Jonny Packham 

Hello Jonny, how are you feeling today?
How do!  I'm feeling slightly agitated about having no food in the house and my neck aches - that aside, i'm feeling creative and pretty good thanks. I'm thought i'd fill this in on a little break from painting with a brew and a cig. 

Could you tell us a bit about your industry?
From what I have experienced of it, the illustration industry is very competitive and you have to stand out if you want to be noticed. Not everyone does, but that just seems to be the way it goes. A dedicated and possibly slightly eccentric illustrator will do well here! The illustration community is generally full of really nice people who you can talk absolute rubbish with and feel right at home. The old saying of its not what you know, but who you know is a good mantra to have when involved with the creative industry for definite.

What’s your latest project?
My most recent finished project was a hand painted illustration of a cake with hands and a face. It was produced for a collective called Raw, who are celebrating their 5th birthday at Islington Mill in manchester in the form of an exhibition. The piece will be in the exhibition and is on sale with all the proceeds (should someone buy it) going to the Wood street Mission Charity. The event is on September 1st, at Islington Mill in Salford. Should be a fun one, so come down and bring an empty stomach!

What is the project you have done that you most enjoyed?
I couldn't pin point any one project as a solid favourite because annoyingly, my way of working normally dictates that the most recent thing I have finished becomes my favourite, until I am thinking about new projects, commissions, briefs or when I have started a new piece. I can say however, a project that involves a more hands on approach like printing or painting large scale I'll usually really enjoy.

Which project do you feel that you have learnt the most from?
This one's a no brainer for me. Whilst I was at University, I got asked to paint a mural for a salon in Leeds. At the time, I was really excited about it and it was my first live one. I put together a pretty neat pitch that one of the owners liked it and eventually wanted me to go ahead with it. But!  When it came to doing it for real, I didn't handle the brief very well and long story short, it went tits up! But from that I learnt valuable lessons in how to tackle a live brief as a professional and most importantly; the value of communication between you and a client. Without communication, we might as well be monkeys chucking poo at each other.

What/Who inspires you?
To me inspiration is a funny thing, because it can be absent for weeks - and you start to doubt yourself, but then all of a sudden you will find a huge amount of inspiration in the most mundane thing often. Thats how it normally happens for me anyway. My most recent inspiration came from staring at a felix the cat print. Generally speaking though, I find inspiration in my interests really - my love of sci-fi, horror films, graphic novels, nature & strange animals, insects, people and personalities, theories ...the list goes on...

What are your future aspirations?
To be a Pony. (Just kidding)

My aspirations are just to keep illustrating, be producing work that fires me up and aim to get more exposure before doing some exhibitions and collaborating with brands or other creatives. Its kind of a baby step approach at the moment for me, set a little goal, work hard to achieve it and then set my sights forward to another goal. I'd be a massive liar if i said i didn't aspire to be an established UK Illustrator.

Where would you like to be in five years time?
In Five years time... I'd love to be doing exhibitions, selling my work and collaborating with the big boys. Its a pretty nice prospect, but at the moment I just want to work hard and see where it takes me really.

I'd also like a pet monkey but that one is probably a bit unrealistic. Then again, maybe in 5 years that will be allowed. 

What advice would you give to students in creative industries?
You can be dedicated, driven, full of amazing ideas and all of that, but don't take it too seriously because it loses its beauty if you do. Plus you might have a nervous breakdown! Just enjoy the ride.

Any other comments?
Thanks for the interview, been a pleasure talking to you lovely people at imagine that!


A link to my website:

My Facebook Illustration page:

D&AD Profile:

Society6 Online store - selling prints and t shirts:

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