Interview with Clayton Junior

29 Nov 2010

I wanted to talk to our next Illustrator guest for a while, and finally the stars aligned, and I got to ask Clayton Junior a few questions. Clayton is based in London, but born in South Brazil. He works as a freelance illustrator since 1999. If you are like me and love colors, you'll admire Clayton's work. He's a true genius in the way he applies colors. By only using just a few colors he creates this beautiful color balance that sets his vibrant and meticulous work apart.

Photo of Clayton in his studio

Do you remember your first drawing and what it was? How old were you?

I remember drawing with my sister using school chalks on a concrete path in the garden of my grandmother's house. They were yellow, white, blue, pink only, and the lines pulsated on the grey background. But to be honest I have no idea of what the drawings were about. I guess I was around 4.

sketches computer vector image in outlines choosing colors adding details in Photoshop adding details in Photoshop

How would you describe your creative process?

On a commission, after talking to the art director I start sketching straight away. If after several pages these rough drawings still don't seem right, I take a break and relax, then try to visualize the image before go back to the paper. At some point I choose one sketch, clean it up, scan it and send it to the client first. After approval I redraw it on the computer as vector shapes second and choose the colors third. After that I add details on Photoshop third & fourth. It can take from a couple of days to one month, depending on the project.

I get rid of most of the sketches, but sometimes keep some spares the process on my sketchbooks. On them I draw in every blank space, mix notes, cut and paste drawings from other notebooks, add color to old works.

Did the Internet influence your work?

I think the internet shaped how everybody works with communications nowadays. However I feel my work is influenced by so many things I like, that ranges from the old Pink Panther cartoons I’ve watched as a kid to all artists whose work I love, from films to the life circumstances. So it’s hard to measure, but certainly yes.

Clayton's sketches and sketchbooks

Could you describe how a typical working day is like for you?

I cycle everyday from home to the studio in central London which takes around 15 minutes. Usually I arrive around 10, begin with office work, send emails, organize the calendar etc. Then from afternoon until late night I will be drawing, switching from the computer and the table. I share the space with 4 designer mates. It's a relaxed and friendly environment, we have music instruments there and recently got a record player. Although we only have 5 vinyl records so far, nobody seems to get sick of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust.

I remember drawing with my sister using school chalks on a concrete path in the garden of my grandmother's house. They were yellow, white, blue, pink only, and the lines pulsated on the grey background.
Some more work of Clayton Junior

What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

Whenever I have time I go for a walk just to observe the city, discover small streets, independent shops, interesting buildings. I also like pubic libraries. The medicine library at The Wellcome Institute is one I most like in London, not much for the books but for the ambience. It's the perfect place to organize the thoughts on a cloudy day. However after long periods of city life the best for me would be going to a hot place and spend a week just swimming at the sea.

Comments

  1. 1 Damien 30 Nov 2010

    “I also like pubic libraries.”
    Huh… ;)
    Great interview BTW!

  2. 2 Viktor 14 Dec 2010

    Hey!
    Really intresting article!
    Keep em coming!