The Daily Illustrator : James Northcote

Today's Daily Illustrator is London based practitioner, James Northcote. I came across James' work whilst flipping through the "illustration" hashtag on Instagram, a common pasttime. I found his superb "Flayed Knight" piece. I dropped a line for the contribution and here we have it. Read on and check out some of his diverse range of work below. Cheers! 


WHEN DID YOU FIRST START ILLUSTRATING AND KNOW WAS IT SOMETHING YOU WANTED TO DO AS A PROFESSION?

I think like a lot of illustrators and creative people I’ve been drawing and trying to make stuff as long as I can remember. I was always the kid in school who ruined exercise books by drawing all over them so after years of doing that I went on to study Illustration at University.

WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR INSPIRATION?

I’m not really sure, a bit of everywhere I suppose. Things like books, old monster movies (anything that’s old horror/ b-movie kitsch I love), comics, pop culture and other weird bits and pieces are where I look to for inspiration generally. I used to help my dad with his taxidermy when I was a kid so maybe that’s why I keep returning to morbid themes and anatomy.

HOW DO YOU GET THE IDEAS FOR YOUR ILLUSTRATIONS?

I try to keep a sketchbook with me at all times and just write down any stupid idea I have and see if I can develop them into something. These days I write more in a sketchbook than draw as I rush the drawings and can’t remember what it was supposed to be about when I look back at it. I’ve been playing with pop culture characters anatomy on and off for a while now and that came from thinking it would be fun if Batman took his cowl off and his bone structure actually fit the mask perfectly so he had pointy bone ears and Superman had kryptonite green brains.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM TO WORK WITH?

I like working digital at the moment. I never used it at university but now my work is almost exclusively done digitally even with my collage pieces. I like the very clean graphic lines and bold colours. Oddly the animation I do is old school stop motion and very hands on.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

I want to turn my digital illustrations into an animation so I’m figuring out how I want that to play out.

CURRENT WORK PLAYLIST?

The Heavy have a new album out soon which I’m pretty excited about so I’ve been listening to their other albums this week.

ARE THERE ANY ILLUSTRATORS THAT YOU ARE A FAN OF THAT DESERVE SOME EXPOSURE?

My friend Dawn Williams, has been some work I really like lately. Her colour choices are great.