This explosion of randomness is one of the many ‘doodles’ I’ve created over the past couple of years. It doesn’t have a name, but if I was to give it one it would be Bombastical Lines Feeling Fine.
I used black ink pens on card, then added colour around the edges using Photoshop, although I generally use coloured ink pens and markers to do this. This allowed it to look a bit cleaner and sharper, while keeping it nice and mad – which is how I like it.
I’ve been doodling for as long as I can remember. All the way back in nursery, I was doing some form of doodle, whether it be a giraffe casually sitting on a penguin, or a goldfish that had somehow transported outside of its bowl. As I grew up, my doodles – I refuse to call them drawings – developed and evolved, and I began to create characters with a lot more detail and personality.
It is my most fundamental belief that art is at its best when it’s spontaneous and hasn’t had hours of thought poured into it. I also create ‘cartoons’ – my characters with little captions. It was one of these which recently landed me the title of the British Cartoonists Association’s Young Cartoonist of the Year 2016, a prestigious award judged by many big names in the cartoon world, including the Guardian’s Steve Bell and Martin Rowson, Private Eye’s Nick Newman, and The Daily Telegraph’s Matt. I was very flattered to receive such high praise.
As well as character-based doodles, I like to create more free-form ones, and I’ve also made quite a few three-dimensional pieces, which feature in the three Billydoodles booklets I’ve produced. I made the first in 2014 to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research [now Bloodwise], and they sold out straight away, inspiring a further two volumes. The artist Dinos Chapman (of The Chapman Brothers) saw volume one and sent me a doodle of his own, with the message, “Billy – I love your drawings, go to art college... or else…”, so I guess I ought to do just that.
I come from a super arty family, so I would have probably been into art anyway, but luckily I had a natural passion for it. My influences are wide-ranging, from illustrators Oliver Jeffers and David Shrigley, to artists Keith Haring and Kaws. However, my all-time biggest inspiration and overall role model has to be artist Jon Burgerman (an NTU alumnus). Like him, I’d like to eventually pursue a career in illustration because it would be the most brilliant (low-paid) job ever. I’ve done a few commissioned illustration jobs, but for now it’s mainly a hobby as I'm studying for my impending GCSEs.