An interview with Rick Smith

Working as an illustrator for over 20 years Rick’s clients range from the National Trust to the Tate Galleries. We asked Rick a few questions about his love of art, his creative inspiration and his plans for 2019.

‘I draw, take photographs and do a lot of research before creating my final artwork digitally. ’

Rick Smith

When did you first become interested in art and why? 

I’ve pretty much always liked everything to do with art as far back as I can remember. I knew I wanted to be an illustrator from a very early age. I wrote to Raymond Briggs when I was 12 to ask him how to create a children’s book. He wrote back a lovely detailed letter on the do’s and don’ts and at the end basically said ‘Get yourself to art college’, which is what I did.

What journey do you take to produce your work? 

Once I’ve decided on a location, or it may be from a commission, I gather as much reference points as possible to that particular place with hopefully a visit to photograph. Then I’ll sketch out as many designs as it takes until I’m happy with the one I want to work up into the final artwork.

How do you set yourself up on a morning before working?

Once the dog walk and school run is done I take a cup of coffee up to my studio which is luckily just up the garden path, feed the birds and stick radio 4 on. 

How would you describe the artist’s role within society? 

I think it’s about connecting with people’s emotions.    

What inspires you?

Growing up in North Wales, living in Cornwall and now in the Cotswolds has been a big inspiration for me. I enjoy walking, I think the UK has an amazing variety of landscapes to offer.

What are your plans for 2019?

More travel locations and trying to find time to finally finish my children’s book!