Computer Arts: Frencman VS. Stag: what's the story?
Max Lockwood: This piece was for a T-shirt design for a cycling publication, but never ended up being used – so it's up for grabs, if anyone’s interested. The brief had no real constraints and I was given a lot of freedom, they mainly asked me to create a cool retro tee, based on cycling, for their online store. The main idea behind this image was to illustrate the conflict between man and nature, going against each another, head to head.
CA: How did the piece come together?
ML: My creative process starts with a few rough sketches to set the mood, composition and layout. Once a rough idea has the green light, I've found a fairly even split between drawing with a brush and ink, and then working it into drawings digitally with a Wacom tablet. Recently I’ve started exploring digital processes more, in Manga Studio 5 and Adobe Photoshop, focusing on getting the line art as finished as possible, making sure it's balanced tonally then working into it with colour. I'm an avid cyclist, so bikes always pay a key part in my work and I never have much difficulty drawing them. I'd say the most challenging part of this piece was scaling the stag and getting the pose right to depict a rutting motion.
CA: How did you get into illustration?
MA: From a young age, I’ve always enjoyed drawing and pursued art throughout my schooling. I ended up on an art foundation and eventually on the illustration course at Southampton Solent University. My style is very traditional and creating work by hand is what comes most naturally. I’m inspired by 1940s comics from the likes of Jose Luis Salinas and Milton Caniff – who were some of the pioneers of illustration, in my eyes. I’m influenced predominately by things on two wheels, nature, wildlife and old western films.