Carl Partridge: Introducing

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Introducing: Carl Partridge and his funny collaged illustrations

We were intrigued after Carl Partridge popped into the studio the other week to drop off some of his wares for us to admire, and when we dug a little deeper and discovered all the cool stuff he gets up to we decided he’d warranted a proper introduction on the site.

His brilliantly cheery illustration is composed using collage, which means cutting out dozens of tiny arms and woolly hats and legs and things and positioning them on a page until he gets it right, using negative space boldly and effectively. He’s made designs for London’s Artwords bookshop, and designed swimming badges encouraging people to support their local lidos – a pastime he strongly endorses. Here’s his working day in his own words…


Carl Partridge: Introducing


Carl Partridge: Introducing

Where do you work?

I work from my flat in Hackney, which I share with my girlfriend, Megan. I like working from home. During lunch I get to watch Columbo or Murder She Wrote, even occasional episodes of Cheers! It also means I have a collection of books to hand and records to listen to, and the best slippers in the world! North Face, suitable for all terrain!

How does your working day start?

I have breakfast in the kitchen, where looking out of the window I can see the abandoned but not forgotten Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital, which I hope will remain. I catch the tail end of Shaun Keaveny’s banter and feed the turtles – Moon and Pea – then the fish – Millhouse, Red and Whale. I take a coffee to my desk, then…. “Allez!”

How do you work and how has that changed?

I feel I’ve got good at what I do recently. I like to have a variety of projects on the go constantly, and this seems to work well for me. Illustrations solve themselves. I collage with paper, which allows me to draw immediately in colour, and from there I can change and adjust postures and arrangements until happy. I’m drawn to simple forms and shapes, isolated objects and considered use of negative space.

I have a quote book that I keep and fill with sentences, words and phrases, and ideas sometimes grow organically from there. I also draw a lot of inspiration from clothes, I’m quite keen on fashion. Not necessarily trends, I’m more interested in what people wear from the perspective of it being autobiographical. 

Recently I’ve begun using vectors in my work which is a new thing for me. I was anxious at first, as I was worried it would like out of place in my portfolio, but I don’t think that’s the case. It’s just another form of application, it’s still my work with the same ideas and ideals.

Where would we find you when you’re not at work?

I’m lucky enough to live five minutes away from London Fields lido and I’ve been taking full advantage of that, swimming a couple of times a week, though I recently committed to my first tattoo so I’m currently having a short break from the pool (but not from water altogether). I’m currently reading Leanne Shapton’s Swimming Studies also just started running eight miles every Sunday, which my girlfriend wishes I would stop mentioning…Eight miles!

Would you intern for yourself?

I like the idea of recreating that scene from The Godfather, picking up apples and pears in the market, my coat perched on my shoulders, shadowed by an apprentice, showing them the ways of the local world… But would I intern for myself? No.


Carl Partridge: Artwords Bookshop


Carl Partridge: Support Your Local Lido


Carl Partridge: Support Your Local Lido


Carl Partridge: Brew for a Bookworm


Carl Partridge: Introducing


Carl Partridge: Collage