Our Featured Artist: Peter Phobia, World Illustration Awards winner

Winsor & Newton recently had the pleasure of partnering with The Association of Illustrators to sponsor The World Illustration Awards. Hundreds of entrants at all levels took part from all over the world. We were inspired by the sheer talent showcased, so we decided to get to know some of the artists better.

We’ll be bringing you a selection of our favourite illustrators, sharing stories from their background, to what inspires them and how they have stayed creative in trying times.

Introducing Peter Phobia, a New York based illustrator and animator and New Talent winner of the Advertising Category.

Instagram: @peterphobia

Tell us about yourself, your background, what inspired you to become an illustrator?

I’m Peter, an illustrator and animator based in New York. I was the kid at the skate shop asking for more stickers to decorate my board with. Skateboard graphics showed me the power of visual storytelling and eventually led up to me pursuing a career in illustration.

Tell us a little bit about your experience throughout this competition. What inspired you to enter? How did you create your winning piece?

I’m a fan of what the AOI stands for, it’s a wonderful way to connect with like-minded creatives, start meaningful conversations and see what’s happening in the industry right now. My winning series was deeply inspired by my love for New York City and the diversity of its people that make it so unique.

Peter Phobia
© Peter Phobia

What is your favourite colour and why?

I love warm blues, reds and peachy pinks. However, for me it’s more about the relationship between two colours and how they interact with each other. Similar to life, it’s all about balance!

What is your favourite medium to work with and why?

For commercial work I like to work digitally because it allows me to easily make revisions. A lot of that work is inspired by personal work, gouache colour studies and rough ideas scribbled in my sketchbook.

What would be your advice to artists and illustrators who are just starting out / learning?

Every time I catch myself overthinking work, Andy Warhol’s quote pops up in head “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”.

Do you have a typical routine you follow when you start a new piece; if so, what is it?

After scribbling thumbnail sketches to find ideas, I create refined sketches and translate those into a final artwork. Having experience in screen printing and riso had a big influence on my digital process.

What inspires your work?

New York, skateboarding, my friends and wonderful agents at Jelly London and last but not least, my neighbour’s cat, Jose.

Peter Phobia
© Peter Phobia

How did you stay active and creative through 2020?

Having a daily routine really helped me to stay focused on my work, which brings me a lot of joy. Physical exercise not only is a good distraction but also clears the head and creates much needed balance.

Peter Phobia
© Peter Phobia

What is your favourite W&N product to work with and why?

I’m a huge fan of Winsor & Newton’s Designers Gouache. I love the rich colours and the versatility it gives you depending on the brushes you use.

If you want to see more of Peter’s work check out his website here.

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