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Art Works: Billy Partridge

16 February 17 words: Billy Partridge

This local artist talks us through his creative process...

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.

Billy on issuu

Bombastical Lines Feeling Fine

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