24-year-old Luke Waller – a self confessed ‘full-blown country lad!’ – is from the Isle of Wight, studied in Bournemouth and is now en route to living in London.
Aside from hopping around the country, Luke is an illustrator with a ‘delicate, dirty style’ and takes inspiration from the news and current affairs to create his work. Read on to find out how Ricky Gervais inspires him, and discover what stirs his creativity.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’ve always been a creative person – I’d find it hard to think of doing anything else. For me illustration/creating isn’t a career path, it’s a way of life. This is not to say I was top of the class art wise, no, no. I would describe myself as a late bloomer, in fact in some ways I’m surprised I got into the collages and universities I did. Just goes to show how far a smile will get you! After GCSEs I went on to take A-levels, and in my first year I did art, graphics and general studies. However in my last year, at a school where it was compulsory to do at least 3 subjects, I managed to get away with dropping general studies. So my A-levels purely consisted art, graphics and a lot of free time. Gaining a place at the prestigious Arts Institute at Bournemouth was a life-changer for me. I was set up on a one-year foundation course with the option of staying on to complete a degree. I had some of the greatest times in Bournemouth; it was the perfect step up from the Isle of Wight.
What are your inspirations?
I’ve been illustrating on and off since uni but only towards the end of 2010 have I started to take off. I developed a rather big passion for travel after uni; since I worked through my degree I had a pretty large overdraft to go crazy with. Seeing places like China and the Middle East triggered my favourite and most expensive hobby, Reportage Illustration. I love exploring new cultures and trying new things. In February this year I shall be launching an exhibition responding to my time spent in China with shows in the midlands and hopefully London. As well as travel my inspirations are music, fashion, documentaries and comedy! I’m a massive fan of people like Ricky Gervais and Stephen K. Amos; you can’t get anymore inspiration than people who push the boundaries like they do.
What’s your favourite piece of work you produced?
My favourite piece of my own artwork is one I created recently for my Chinese exhibition. This particular piece is centred on how much alcohol the locals liked to drink, and the strange ways they like to relax! I’m a big fan of mono print and used it a lot within this image, which could be another factor behind my favour.
Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?
My favourite creative would have to be J. W. Turner, not quite an illustrator but I can not look at his work without being amazed My personal goal is to follow a similar path to Turner’s and become a full time reportage illustrator – official artist for the M.O.D. would be like winning the lottery for me.
All images © Luke Waller. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.