About Me:

Richard Johnson UK illustrator working in children's book publishing, advertising, editorial and narrativeI am a freelance illustrator and designer with 19 years experience working within the creative industry. I produce visual solutions for a range of clients and have designed imagery for packaging, poster, advertisement and editorial purposes. I specialise in children's book illustration with an emphasis on narrativestory-boarding and character development. I also write and illustrate my own stories.

Clients include Liberty of London, HarrodsTemplar Publishing, Random House, Usborne Publishing, Cadburys, Faber & Faber, Macmillan Publishing, Barefoot Books, Marks and SpencerThe BBC, The Times Newspaper, The Radio Times...

My latest book, 'Once Upon a Snowstorm' was published by Faber and Faber in November 2018, It is my first wordless picture-book and explores the story of a lonely boy who becomes separated from his father in a huge snowstorm. The book was designed to allow the parent and child to develop their own response to some of the themes within the story.

I have illustrated numerous books for children of all ages, including 'Pinccochio' and 'Alice in Wonderland' for the popular 'Pop-up and Sounds' series by Templar Publishing, 'My Grandpa's Amazing Inventions' which I wrote and illustrated in 2008. Other titles include revised editions of 'The Nativity' and 'The Night Before Christmas', published by Random House. Books for younger readers include 'Animal Stories for Bedtime', 'Illustrated Nursery Rhymes' and 'Animal Alphabet ABC', published by Usborne.

I am also a Teacher on the Graphic Communication and Illustration programme at Loughborough University and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Working Process and Influences:

I learnt a while ago that I like to keep things interesting for myself, Ive always tried to apply my visual lanaguge to a range of design challenges and for varying audiences. I've worked on advertisements, environmental graphics, children's books, character development, shop window displays, packaging, gift-books and gift-ware, fiction and non-fiction, magazines and newspapers.

I enjoy experimenting with different approaches to creating my illustrations, finding different methods of applying colour and texture to my drawn language. The work starts life within my sketchbooks, the imagery is developed through a process of re-drawing and re-scanning, layering combinations of digital painting and scanned traditional medium to a finished outcome. Experimenting with mixed-media, both traditional and digital, allows me to discover new directions for my work.

My main interest is visual and sequential story-telling which I apply for various purposes and frameworks, emotional response and the development of character are also important design considerations. Aesthetically, I like imagery with atmosphere and a defined personality, offering something that expands on the text or concept. Tone and lighting have a big part to play in how I conceive and develop an image. I am also interested in the compositional relationships between shape and space, sometimes forced perspectives or viewpoints, often very flat compositions.