This year's D&AD Awards took place at the end of May. Joe Russ talked to illustration category judge Andrew Rae about the show, as well as his life as an illustrator, animator and Peepshow member.
Computer Arts: What did you think of the standard of entries in this year's D&AD Illustration category?
Andrew Rae: I know this is the usual response after judging, but the standard was hugely varied and the process of judging was really difficult. The judges all had such differing opinions that it was very difficult to reach a consensus. I went in this year hoping to champion illustration, because there were no awards given last year, but it's quite hard. A lot of good illustration work out there wasn't entered for whatever reason, so in that context the one pencil we awarded was pretty good.
CA: You've recently worked on a show for digital moving image initiative, onedotzero. Tell us a bit about that.
AR: We were asked to provide some projected visuals for a onedotzero event at the Hayward Gallery in conjunction with its surrealism exhibition. We used it as a chance to experiment, and so one evening we took an OHP and projected images on to a model who was standing against a wall and recorded it frame by frame. We tried out a few different scenarios with her [the model] interacting with the imagery. We were all very happy with the results and have learned from the experience. If and when we do something similar in the future we'll be able to approach it from a much stronger position.
CA: You're part of the Peepshow collective. How do you benefit from being part of a setup of this nature?
AR: It gives us ten brains, 20 eyes and 100 fingers. We share contacts and client lists, help to publicise each other's work, share a studio in Bethnal Green and maintain a constantly updated group website to show our work. More than that, however, it helps facilitate group work, and much of the creative input for our commercial work stems from, and is inspired by, extra- curricular activities through various self-initiated projects and events. I've been doing a lot more animation lately and I need a team of people for this. For instance, I've recently been making an animation for Channel 4's Mesh scheme, for which I've received a lot of help from Luke, Chrissie and Pete from Peepshow.
CA: How did you develop your style?
AR: After leaving college I made monthly flyers for London club night Perverted Science at 333 in Shoreditch and I think this is really where I developed my way of working and my approach. It meant that I had to produce a piece of self-initiated artwork once a month that was distributed all over London. This helped me get my work out to an audience without any editorial restrictions so I could try out new things, get a response and gauge what worked and what didn't. I always produce my drawings on paper but then I compose, refine, colour them up and combine them with textures digitally.