PETE GREENWOOD - interview 

Why did you choose to study in Brighton? 
I chose to study in Brighton because I already lived here. 

What was the best thing about the Brighton Illustration course?  
Meeting like-minded people and the final exhibition. 

What were the best moments in the whole three years? 
Listening to Quentin Blake talk about his work, and the Pottery party. 

What did you expect would happen once you'd finished the course?  
I had mixed feelings about what to expect when I left the course, various tutors had said it was very difficult in the world of illustration to get along. But I had hopes of getting work. 

What are you doing now? What are the problems involved in being an illustrator? 
After leaving I managed to get some good contacts from publishers and an ad agency. One of the publishers, Lloyds Lists Publishers have given me a fair bit of work over the past six months, most of it being front covers of magazines. I have found a lot of the art editors like to put forward their own concept for the illustration which I find quite annoying. When this happens the end result is  a bit of a compromise and looks like illustration by committee. My style of work depends on my own answers to problem solving, when I have completed commissions in this way they have proved to be successful. Apart from editorial work I have done some advertising illustration which is very tightly briefed and is about my style of working and nothing else, but it is well paid. Other areas of illustration I am looking into for possible work are book covers for design groups and kids books. At the moment I am putting together a mock-up of a childrens story to show to publishers. 
On the whole I have found being a freelance illustrator quite good but getting commissions has been difficult, with so many illustrators on the market and editors too busy to see you the visits up to London haven't produced much work. But I'm sure it's just a matter of time and perseverance for all the visits to publishers to pay off. 

What do you think was the best piece in your degree show? 
Some of my best work has been personal work completed outside of a set brief. 
Without the art editor looking over my shoulder I can feel free to do what I want and enjoy it. 

Life fter graduating in Brighton?  
As there are so many illustrators in Brighton it's a good place to be. I am a member of the Brighton Illustrators Group which has monthly meetings with guest speakers, the last being Steve Bell. Also I am about to take a studio space at one of the many shared illustration studios in Brighton. It's an open plan studio with about ten illustrators working there. Up until now I have been working at home and found it difficult with too many distractions and no space to work in so I'm looking forward to having a place of work. 

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