Fred Blunt’s work is at once whimsical and spot-on clever, making his work enticing to both adults and children. He’s from the UK, has a brilliant portfolio and has a brand new baby girl named Bonnie! We love Fred’s work. Here is what he had to say about it:
My influences are largely what I grew up with, old 1950’s US cartoons, which seemed to be on the TV all the time when I was small. Everything from the classic Tom and Jerry’s, the great chuck Jones Warner stuff, the brilliantly stylised UPA type stuff, and of course the beautifully designed Ed Benedict stuff for Hanna and Barbera.
Pre-school British stuff from my childhood also leaves a big impact. Particularly Mr. Benn by the fabulous David Mckee, Towser by Tony Ross and of course the beautifully whimsical worlds created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate – Bagpuss in particular. I also love foreign made cartoons from my youth like Vicky the Viking and DogTanian and the three muskerhounds.
Similarly I’m still obsessed with Quentin Blake’s illustrations which I grew up with whilst reading the Roald Dahl books- I just love the uninhibited looseness and energy he brings.
Recently I have been enjoying the work of the French master cartoonist Jean-Jacques Sempé, whose cartoons remind me of watching silent movies – he really is an amazing draughtsman.
Was my contribution to the Beck’s music inspired art project. Which was a chance for artists to re-imagine some of the classic record sleeves. My sleeve design for There’s A Riot Goin’ On, by Sly and The family stone relates to a rather dark true story about Sly’s pet monkey and bull terrier, which happened during the making of the album.
Is a personal piece – just a little freeform doodle of some of my favourite things to draw. When I’m drawing purely for pleasure I try to be as unselfconscious as possible and try to get into a sort of doodle trance!
Barking up the wrong tree
Was again something that developed from a sketchbook doodle.
It’s a mixture of crayon line, with a watercolour and Photoshop collage for the colour.
Kids go free
Was a promotional piece for my agent’s folio.
I wanted this piece to be clear, bright and eye catching.
This was for an Usborne early reader. When I illustrated this book, I wanted it to feel like you are looking at stills from an animation. When I was a child I used to get quite miffed when you would get a story book based on your favourite cartoon, and they were drawn in a completely different style to the series! The reluctant dragon is a retelling of the Kenneth Grahame classic – originally illustrated by the brilliant A A Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame… I avoided seeing his illustrations at all costs, so I wouldn’t get intimidated!