09. MARCH 2012

Peter O'Toole

Peter O’Toole’s influences stem from his love of nostalgia and looking back to the past. From vintage matchboxes and stamps to old slide projectors and wrestling figures. The seed may have been planted early on when his Nan used to take him to the second hand market in Huddersfield or whilst watching re runs of British 1960’s music TV show Ready Steady Go! Although these early influences were soon replaced with Hip-hop and graffiti as he reached adolescence, it all came full circle soon enough. Nowadays he attempts to mix all his influences from past and present into something that’s fresh and original. In November 2009 he took the leap and set up as a freelance illustrator and designer. hasn’t looked back since. Clients include Activision, Doritios, NME magazine, Shindig magazine,

The Addict Clothing Co, Galaxy FM, Syngenta, Rig Out magazine for Oi Polloi and Jilted Royalty to name but a few. He’s exhibited in a group show with good friends and art associates One Trick Pony at the Orange Dot Gallery in London and features in various magazines like I-D online. In his spare time he co-run’s an arts and culture magazine called Dirtcheap, as well as a live art night called Fresh Kids, primarily based in Huddersfield but recently collaborated with Salt Beef at 93 Feet East on Brick Lane, London for the southern launch night of UK rapper Asaviour’s album launch. In this series of Addict tees O’Toole delves back in history to the days of exploration, aviation and naval endeavour to serve up a cut and paste slice of iconic nostalgia. www.peter-otoole.co.uk

Tell us more about your style, how would you describe your work?
I would describe my work as very 50's influenced, with a modern twist.

How did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
It’s just the one thing that was always dead cert. I didn't really consider anything else. I drew before I could walk, so I always got my priorities right!

You’ve worked for a number of well-known clients, how did you feel when you got the call from Addict?
Complete honesty? Shocked! I looked up to guys like Will Barras, Stef plaetz, Mr Jago etc etc whilst I was at college. I had both Addict books and even bought some catalogues off eBay way before Addict called me. So lets just say I had a keen interest in the label! When they called me up it was one of those career milestones, from looking at Addict artists to being an Addict artist, it kind of highlighted my progress up to that point.

What inspired you for your Addict Guest Artist range?
I worked closely with C-LAW on the range, it was actually the first artist series in which a brief was set, Chris wanted to go for a desert rats/ British military vibe, partly inspired by his grandfather. We settled on themes for each tee, focusing on the different sections of the British military, Air, Land and Sea. I think the tee shirts speak for themselves!

Which one stands out for you?
Definitely the air one, Everything came together pretty easily with that one!

Tell us about your process? How did you attack this project
I Started out doing my research, there wasn't a lot of images online, I was looking for uniforms, tanks, that kind of thing. I went scouring second hand markets and found some really nice reference material, old photo albums of proud ex-soldiers who kept scrapbooks of their time serving their country. They came in very handy, from there just got some ideas down, bounced back and forth with Chris until we came up with something we thought looked half decent!

Did you come across any problems when working on these?
Not massive problems, we had to change the original type on one of them as not to offend anyone, but I won't go into to much detail. The tees had to have global appeal!

What do you think makes a great tee graphic?
Something that uses minimal colors, stands out, looks great, is original.

What else have you got coming up in the pipe line?
Currently writing a 2-page tutorial for Computer Arts magazine, which (fingers crossed) will be in the next issue. Just got asked to do some illustrations for cancer research UK and I have also just finished a personal project that was about a year in the making, basically trying to make an illustrated check list of vintage Adidas trainers!

How can our followers find out more about you and your work?
You can visit my site at www.peter-otoole.co.uk, drop me an email on pete@peter-otoole.co.uk or follow me on twitter @peterotooleart