Illustrator Phil has enjoyed a long and collaborative working relationship with art director Nick Crow at Country Gardens magazine. Working on quarterly issues for over 10 years has built a reciprocal sense of trust and allowed for a creative freedom that illustrators do not take for granted.
Phil, forever the observer and thinker, had some thoughts to share on his experience of illustrating for Country Gardens.
"The illustrations seem to work best when we have two intersecting ideas. I always seem to create my most interesting pieces when I can create a single, simple, strong image. It doesn't have to tell the whole story or even part of it... but I want to pique the reader's interest by a bold and sometimes non-sequitur image. What I do love about the Country Gardens writers is that their subject matter isn't about 'country and gardens'. It is almost always about 'observations from afar' in a contemplative weighing of life and living things. I find this thinking is very timeless. Often I am in awe of what the writers are thinking about... and I want to create a strong image or symbol to make the reader stop, and actually pause to think and read the articles. Sometimes I think of my illustrations as little stop signs for the reader... waving their hands in the air to read the accompanying article"
Please take a moment to enjoy these stop signs below!