Illustrator Simon Cooper worked for the likes of NME, Time Out, the Radio Times and Punch magazines and now he is to unveil an exhibition of original art, illustrations and prints at Pocklington Arts Centre.
The exhibition, which open on Tuesday 2 November and runs until Thursday 6 January, will feature many of those commissioned by NME, inspired by Simon’s lifelong love of music.
“Music has always been an important part of my life. For as long as I can remember I’ve immersed myself in records, live shows and the music press. When I got my degree in illustration and started to work for Sounds and NME it was my dream gig. I ended up working for them for almost 20 years and I produced hundreds of illustrations during that time. The first two pictures I did were of Malcolm McClaren and Beastie Boys and the last two were of Super Furry Animals and Manic Street Preachers,” said Simon. Simon, who is based in Everingham, near Pocklington graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, in Dundee before moving to London to pursue his career as an illustrator.
“In those days I visited Magazine and Publishing Houses with my portfolio under my arm and did my best to persuade art editors to give me commissions. At that time, I worked almost exclusively for magazines including Sounds, NME, Time Out, Punch and The Radio Times. Later I went on to illustrate many children’s books, working for Pan Macmillan, Penguin and Oxford University Press among others,” he said. Chuck Jones, Ronald Searle, Renee Margritte, Henri Matisse and Marc Chagal are just a few of the artists who inspire Simon in his work, plus his love of comic books.
“I’ve always had a love of comics and cartoons and consequently my style usually errs in that direction! My four years at art college, surrounded by like-minded creative types, were particularly inspiring and motivating,” he said. His latest piece, The Owl and the Pussycat, is Simon’s current favourite amongst the collection due to be exhibited in PAC’s studio as “it’s got music, romance and a dreamlike quality.”
These days Simon is focussing on independent projects, creating artwork and illustrations for private sale at galleries, art shows and in his online shop.
And what can visitors to his PAC exhibition expect? “Plenty of aesthetically pleasing images, a hint of quirky humour and a slice of rock & roll nostalgia for music fans,” he added.
Entry to the exhibition is free, during opening hours only.
For further information, including PAC’s current opening times, visit www.pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01759 301547.