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Portrait of Lyndon Hayes

Portrait of Lyndon Hayes

Fabulous Noble chats with Lyndon about being an illustrator and where he finds inspiration
Lyndon Hayes was one of the first artists to come on board at Fabulous Noble. His innocent, nostalgic, and gritty snapshots of real life, drew us to ask him to illustrate the founding team of Fabulous Noble. In this interview he speaks to us about pivotal moments in his life and a curious meeting with Sir Peter Blake.

How did you become an Illustrator?

Well, I knew I wanted to be very creative in the picture & image field rather than type or do any other kind of design way back in the mid nineties when I was studying for my HND. I also had a great tutor back then who steered me in the right direction.

What was the first ad or artwork that inspired you?

I can’t say that I took much notice of ad’s in particular, but I certainly took an interest in British artists such as Sir Peter Blake & David Hockney when I was studying for my A levels. I actually got to meet Sir Peter Blake because my main written essay was about his life & work. That & the huge Pop Art exhibition held at The Royal Academy in 1992 cemented my desire to be an artist.

Can you outline your creative background?

I studied in Mansfield (originally where I’m from) for a HND before moving to Brighton in 1995 to complete a B.A course in Illustration. After we all graduated in 1998 the natural progression was to move up to London. I studied for an MA at Central Saint Martins College & graduated in 2001. Commissioned work came in quite regularly for a time but then soon dried up. For the next four years I made appointments with my portfolio to various publishing houses with limited success before being spotted by a new agency called Dutch Uncle in 2005.

Where do you find your inspiration? What captures your attention in everyday life, graphics or art?

I find most of my inspiration from people & places. I’m a great people watcher & could happily sit in a cafe or pub for hours listening to others, getting an idea of how everyone else lives.

What is the process you go through to build your imagery?

My process for the most part takes time. But once certain ideas begin to form then I can usually work quite quickly. I have a lot of saved reference material, either books about Illustration, cuttings from newspapers, photography books or just random images that I’ve spotted on the internet.

What are you currently working on?

I’m actually in the middle of producing the latest piece for The Observer Food Monthly Magazine. I have a regular slot called ‘Lunch with…’ that I work on every four weeks.

How do you describe your style?

My style is divided into two really. The line work style, which is drawn, then scanned in through Photoshop, then mostly worked up through Illustrator, & then there’s the painted imagery. Painting is my first love & it’s been picked up over the years for various commissions including The Sunday Times Magazine, Folio Society & even an Olympic stamp design for the Royal Mail.

What tools do you use? Digital? Hand?

Hand then digital. Pretty much always in that order. I don’t create anything from scratch on the computer & to be honest I doubt if I ever will.

What do you think about the fast moving pace of the world of illustration?

I don’t get to see a lot of it because i’m very lucky to have been kept busy with commissioned work. I find myself trying to make a conscious effort to visit galleries & invest in publications to keep myself up to date but i’d rather watch a classic film on DVD to be honest. I get a lot more inspiration from that than most art work.

Whose portrait would you most like to do?

Paul McCartney. The mans a genius & I’m a huge Beatles fan.

What artist would you like to collaborate with (from the past or present)?

I’ve never been one for collaborations. There’s a long list of artists dead or alive that I admire but I’m not sure how I’d approach the doorbell never mind a canvas!

What project are you most proud of?

I suppose the professional answer would be the piece I’m working on at the moment, but to be honest I’d have to say the Olympic stamp design for the Royal Mail from a couple of years ago.

Which blogs and magazines do you read?

Don’t tend to follow blogs or read the art magazines, I’d only get jealous of every one else’s abilities!

What is the last exhibition you went to?

My own! I shouldn’t really say that but it’s true. I’ve had little time over the past couple of months. Wouldn’t have minded going to see Hockney at the Royal Academy but I left it a little late to get tickets! I’m pretty useless when it comes to seeing other peoples work.

If you could own any artwork in the world, which one would it be?

Anything by Van Gogh, Rauschenberg, Peter Blake, Hockney, Euan Uglow, Cy Twombly, Ben Nicholson, too many to mention really.

Any plans for the future?

Hopefully yes! Not sure what yet though. I’d like another solo exhibition at some point this year, this time just affordable prints rather than paintings & prints. I have a back catalogue that I wouldn’t mind going through to eventually put out there.