PAUL PILON - Interview

Why did you choose to study in Brighton?
The course open day. I liked the people who showed me around, and the students sketchbooks. Also being by the sea.

What was the best thing about the Illustration course?
Tutorials. It was a really good group of students, so a friendly atmosphere. It was nice because we were right in the centre of town, it's good to see real people in Post offices etc.
What were the best moments in the three years you studied?
College fancy dress parties. Snogging seven girls in one night, watching someone throw a table out of the window, watching someone fall down the stairs, girls dancing topless.

What did you expect would happen once you'd finished the course?
Nothing specific - possibly a few more contacts generated from the degree show, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of interest in my work, otherwise I didn't expect a great deal.

What are you doing now? What are the problems involved in being an illustrator?
I'm still passionate about pursuing an illustration career. The problem is how to promote oneself. How do you go about being noticed? After a few false starts I was advised to contact art directors by phone. Sending promotional material doesn't really pay off. Art directors are notoriously lazy. Cold calling puts them in a corner and forces them to see you. 

And what do you see yourself doing in five years time?
I see myself in five years time as a successful commercial artist, owning a batchelor pad, a cool 60's sportscar and with a gaggle of sexy groupies after my money.

What do you think was the best piece in your degree show?
'Snorting Speed' embodies my central passions: the relationship between specific people and their environment; dynamic and cinematic compositions; narrative work; and the use of simple colour schemes which create a harsh contrast between light and dark in order to muster up atmospheric scenes. Also I enjoy humour in my work. The brief was to illustrate the word 'Energy' which I portrayed by showing someone indulging in amphetamines.

Life as an Illustration graduate in Brighton?
Brighton has a lively art scene and quite a large illustrator community. BIG (Brighton Illustrator's Group) is also here, it has a large number of members. A great deal of my contempories stayed on in Brighton too which is useful fo comparing notes on getting work. And if it all goes bad I can just chuck myself off Beachy Head.