?
The freedom of being an illustrator has allowed me to see my kids grow up every step of the way which has been invaluable.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Home-made sketchbooks.

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
A series of animations about rainforest destruction, fossil gas and environmental defenders.

What influences or inspires your art?
Hockney, Schwitters, Rauschenberg, Gill . . . Bob not Eric, Warhol, colour , music, textures, odd juxtapositions and ideas.

What would you tell your younger self?
Try and be a little more confident whilst being a little less arrogant.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Absolutely !

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