Neil Packer interview: Peter Hatch, a bold illustration style and Shakespeare

Neil Packer Shakespeare; a man sits in a theatre reading a book
(Image credit: Neil Packer / The Folio Society)

"I wouldn't want to be an illustrator starting out now, I think it's incredibly difficult," quips artist Neil Packer, an illustrator who has Harry Potter and Dante on his CV, as we discuss his latest work for the The Folio Society's beautifully illustrated 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s first folio, The Complete Plays. He is, of course, joking. "I don't want to put people off because it is a great job," he adds, with a broad smile.

Neil Packer is a refreshingly honest and passionate person, who's love of art, the texture and the process of working with inks, watercolour paints and materials comes through as we discuss his latest project, creating 39 illustrations, one for each of Shakespeare's works within the new Folio (see more at Neil Packer's website). From comedies to historical epics, Packer was tasked with bringing all of Shakespeare’s plays together, unifying them under one style, his style.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.